Chemicals

4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020

27 August – 2 September 2022 | Bucharest, Romania

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management – SAICM

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Participants made progress on the outline for a future framework on chemicals and waste to guide global efforts for years to come, and agreed to reconvene in early 2023 for further deliberations to enable the framework’s adoption at the International Conference on Chemicals Management in September 2023.

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The consumption of chemicals by all industries and modern society’s reliance on chemicals for virtually all manufacturing processes make chemicals production one of the major and most globalized sectors of the world economy. However, the essential economic role of chemicals and their contribution to improved living standards needs to be balanced with recognition of potential costs: heavy use of water and energy and the potential adverse impacts of chemicals on the environment and human health. The diversity and potential severity of such impacts makes sound chemicals management a key cross-cutting issue for sustainable development.

To address this challenge, in 2006 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a multi-stakeholder policy framework to promote sound chemicals management around the world. SAICM was conceived as the core international forum for achieving a key goal set in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development: by 2020, chemicals will be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Bearing in mind the 2020 deadline, the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) held in September 2015 initiated an intersessional process (IP) to prepare recommendations on the future of SAICM and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, for consideration by the fifth ICCM originally slated for October 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a two-year postponement of both the fourth and last IP meeting and ICCM5, although preparatory work continued using “virtual working groups.”

The fourth meeting of the IP was expected to develop recommendations to be considered at ICCM5 regarding:

  • cross-cutting elements: vision, scope and approaches;
  • strategic objectives and targets;
  • governance and implementation: institutional arrangements, mechanisms to support implementation, and issues of concern;
  • financial considerations; and
  • possible names for the new instrument.

The fourth IP meeting also considered preparations for ICCM5, including development of a high-level declaration.

The first IP meeting was held in Brasilia, Brazil in February 2017, followed by the second IP meeting in Stockholm, Sweden in March 2018. The third meeting of the SAICM Open-ended Working Group (OEWG3) convened in April 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay, and established a contact group that produced a composite text on the outlines of a possible post-2020 platform to serve as a starting point for subsequent negotiations. The third IP meeting, held in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2019, discussed in detail many of the elements of a possible platform (please consult our summary and analysis of the Bangkok meeting).

View past and future events

Past event

1st Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM PrepCom-1)

Past event

2nd Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM PrepCom-2)

Past event

3rd Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM PrepCom-3)

Past event

1st Meeting of the ICCM Open-ended Legal and Technical Working Group (OELTWG) and Informal Discussions on Preparations for ICCM-2

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG2) of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM)

Past event

4th Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4)

Past event

1st Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020

Past event

2nd Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG3) of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM)

Past event

3rd Meeting of the Intersessional Process Considering the Strategic Approach and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP3)

Past event

4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020

All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

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