The third session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-3) met from 17-21 September 2012, in Nairobi, Kenya. Over 400 delegates, representing 122 governments, 19 international organizations, and 79 non-governmental organizations and industry participated in the week-long Conference to consider, inter alia, recommendations from the Executive Board of the Quick Start Programme (QSP) on the future of the Programme, the addition of new activities for the Global Plan of Action (GPA), and emerging policy issues. A High-Level Dialogue on strengthening the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) for more effective implementation was also convened.
The Conference adopted nine resolutions including on the budget of the Secretariat, and emerging policy issues such as chemicals in products, lead in paint as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals. A resolution on highly hazardous pesticides was proposed in plenary, but was not adopted.
Delegates’ discussions reflected a general air of cooperation and compromise. The contact group on emerging policy issues dealt with several complex and potentially contentious issues, namely lead in paint, chemicals in products, and hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products, nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials, and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Through long but constructive negotiation and the use of small drafting groups, the group managed to arrive at compromise resolutions. Participants discussed the collaboration and partnership between ICCM and the World Health Organization (WHO), and adopted a resolution on the budget containing reference to maintaining and strengthening the partnership. Discussions on finance proved contentious, and threatened to delay the closing of ICCM-3, however in the final hours the finance contact group managed to find a common ground on which to move forward, ending the week on a positive note.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAICM
The issue of chemicals management and the idea of a SAICM have been discussed by the UN Environment Programme Governing Council (UNEP GC) and reflected in various forms since the mid-1990s.
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Summit was convened from 26 August - 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and delegates adopted the Johannesburg Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). The JPOI’s chemicals-related targets include:
- the aim to achieve, by 2020, the use and production of chemicals in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment;
- the development, by 2005, of a SAICM based on the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) Bahia Declaration, and Priorities for Action Beyond 2000; and
- the national implementation of the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), with a view to having the system fully operational by 2008.
IFCS FORUM IV: The fourth session of the IFCS (Forum IV) took place from 1-7 November 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand, under the theme “Chemical Safety in a Vulnerable World.” In response to GC decisions SS.VII/3 and 22/4, Forum IV discussed the further development of a SAICM and forwarded a non-negotiated compilation report on its work to SAICM PrepCom-1, addressing, inter alia: life-cycle management of chemicals since Agenda 21; new and ongoing challenges; gaps in life-cycle chemicals management; and resources for capacity building and implementation.
PREPCOM-1: SAICM PrepCom-1 took place from 9-13 November 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. Delegates provided initial comments on potential issues to be addressed during the development of SAICM, examined ways to structure discussions, and considered possible outcomes of the SAICM process.
There was also broad support for a three-tiered approach for SAICM, which would comprise: a global programme of action with targets and timetables; an overarching policy strategy; and a high-level or ministerial declaration.
PREPCOM-2: SAICM PrepCom-2 was held from 4-8 October 2004, in Nairobi, Kenya. Delegates discussed elements for an overarching policy strategy for international chemicals management, made progress in developing a matrix of possible concrete measures to include in the global plan of action, and provided comments on an initial list of elements for a high-level political declaration.
2005 WORLD SUMMIT: The 2005 World Summit was held at UN Headquarters in New York from 14-16 September. Regarding chemicals management, delegates resolved to promote the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle, including hazardous wastes, with the aim that, by 2020, chemicals are “used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.” They resolved to implement a voluntary strategic approach to international management of chemicals, and to support developing countries in strengthening their capacity for the sound management of chemicals and hazardous wastes.
PREPCOM-3: SAICM PrepCom-3 was held from 19-24 September 2005, in Vienna, Austria. Delegates discussed the SAICM high-level declaration, Overarching Policy Strategy, and a Global Plan of Action, but did not reach agreement on several elements in the three documents, including: principles and approaches; the description of SAICM as “voluntary”; financial considerations; and the timing and frequency of future ICCM sessions.
ICCM-1: The first International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-1) was held from 4-6 February 2006, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Delegates completed negotiations and adopted SAICM, which is made up of the Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management, an overarching policy strategy, and Global Plan of Action. SAICM is a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral policy framework. The multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral ICCM was tasked with undertaking periodic reviews of SAICM. In the Declaration, delegates committed to strengthening the capacities of all concerned in order to achieve the sound management of chemicals and hazardous wastes at all levels, and mobilizing national and international financing from public and private sources. They also reaffirmed the goal to minimize the significant adverse effects on human health and the environment by 2020.
IFCS FORUM V: This meeting was held in Budapest, Hungary, from 25-29 September 2006. The main agenda item at Forum V was consideration of the future of the IFCS in light of the final agreements on SAICM. Agreement was reached to establish a working group to draft a decision on the future of IFCS to be presented at IFCS-VI.
IFCS FORUM VI: This meeting took place from 15-19 September 2008 in Dakar, Senegal. The main agenda item for the meeting was the future of the IFCS. After debating the options and whether to maintain the institutional independence of the IFCS, delegates agreed to invite the ICCM to integrate the Forum into the ICCM as an advisory body, as stated in the Dakar Resolution on the Future of IFCS. They also reached consensus on the three functions and key elements for operation of the Forum, and decided that its role is to provide an open, transparent and inclusive forum for considering new and emerging issues related to sound chemicals management.
OELTWG-1: The first meeting of the Open-Ended Legal and Technical Working Group (OELTWG) of the ICCM and informal discussions on preparations for ICCM-2 were held from 21-24 October 2008, in Rome, Italy. The OELTWG discussed the rules of procedure for the ICCM, and although some progress was made on the composition of the Bureau, delegates were unable to reach agreement on the entire text. The informal discussions included preparatory dialogue on issues to be considered at ICCM-2, including: emerging policy issues; modalities for SAICM reporting; financial and technical resources for SAICM implementation, including evaluating the performance of financing of SAICM; review and update of SAICM; and the relationship between the IFCS and SAICM.
ICCM-2: ICCM-2 took place from 11-15 May 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. It considered new emerging policy issues, rules of procedure, the need for an intersessional body, and matters related to finance. Delegates adopted nine resolutions and reached agreement on, inter alia: rules of procedure; emerging issues such as nanotechnology and chemicals in products; a process for considering emerging issues; the establishment of an open-ended working group; and financial resources. ICCM-2 took the decision not to integrate the IFCS as a subsidiary body of the ICCM, and left the IFCS to determine its own future.
