This meeting provided the opportunity for Member States and other stakeholders to state their views on what the future science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution should look like. Many agreed it should be lean, flexible, and policy-relevant, not policy prescriptive.
Concerned that the sound management of chemicals and waste is crucial for protecting human health and the environment, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) at its 5th meeting in February-March 2022, recognized that improving the availability of scientific information would enable more effective action to prevent pollution.
UNEA resolution 5/8 thus calls for establishing a new science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and prevention of pollution.
As envisaged, this panel could support countries in their efforts to implement multilateral environmental agreements and other relevant international instruments, promote the sound management of chemicals and waste, and address pollution by providing policy-relevant scientific advice on issues. The panel could also further support relevant multilateral agreements, other international instruments and intergovernmental bodies, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders in their work.
To establish this panel, UNEA decided to convene an Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) to prepare proposals for the science-policy panel and is expected to complete its work by the end of 2024.
The first session of the OEWG will be held in two parts. The first part will take place on 6 October 2022 in Nairobi and online, while the second part will be held in-person in Bangkok in early 2023.
At the first part of its first session, the OEWG will be invited amongst others to consider important procedural matters, including establishing a Chair and a Bureau for the OEWG, as well as considering and adopting rules of procedures for the conduct of its work. The meeting will also allow Member States and observers the opportunity to deliver general statements on the establishment of the science-policy panel.