OEWG-1: The first meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the ICCM (OEWG-1) took place from 15-18 November 2011, in Belgrade, Serbia. The OEWG considered the implementation, development and enhancement of the SAICM and adopted four decisions on nanotechnologies and manufactured materials, amending the time limit of fund disbursements under the QSP, emerging policy issues, and new emerging policy issues.
The third session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-3) opened on Monday, 17 September 2012, in Nairobi, Kenya. In the morning, delegates met in plenary to hear opening statements from dignitaries and delegates.
Welcoming delegates to ICCM-3, Chirai Ali Mwakwere, Kenyan Minister for the Environment and Mineral Resources, underscored his country’s commitment to the implementation of SAICM to promote the sound management of chemicals. He welcomed the UN Environment Programme’s Executive Director’s (UNEP ED) consultative process on financing for chemicals and wastes management, and expressed support for the implementation of SAICM at the national, regional and international levels.
Via a video message, Tomaž Gantar, Slovenian Minister of Health, and ICCM President, lamenting that he could not attend the Conference, noted that although much has been achieved in the area of sound chemicals management at the global level, including an endorsement by delegates at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), many challenges still remain. He highlighted important issues on the agenda, including the need to address emerging policy issues such as nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials, and the future of SAICM financing.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner reported on UNEP’s Global Chemicals Outlook (GCO), highlighting the economic burden caused by chemical hazards, including the cost of pesticide poisoning in Africa, which exceeds the global investment on health for the continent, excluding AIDS expenditure. He further called on delegates to dispel the myth that only countries with a high GDP can achieve sound chemicals management.
Denmark, for the European Union (EU) and its 27 Member States and Croatia, said SAICM should focus on sustainable development aspects of chemicals management and further develop implementation reporting. He called for ICCM-3 to respond positively to the UNEP Executive Director’s proposal on chemicals and waste financing.
Zambia, for the African Group, called for the QSP to be sufficiently, adequately and sustainably financed and extended until a permanent long-term financial mechanism is established and requested assistance to build capacity to deal with endocrine-disruptors in the region.
Egypt, for the Arab Group, stressed the importance of resolving SAICM’s short- and long-term financing, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and the need to secure the transfer of technologies adapted to the needs of Arab countries.
Jamaica, for the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), welcomed the opportunity to consider and discuss the UNEP Executive Director’s proposal and expressed keen interest in discussing further the involvement of industry in financing, as outlined in the proposal. GRULAC also called for extending the QSP until a stable, independent and long-term financing mechanism is operationalized.
Slovenia, for the Central and Eastern European Group (CEE Group), said SAICM should focus on sustainable development and green economy. The CEE Group also called for more SAICM work on chemicals used in the agricultural sector.
Mexico underscored the need for international cooperation and further exploration of possible new and emerging issues. China stressed that priority for resource allocation should be given to developing economies and countries with economies in transition. Nigeria underscored the need for sustainable financial arrangements for SAICM. Iraq noted that the success of the QSP must be assessed.
The Pesticide Action Network International (PAN) lamented insufficient action to achieve the 2020 goal that calls for “chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment” by the year 2020, and urged increased political will to ensure the goal is reached. The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) expressed industry’s willingness to collaborate with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen SAICM at all levels.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Eisaku Toda (Japan), Vice-President of ICCM-2, presided over the session on behalf of ICCM-2 President Tomaž Gantar (Slovenia), who had replaced Ivan Erzen (Slovenia) as President.
Delegates elected Johanna Lissinger-Peitz (Sweden), for the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG), as ICCM-3 President, as Gantar was not able to attend the Conference. President Peitz drew attention to the UNEP GCO report and said SAICM, as a multi-stakeholder forum, was in a unique position to strengthen international chemicals management and contribute to the transition towards an inclusive green economy.
On the ICCM-3 Bureau, President Peitz noted that in accordance with the ICCM rules of procedure, the officers elected at ICCM-2 shall serve as the Bureau of ICCM-3. She noted that the following bureau members had been replaced as they were not able to attend the conference: Marta Giraj (Slovenia) replaced Tomǎz Gantar (Slovenia) for the CEE Group; Francisco Javier Espinosa (Chile) replaced Osvaldo Alvarez (Chile) for GRULAC; and Ndeye Diop Fagamou (Senegal) replaced Cheikh Ndiaye Sylla (Senegal) for the African Group.
On Friday, President Peitz, opening the floor for nominations for the ICCM-4 Bureau, reminded delegates that the presidency was rotational within the UN regions noted that both the African and the Asia-Pacific Regions were eligible for the post. Zambia, for the African Group, reported that the group had nominated Ali Daud Mohamed, Kenya’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, as ICCM-4 President. In his acceptance speech, Ali Daud Mohamed expressed thanks to the African Group for their trust in his leadership and reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment in implementing SAICM.
Regional representatives also submitted their nominations for Vice-President, SAICM Regional Focal Points and the QSP Executive Board.
For Vice-President, the following nominations were put forward: for Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG), Gabi Eigenmann, (Switzerland); for the CEE Group, Sergey Trepelkov (Russian Federation); for the Asia-Pacific Group, Gholamhossein Dehghani (Iran); and for GRULAC, Marcus Richards (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).
For regional Focal Points, the following nominations were put forward: for WEOG, Elizabeth Williams (UK); for the CEE Group, Valentina Mart (Serbia); for the African Group, Jamidu Katima (Tanzania); for the Asia-Pacific Group, Luay Al Mukhtar (Iraq); and for GRULAC, Vilma Morales Quillama, (Peru).
For the QSP Executive Board, the following nominations were put forward: WEOG said they were yet to decide on nominations; for the CEE Group, Tatiana Tugui (Moldova) and Lindita Tafaj, (Albania); for the African Group, Kouame Georges Kouadio (Côte d’Ivoire) and Adel Shafei Osman (Egypt); for the Asia-Pacific Group, Ye Jing (China) and Rasio Ridho Sani (Indonesia); and for GRULAC, Lionel Michael (Antigua and Barbuda) and Francisco Espinosa (Chile).
On NGO representatives, the following nominations were put forward: Emmanuel Maria Calonzo, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN); Peter Orris, World Federation of Public Health Associations; Greg Skelton, ICCA; Yahya Khamis Msangi, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); and Mark Davis, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will represent the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) until November when the IOMC elections take place.
The nominations were accepted by acclamation.
APPOINTMENT OF A CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE: The Conference requested the Bureau to review representatives’ credentials and report back to the plenary after completion of its work.
ORGANIZATION OF WORK: The Conference agreed to discuss all agenda items in plenary, and to convene contact or drafting groups as necessary.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA: Delegates adopted the agenda (SAICM/ICCM.3/1) without amendment.
REPORT OF THE CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE
On Friday, in plenary, the Bureau presented the report of the Credentials Committee reporting that: 118 government delegations submitted acceptable credentials; eight submitted unacceptable credentials; and 26 delegations did not submit credentials. The conference approved the report.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SAICM
EVALUATION OF AND GUIDANCE ON
IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW AND UPDATE OF
SAICM: Evaluation and progress in implementation of the Strategic Approach: This agenda item was taken up on Monday. The Conference considered reports from regional focal points on regional intersessional work carried out since ICCM-2 (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/36).
Japan, for the Asia-Pacific Group, said that the region’s diversity has created difficulties in developing common implementation plans or priority activities, but that there is common understanding on major themes. Poland, for the CEE Group, outlined differing capacities for implementing chemicals legislation in the region. He said the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) implementation is one of the region’s highest priorities.
Jamaica, for GRULAC, outlined key outputs for the region, including: identifying priority chemicals and broad thematic work areas; developing national and subregional implementation plans; and designation of health contact points in 16 countries.
The US outlined implementation efforts, including: generation of health and environment data for nanomaterials; voluntary phase-out of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs); reduction of lead exposure in children; and promotion of safer alternatives to chemicals of interest.
The EU outlined its implementation efforts since ICCM-2, including: new regulations for biocides; and registration of over 5,000 substances under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.
The African Group highlighted implementation plans and priorities and sources of assistance for regional activities in Africa.
Following the regional reports, the Secretariat introduced the documents on reporting according to the 20 indicators of progress, including the SAICM implementation summary (SAICM/ICCM.3/4), the baseline estimates report (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/5), the 2009-10 progress report (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/6), and reports from the IOMC (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/9), ICCA (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/7), and IPEN (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/8). The Secretariat also briefly summarized the pre-meeting technical briefing.
The International Council on Mining and Metals recalled its 23 commitments to fulfill SAICM objectives. The EU underscored the importance of regular implementation reporting in planning future activities. Kenya suggested a review of the reporting indicators to modify or replace those “that have been overtaken by time.”
The FAO, for IOMC, noted the updated IOMC guide to resources, guidance and training materials, and its new online “toolbox” for chemicals management decision-making.
Switzerland called for making regular implementation reporting permanent and ensuring that it is efficient, realistic and contributes to assessing progress toward the 2020 goal. IPEN called for accelerating the pace of SAICM implementation and for ICCM-3 to produce a roadmap for its implementation up to 2020. PAN highlighted ongoing campaigns for prohibiting and restricting aerial pesticide spraying and the promotion of agro-ecological production. Iraq called for simplifying reporting mechanisms.
Addition of activities to the GPA: President Peitz opened discussion on addition of activities for hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products to the GPA (SAICM/ICCM.3/3; SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/4/Rev.2; SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/4/Rev.2/Add.1). Brazil called for addressing existing activities in the GPA as opposed to including new ones. Chile said that the potential synergies with the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions should also be referenced. The EU, supporting the African Group, cautioned against duplication of efforts.
On Tuesday morning, delegates continued discussions on evaluation and progress in implementation of SAICM. On addition of activities to the GPA for nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials (SAICM/ICCM.3/3; SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/4/Rev.2), Nigeria supported its inclusion as a new work area under the GPA. The EU called for establishing a register of nanomaterials, encouraging information exchange, and establishing public-private partnerships to ensure environmentally sound management of nanomaterials.
Work on GPA additions for nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials and for hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products was forwarded to the contact group on emerging policy issues. These are covered in the summary below on emerging policy issues.
IMPLEMENTATION OF AND COHERENCE AMONG
INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS AND PROGRAMMES: On Wednesday in plenary, the Secretariat introduced reports on projects funded by the QSP supporting the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/27), and an update on implementation of the 2011 synergies decisions on enhancing cooperation and coordination in the chemicals and wastes cluster (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/30).
UNEP outlined its work undertaken in this regard, including, inter alia, with INTERPOL to prevent illegal trade in harmful substances and hazardous wastes.
Jamaica urged that the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centers be mandated to undertake SAICM-related activities. Switzerland, supported by Norway, called for the Secretariat to provide a report on how SAICM promotes coherence among chemicals-related international instruments and programmes to the second meeting of the ICCM Open-ended Working Group (OEWG-2) and ICCM-4. SustainLabour stressed the potential role of workplaces in generating data on chemical risks, and the role of the International Labour Organization’s work on chemical safety information. IPEN stressed that realizing synergies among chemicals conventions and programmes would benefit greatly from the active involvement of civil society.
STRENGTHENING OF NATIONAL CHEMICALS
MANAGEMENT CAPACITIES: Under the agenda item on strengthening of national chemicals management capacities, the Conference convened a High Level Dialogue (HLD), on Thursday, to discuss ways to strengthen SAICM for more effective implementation. The Secretariat presented reports informing the discussion, including on the Rio+20 outcomes and UNEP’s Global Chemicals Outlook (GCO) (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/14, 15, 25 and 30).
Panelists discussed, inter alia: improved access to poison center services; phase-out of highly hazardous pesticides; prioritizing “chemicals of major concern”; greater focus on occupational and safety aspects of chemicals management; mainstreaming sound chemicals management into national development plans; regional cooperation; special challenges for small island developing states; addressing the impacts of plastics and plasticizers such as bisphenol-A; corporate social responsibility; “green chemistry”; the possible role of economic instruments in chemicals management; the revision and building upon the example of FAO’s International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides; and the role of biomonitoring.
President Peitz, with the assistance of “Friends of the President,” composed a “President’s summary” of the HLD (SAICM/ICCM.3/L.1/Add.1) to be annexed to the report of the Conference as key messages to carry forward to ICCM-4.
A summary of the discussion can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/vol15/enb15195e.html
FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL RESOURCES FOR
IMPLEMENTATION: The item on financial and technical resources for implementation was discussed in plenary on Tuesday, and in a contact group, co-chaired by Daniel Ziegerer (Switzerland) and Elsa Miranda (Indonesia), from Tuesday to Friday. In plenary on Friday, the Conference adopted a resolution on financial and technical resources for implementation (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.19).
Introducing the documents on financial and technical resources for SAICM implementation (SAICM/ICCM.3/7) and possible long-term financing options for SAICM (SAICM/ICCM.3/11) in plenary on Tuesday, the Secretariat noted relevant reports provided by, inter alia, the IOMC, UNEP and the WHO. Greg Filyk (Canada), Co-Chair of the finance contact group at the OEWG, highlighted views on: mainstreaming chemicals management into national policy; industry involvement; and external funding options. The Secretariat introduced the documents related to the QSP, including conclusions and recommendations of the QSP Executive Board on the Programme’s mid-term evaluation, the report of the QSP, and the report on the implementation of the QSP and its Trust Fund (SAICM/ICCM.3/8, 9 and 23). QSP Executive Board Co-Chair Nassereddin Heidari (Iran) then highlighted some recommendations of the Board, including that ICCM-3 should consider ways to promote mainstreaming of sound chemicals management throughout their life cycle into all relevant development plans and programmes.
UNEP noted the positive response to the UNEP Executive Director’s (UNEP ED) draft proposal on an integrated approach to financing the sound management of chemicals and wastes (SAICM/ICCM.3/12); described the three key elements of the proposal as mainstreaming of chemicals and wastes into development plans, industry involvement, and external financing; and informed the Conference that the next steps for the UNEP ED are to take feedback into account, and finalize the report for consideration by the thirteenth session of the UNEP GC.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) highlighted its contribution towards fulfilling SAICM’s objectives, noting a direct contribution of US$5 million for financing relevant enabling projects, and an indirect contribution of US$25 million for financing mercury-related projects and the environmentally sound management of e-wastes.
On the QSP, the EU called for prioritizing mainstreaming of sound chemicals management into national development plans. On long-term financing of SAICM, he welcomed the partnership with the GEF to augment available finances, and supported the UNEP ED’s proposal that the GEF host a dedicated external fund. Brazil urged reintroducing external financing and the creation of a new financial mechanism in the proposal, stressing that the elements in the proposal should be complementary to external financing. Canada opposed establishing a new integrated chemicals and wastes GEF focal area as suggested in the UNEP ED’s proposal.
The IOMC called on delegates to consider the QSP as a model for new funding arrangements. On external financing, under the UNEP ED’s proposal, he stressed that funds should be specifically dedicated to actions that support efforts towards the 2020 goal.
GRULAC, with the African and Asia-Pacific Groups, Thailand, Iraq, Moldova and others, called for extending the QSP until a long-term financing solution is operational. GRULAC supported allowing the QSP to cover implementation activities and requested that the Executive Board develop project performance and implementation indicators. The Asia-Pacific Group called for the QSP to focus primarily on assisting developing countries on priority projects. Introducing a new proposal (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.5), the African Group called for restructuring the QSP to prioritize the facilitation of: mainstreaming; meaningful industry involvement in chemicals management; broadening the financing base; and the development and use of economic instruments and internalization of costs for sound chemicals management. They called on donors to consider the needs of developing countries in the discussion on the QSP.
GRULAC lamented that the UNEP ED’s proposal does not consider the option of a fund modeled on the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund, and does not address regional dimensions relating to chemicals financing. Japan welcomed the UNEP ED’s proposals regarding mainstreaming and industry involvement, but raised concerns about the proposal to establish national chemicals and waste units.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) noted the UNDP-UNEP Partnership Initiative for the Integration of Sound Management of Chemicals into Development Planning Processes, and drew attention to its progress report on this work (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/10).
Nigeria reiterated its proposal for strengthening the existing structures and institutions responsible for funding under the QSP to ensure immediate, sustained and efficient financing and implementation of SAICM beyond enabling activities. Egypt said his government would not accept the use of taxes as a financing strategy.
Switzerland, supported by Burundi, proposed the disbursement of funds to ongoing and newly approved projects. He highlighted upcoming meetings relevant to the long-term financing of chemicals and wastes management, including the upcoming meeting of the GEF Council in November 2012 and the UNEP GC in February 2013. Norway urged completing negotiations on the financial mechanism before the 27th session of the UNEP GC in 2013.
ICCA highlighted the need for industry support in financing and sharing experiences in risk management. IPEN remarked on the expansion of the chemical industry, emphasizing that it is time for industry to “pay its fair share.”
Iraq emphasized the importance of technical assistance and information exchange in addition to financial assistance. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry expressed interest in contributing to SAICM’s capacity-building activities, in particular on risk reduction.
A contact group was established to continue deliberations on financial and technical resources co-chaired by Daniel Ziegerer (Switzerland) and Elsa Miranda (Indonesia).
Contact group discussions encompassed a number of issues related to the QSP and the UNEP ED’s proposal on financing for chemicals and wastes. On the QSP, delegates dwelt on whether the duration for receiving contributions should be extended to ICCM-4, whether its mandate should be expanded to take on board implementation activities, and the relationship between the QSP and long-term financing. Some delegations in the contact group considered that agreement on the QSP was linked to the discussion of the UNEP ED’s proposal, and the two issues were eventually adopted as a package.
On the extension of the QSP, one regional group, opposed by another, proposed extending the date to receive contributions to the QSP to 30 June 2014 to enable outstanding projects to be finalized, but requested that other delegations consider withdrawing requests to expand the QSP’s mandate. The group also heard concerns over financing for implementation activities, with some insisting that the QSP should also engage in this. Delegates eventually agreed: to extend the term for contributions to the QSP until ICCM-4, and that the QSP will continue to support activities “to enable initial capacity building and implementation.”
On the UNEP ED’s proposal, delegates differed over the format for addressing and reflecting discussion on this issue, with calls for the discussion to be reflected in a resolution, as well as calls for it to be noted in the meeting report. Delegates also differed on whether to give guidance to the UNEP GC on the specific elements of the proposal, or whether to provide only general language pertaining to the integrated approach for long-term financing. A few delegations differed with the order of listing of the elements, proposing that external finance and industry involvement be listed before mainstreaming.
Delegates also discussed whether the proposal for long-term financing already includes a reference to SAICM, or whether a separate reference is necessary. In discussions, one delegate stressed he did not have the mandate to make substantive comments on the elements of the proposal. Most delegations agreed that the proposal should reflect that “a fair priority needs to be allocated to SAICM,” with others calling for reference to be made to common but differentiated responsibilities, and extended producer responsibility (EPR). Two developing country regional groups expressed concern over the role of the GEF, noting the difference between the governance structures of the GEF and those of the proposed long-term financing mechanism. Some delegates registered concern over any reference to the GEF, with some worrying that calling for assistance from the GEF may prejudge discussions on long-term financing for chemicals and wastes. The group agreed to invite the GEF to consider the priorities and activities identified in SAICM.
Final Resolution: In the final resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.19), the Conference, inter alia:
- decides to extend the term for contributions to the QSP until ICCM-4, and that funds committed to projects before the closure of the QSP Trust Fund may be disbursed to all approved projects in the portfolio;
- further decides that the QSP will continue to support activities to enable initial capacity building and implementation consistent with its objectives unless the Executive Board provides additional operational guidance on the Strategic Priorities;
- acknowledges that long-term financing of SAICM should be based on the concept of an integrated approach which, as reflected in the outcome document of the Consultative Process on the financing options for chemicals and wastes, includes mainstreaming, industry involvement and external financing, all of which need further clarification in order to become operational;
- requests that SAICM be part of any integrated approach for long-term financing of the chemicals and wastes cluster;
- invites the UNEP ED, on finalizing his proposal on an integrated approach to the financing of the sound management of chemicals and wastes, and the UNEP GC to take into consideration the need for strengthening the implementation of the financial consideration of sound chemicals management, taking into account the rich debate held during ICCM-3, as reflected in the meeting report; and
- invites the GEF to consider the priorities and activities identified in the Strategic Approach in support of the achievement of its objectives.
EMERGING POLICY ISSUES: This agenda item was taken up in plenary on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and in contact group sessions, co-chaired by Cheryl Beillard (Canada) and Marcus Richards (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), throughout the week.
In plenary on Monday, the Secretariat introduced a Secretariat note on progress on emerging policy issues and managing PFCs and the transition to safer alternatives (SAICM/ICCM.3/13). The plenary briefly discussed lead in paint, chemicals in products and hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products, then sent these issues to the contact group for work on resolutions and, in the case of e-products, possible additions on this topic to the GPA (SAICM/ICCM.3/3) as well. Tuesday’s plenary discussed PFCs and nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials, sending the latter to the contact group for work on a resolution and associated GPA additions.
On Friday, the Emerging Issues Contact Group debated how best to add the revised table of proposed activities on e-products and nanotechnology and nanomaterials to the GPA since only the list of activities had been fully discussed, and not the columns on actors, time frames, indicators of progress and implementation aspects. The solution accepted by the plenary was to endorse adding these two areas, based on tables revised by the contact group, into the GPA, but with a footnote noting that only the activities have been discussed at ICCM-3, but the information in the other columns remains as potentially useful information for delegates as they plan and implement the activities.
On Friday evening, the plenary considered a resolution drafted by the Secretariat for a chapeau to the draft omnibus decision on emerging policy issues. The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) proposed, with amendments by the US, to add a paragraph about the commitment to implementing open, transparent procedures for dealing with emerging policy issues that include effective dialogue with all SAICM stakeholders.
Final Resolution: The resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.17) adopted for the chapeau for omnibus Decision III/X on Emerging Policy Issues adds an introduction that takes note of the progress reports submitted on lead in paint, chemicals in products, hazardous substances within the lifecycle of e-products, and nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials, and requests the Secretariat to report to ICCM-4 on further progress.
The other subject-specific resolutions added to this omnibus decision are covered separately below.
Lead in Paint: This issue was discussed in plenary on Monday and in the Emerging Policy Issues Contact Group on Monday and Tuesday. In the plenary discussion, the Secretariat introduced a progress report on the implementation of resolution II/4 B on lead in paint prepared by UNEP and WHO (SAICM/ICCM.3/14), as well as a note on the business plan of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint (GAELP) (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/21) and the draft OEWG draft resolution on the issue.
The African Group introduced a draft resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.2) that takes into consideration the need to provide policymakers with adequate information on the issue, and urged governments and other stakeholders to contribute to the GAELP business plan. The US, supported by the ICCA, opposed additional discussion on this issue, and called on ICCM-3 to adopt the OEWG draft proposal. China, with Iran, noted their support for the OEWG draft proposal, with China calling for more time to eliminate lead in paint. The plenary decided to send the issue to the Emerging Policy Issues Contact Group.
During contact group deliberations, points debated included what to mention in the preambular text as justification for the need for further action, and forms of assistance and action to call upon governments, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector to undertake.
Final Resolution: The resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.7), inter alia:
- welcomes the establishment of GAELP and its business plan with specific goals, clear milestones and progress indicators for achieving a global phase-out of lead in paint;
- encourages all governments, CSOs and the private sector to contribute to GAELP’s work and to provide technical and financial assistance wherever possible in six areas, namely awareness-raising, guidance and assistance on identifying potential lead exposure, international third-party certification of paint products without added lead, exposure reduction programmes, national regulatory frameworks, and encouraging companies to substitute lead compounds added to paint with safer alternatives;
- expresses support for establishing an international lead poisoning prevention day of action; and
- invites UNEP and WHO to report progress to ICCM-4.
Chemicals in Products: This item was considered in plenary on Monday and by the contact group on Tuesday. In the plenary discussion, the Secretariat introduced a progress report on the Chemicals in Products (CiP) Project prepared by UNEP (SAICM/ICCM.3/15) and the report of an international workshop on the CiP Project and synthesis of findings of the project (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/19 and SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/20). The EU and Croatia lauded the workshops, as well as the discussion on this issue at the OEWG, and introduced a draft proposal amending the resolution forwarded by the OEWG (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/2). The US, Norway and IPEN supported using this draft proposal as a basis for discussion. Australia, with Switzerland, supported looking at both proposals. The Emerging Policy Issues Contact Group considered both proposals and developed a compromise text.
Final Resolution: The final resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.6) adopted by the Conference, agrees to continue the CiP Project. It also decides that the Project will develop a proposal for a voluntary international programme for information on chemicals in products along the supply chain and throughout their life cycle, undertaking the following tasks while developing the proposal:
- identify the roles and suggestion for responsibilities of major stakeholder groups;
- develop guidance on what information could be transferred and how information access and exchange could take place to meet the needs of different stakeholder groups throughout the product lifecycle;
- implement pilot projects to demonstrate the applicability of the guidance developed in building materials, electronics, textiles or toys; and
- implement activities to raise consumer awareness and gain support from business, industry and other stakeholders.
The resolution further: requests that the CiP programme take into account the GHS; invites UNEP to prepare relevant documents and to facilitate a multistakeholder workshop to consider the outcomes of the aforementioned tasks; urges all stakeholders to provide adequate human, financial, and in-kind resources on a voluntary basis; and invites UNEP to submit the aforementioned programme proposal to ICCM-4.
Hazardous Substances within the Life Cycle of Electrical and Electronic Products: This topic was considered in Monday plenary and by the contact group on Wednesday and Thursday. In plenary, the Secretariat introduced a progress report on hazardous substances within the life cycle of e-products, prepared by UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions (SAICM/ICCM.3/16), the report of an international workshop on hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/24), and the draft resolution forwarded by the OEWG (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/2).
The African Group, with Switzerland and the EU, urged including issues and activities in the GPA aimed at enhancing the environmentally sound management of hazardous substances in the life cycle of e-products. The EU called for emphasis on transboundary transport of waste. IPEN called for a UN agency to coordinate intersessional work on this issue. Canada cautioned against duplication of efforts undertaken in other fora.
The contact group examined the draft resolution submitted by the OEWG, with a small drafting group reviewing and substantially editing the proposed table of activities for inclusion under a new GPA work area (SAICM/ICCM.3/3). Areas of debate included: tools and information on safer substitutes for “chemicals of concern”; EPR; provisional strategies and actions in design and manufacturing until hazardous substances elimination is possible or substitutes are available; and an invitation to donors to provide financial and in-kind resources to further work in this area.
Final Resolution: The final resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.14), inter alia: encourages all stakeholders to consider the recommendations and key messages of the International Workshop on Hazardous Substances in the Life Cycle of Electrical and Electronic Products held in Vienna, Austria, in March 2011, and invites the IOMC and other stakeholders to consider taking further action. The Conference further decides to continue to work to identify, compile and create an international set of best practice resources on the issue, which may include:
- tools that lead to progress in the development of designs that reduce and eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in the production of e-products;
- business standards and practices for tracking and disclosing the presence of hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing, use and end-of-life stages of e-products;
- tools and information on potential safer alternatives;
- green purchasing practices of businesses and governments;
- EPR policies; and.
- provisional strategies and actions in design and manufacturing that should be implemented until elimination is possible or safer substitutes are available.
Nanotechnology and Manufactured Nanomaterials: This issue was discussed by the plenary on Tuesday and by the contact group on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In the Tuesday plenary, the Secretariat introduced a progress report on nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials, prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) (SAICM/ICCM.3/17), a report by the Secretariat on nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials in the context of the Strategic Approach, including issues of relevance to developing countries and economies in transition (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/18), and the draft resolution forwarded by the OEWG (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/2) along with proposed additions on the topic to the GPA (SAICM/ICCM.3/3).
Zambia, for the African Group, called for further information exchange, capacity building, and development of training materials to enhance preparedness for addressing products containing nanomaterials. Norway lamented the paucity of information on the hazards and risks of nanotechnology. CIEL noted the relevance of applying precautionary approaches to this issue. Switzerland, with Mexico, called for a comprehensive approach to address nanotechnology.
Australia and the ICCA supported the EU and its 27 Member States’ suggestion for streamlining proposed activities in the GPA. The ICCA and Peru supported emphasis on capacity building. Canada suggested that work on nanomaterials could be accommodated within the existing GPA structure. Pakistan urged including support for developing life cycle and health impact assessments of nanomaterials.
President Peitz forwarded the draft resolution submitted by the OEWG to the Emerging Policy Issues Contact Group for further deliberation.
On Thursday and Friday, the contact group reviewed a draft resolution developed by a small drafting group on Wednesday evening, while a small drafting group worked in parallel to substantially revise the proposed activities for the GPA, condensing them from 23 to 13. Points of debate included whether to, inter alia: encourage industry to support cooperative actions financially; ask the UN Committee of Experts on Transport of Dangerous Goods to consider international scientific work and to prepare a workplan on nanomaterials; and ask SAICM to explore synergies with the chemicals and wastes conventions regarding nanomaterials.
Final Resolution: The final resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.15) adopted by the Conference, inter alia:
- encourages all SAICM stakeholders to facilitate information exchange on nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials, including on risk assessments, risk reduction measures and information on environment, health and safety research;
- recommends the development of international technical and regulatory guidance and training materials for the sound management of manufactured nanomaterials;
- requests SAICM stakeholders to continue to support public dialogue on all aspects of nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials, including benefits and risks of manufactured nanomaterials throughout their life cycle;
- calls for industry to continue and enhance its stewardship role and responsibilities and to participate in and support awareness-raising, information exchange and training activities, public dialogue and risk research;
- invites the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to take into account the progress of international scientific work to review the applicability of the GHS to manufactured nanomaterials and, if necessary, to prepare a workplan for adopting those criteria;
- invites all stakeholders, particularly manufacturers and suppliers, to generate information on manufactured nanomaterials to facilitate their safe handling and use throughout their life cycle;
- recommends intersessional activities include consideration of the full life cycle and occupational exposure; and
- invites the Secretariat to report progress to ICCM-4.
NEW NOMINATIONS FOR EMERGING POLICY
ISSUES: On Tuesday, plenary discussed nominations of emerging policy issues based on a Secretariat note (SAICM/ICCM.3/19). The Secretariat reported that the proposal on environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants had not met the criteria for consideration and that the OEWG did not reach consensus on the inclusion of the endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) proposal.
EDCs: On Tuesday, the African Group proposed a resolution on EDCs (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.3) calling for including EDCs as a new emerging policy issue under SAICM for cooperative projects to, inter alia, increase global awareness on EDCs, support capacity building, and ensure the consolidation and timeous delivery of information regarding EDCs.
Brazil preferred deferring a decision on the issue until the WHO released its report on the state of science on EDCs. Noting that the report in question is “undergoing a clearance process,” the WHO said that her organization is ready to work with the ICCM if EDCs are included as a new emerging policy issue. ICCA cautioned against duplicating work in other fora through the inclusion of EDCs. Norway urged the ICCM to use SAICM to address EDCs comprehensively across all sectors. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) emphasized the need for scientific knowledge on EDCs and said it was premature to include them as a new emerging policy issue. Greenpeace East Asia emphasized the need for precautionary and preventive approaches to deal with EDCs. The Conference agreed to request the Emerging Policy Issues Contact Group to consider EDCs.
The contact group debated on whether or not to formally declare EDCs as an emerging policy issue. Other issues discussed included whether to reference “potential” EDCs, information on the effects of EDCs, how to encourage updates of the upcoming WHO report, the nature of requests to IOMC participating organizations, and suggestions on pilot projects and capacity-building activities.
Final Resolution: The final resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.13) adopted by the Conference, inter alia: agrees that international cooperation to build awareness and understanding and prepare actions on EDCs is an emerging policy issue, and decides to implement cooperative actions with the overall objective of increasing awareness and understanding among policymakers and other stakeholders. It invites IOMC participating organizations to lead and facilitate such actions, including:
- providing up-to-date information and scientific expert advice to relevant stakeholders for the purpose of identifying or recommending potential measures that could contribute to reducing exposure to or the effects of EDCs, particularly in vulnerable populations;
- raising awareness and facilitating science-based information exchange, dissemination and networking on EDCs through activities at all levels and the use of the SAICM clearinghouse;
- providing international support to capacity building for generating information and assessing issues related to EDCs in order to support decision-making, including the prioritization of actions to reduce risks; and
- facilitating mutual support in research and the development of case studies.
The resolution invites the IOMC participating organizations to develop a work plan in consultation with the ICCM Bureau, to be published on the SAICM clearinghouse website, and invites them to report on cooperative actions to ICCM-4.
Environmentally Persistent Pharmaceutical Pollutants: On Tuesday in plenary, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment outlined planned intersessional work, noting that a revised proposal on the issue will be submitted at OEWG-2.
Managing PFCs and the Transition to Safer Alternatives: Although not an official SAICM emerging policy issue, PFCs were addressed under this agenda item. On Tuesday in plenary, President Peitz introduced a report on managing PFCs and the transition to safer alternatives, prepared by the OECD and UNEP (SAICM/ICCM.3/18) and a proposal from the OEWG for a corresponding ICCM resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/2). She stressed that ICCM-3 would only provide feedback and not instructions on the proposed work programme of the new Global PFC Group created by the OECD and UNEP. The OECD and UNEP, supported by the US, proposed removing the resolution’s annex setting out terms of reference for the Group.
Kenya suggested that the Global PFC Group hold regional workshops to promote awareness, and for the Stockholm Convention Secretariat to undertake two pilot projects in Africa on the life cycle of PFC-containing products. The EU supported inviting the Group to report to ICCM-4 and, with the US and ICCA, supported the participation of non-OECD countries in the Group. IPEN said the Group should cover additional PFCs, particularly C4 and C6 compounds, and not only those that industry is already actively phasing out. Switzerland called for the priorities of the Group work programme to focus on the PFC survey, information about PFC uses, and synthesis papers. The Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Center (BCRC) for Africa, supported by Senegal, urged assisting developing countries build capacity to conduct environmental monitoring of PFCs.
China suggested, but Switzerland opposed, replacing “welcome” in the draft resolution with “take note.” At the suggestion of Norway, Switzerland, Australia and the EU, delegates proposed “inviting,” as opposed to “requesting,” the Group to report to ICCM-4. The Conference agreed to ask the Secretariat to draft a resolution based on the OEWG proposal, but without the annex containing the terms of reference, “inviting” a report to ICCM-4, and bracketing “welcome.”
Final Resolution: In plenary on Friday evening, a resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.11) was approved that: welcomes efforts made to gather and exchange information on PFCs; notes significant need remains for additional work to support implementation of ICCM Resolution II/5; takes note of the establishment of the Global PFC Group and invites it to broaden participation in its work beyond OECD member countries and to report on progress to ICCM-4; and invites the Group to closely collaborate with the Stockholm Convention Secretariat and UNIDO.
INFORMATION EXCHANGE AND SCIENTIFIC
AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION: On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced a note on SAICM’s information clearinghouse functions (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/28). UNEP outlined its work on reviewing exposure risks for lead and cadmium, and the UNEP GC’s request for ICCM-3 to suggest further actions that might be taken regarding these substances. UNEP also summarized its work on lead in vehicle fuels and in paint.
IPEN stressed information accessibility and the need to provide consumers with easily understandable information on the chemical composition of products. The Center for Public Health and Environmental Development emphasized the role of NGOs as valuable information sources for chemicals clearinghouses and as liaisons with affected communities. Peru called for more information on methodologies for analysis and quality control regarding end-of-life products traded across boundaries. Liberia expressed hope that the clearinghouse works with independent information sources such as IPEN. BCRC Africa reviewed the activities of the four Basel Convention regional centers in Africa on implementing the chemicals and wastes treaties. The Philippines outlined recent chemicals management work by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. BCRC Asia-Pacific cautioned against the SAICM clearinghouse duplicating the efforts of the Basel Convention’s information-sharing mechanism. The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Research asked the clearinghouse to collect information from research institutions and assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to move from accessing information to utilizing it in ways that reduce chemical exposure risks.
The Conference took note of the information provided by the Secretariat and delegates’ interventions.
HEALTH SECTOR STRATEGY
On Wednesday in plenary, the Secretariat introduced a proposed strategy for strengthening health sector engagement in SAICM implementation (SAICM/ICCM.3/20). The African Group, the EU, the CEE Group and others supported adopting the proposed health strategy, and Canada and the US said they welcomed the strategy. Thailand, supported by the World Federation of Public Health Associations, Bhutan and Ecuador, proposed, inter alia, designating national contact points for the health sector, and encouraging the WHO to establish SAICM focal points for the health strategy. Health Care Without Harm called for underlining the inherent hazards of chemicals, in addition to risk, and engaging the health sector to reduce the toxicity of chemicals used in healthcare throughout their life cycle.
GRULAC called for prioritizing health-related projects in the QSP and in the long-term financial strategy of SAICM, urging the WHO to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the SAICM Secretariat in October 2012. China, supported by Brazil, said the strategy regarding the responsibilities of the health sector should not be too prescriptive, and called for including reference to “other health-related government bodies.” They also urged referencing the provision of “new and additional” funds, as well as joint access to current funding, to implement the strategy. The US said the strategy should not replace the SAICM Overarching Policy Strategy, calling for clarification of this in the strategy’s text. The EU proposed asking the WHO, in collaboration with the Secretariat, to report back on the implementation of the strategy at ICCM-4. The WHO emphasized its commitment to implementing the strategy and said it looked forward to addressing financing challenges.
On Friday in plenary, the Conference considered a draft resolution on the health strategy (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.9). China proposed inserting “in different countries” to a preambular paragraph that recognizes the diverse nature of the health sector. The EU suggested that the ICCM request the “WHO, in collaboration with the Secretariat,” rather than “the Secretariat, in collaboration with the WHO,” to report to ICCM-4 on the strategy’s implementation. Brazil suggested a new preambular paragraph noting the need for “new and additional resources” to implement the strategy. The Conference agreed to the proposed decision, as amended by China and the EU, and to include Brazil’s intervention in the ICCM-3 report.
Final Resolution: In the preamble of the resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.9) on a “Strategy to strengthen the engagement of the health sector in the implementation of SAICM,” the ICCM, inter alia: notes that it is mindful of the importance of the health sector and its roles and responsibilities in helping to achieve sound chemicals management, and recognizes the diverse nature of the health sector in different countries. In the operative part of the resolution, the ICCM: agrees to adopt the strategy on strengthening the engagement of the health-care sector in the implementation of SAICM; and requests the WHO to report, in collaboration with the Secretariat, on implementing the strategy at ICCM-4.
COOPERATION WITH INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced several information documents on cooperation with intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/9, 32, 33 and 34).
FAO, on behalf of IOMC, said two IGOs—the World Bank and UNDP—had joined IOMC since ICCM-2, and mentioned the launch of a new toolbox for decision-making on chemicals management as an example of IOMC’s work in support of SAICM. He stressed the urgent need for on-the-ground capacity-building activities and sustainable funding to achieve SAICM’s 2020 objectives, and said IOMC organizations are ready to contribute to resource mobilization efforts.
PAN urged developing a multi-stakeholder programme within the agricultural sector to focus on pesticides and safer alternatives. The US proposed holding IGO roundtables on technical information exchange during ICCM sessions, or that IGOs, within their mandates, hold webinars to address priorities identified by regions.
The Conference took note of the information presented in plenary.
ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT AND ADOPTION OF THE BUDGET
This item was addressed in plenary on Wednesday, and discussed in a Budget Group from Wednesday to Friday. The Secretariat introduced a document on its activities and the draft budget (SAICM/ICCM.3/21/Rev.1), noting an increase in the proposed budget, highlighting the shortfall in the previous funding period, and informing on a proposal to create a new staff position to replace the one previously filled by the WHO. The EU, with Switzerland, called on the Secretariat to provide an indicative table of contributions. Brazil, supported by Switzerland, called on the Conference to request the WHO to reconsider its withdrawal of the staff member seconded to the SAICM Secretariat. The US stressed the need to consider expanding the list of donors to SAICM, and called for “ambitious but realistic” goal-setting.
The WHO explained that the resources provided by member states on a voluntary basis to fund a staff member on the SAICM Secretariat had been exhausted. Slovenia, for the non-EU members of the CEE Group, opposed by IPEN, proposed that the WHO staff post be funded through voluntary contributions. Jamaica, with Egypt, expressed disappointment that only three of the eight Secretariat positions are fully staffed, with Jamaica noting that both the management of the QSP and the clearinghouse mechanism are currently run by consultants.
A Budget Group, co-chaired by Gillian Guthrie (Jamaica) and Jozef Buys (Belgium), was established.
The Budget Group discussed, among others, the expenditure during the current triennium, a proposal for a zero growth budget, the need to expand the donor base, and in that regard a suggestion for an indicative scale of assessments, and a proposal from GRULAC regarding the WHO’s withdrawal of a staff member from the SAICM Secretariat. The group expressed concern over the funding shortfall during the 2010-2012 triennium.
On the indicative scale of assessments, some felt that this would encourage all governments to contribute, while others considered that it would curtail stakeholders who are not governments from making contributions to the budget. One delegate supported the scale, noting that it would be easier to share the financial burden among more than just 14 donors. Others disagreed, recalling the voluntary nature of SAICM. One delegate reminded the group that in-kind contributions to the activities of the Secretariat should not be discounted or undervalued.
On the issue of staffing, the group considered a proposal by GRULAC requesting the WHO to provide a fulltime staff member to the SAICM Secretariat, including a reference to this in the final resolution.
Final Resolution: In the final resolution (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.18), the Conference, inter alia:
- approves the indicative budget of US$7,059,800, and staffing structure for the Secretariat for the period 2013-2015;
- welcomes the contribution made by UNEP and the WHO in providing the Secretariat with, respectively, a P5 position and a P4 position;
- notes with concern the withdrawal of support by the WHO owing to its financial constraints, and calls upon it to continue supporting the work of the SAICM Secretariat in its areas of expertise by reassigning a staff member to the Secretariat at the earliest date possible;
- draws the attention of all governments to the financial needs contained in the indicative budget and invites the UNEP ED to make that information available to the UNEP Committee of Permanent Representatives, and urges all governments in a position to do so to contribute;
- welcomes the financial contribution by the ICCA in 2011 to the indicative budget, and encourages all stakeholders and organizations other than governments to consider making such contributions in the future;
- invites the Coordinator of the SAICM Secretariat and the Joint Executive Secretary of the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions to further increase synergies in the implementation of their respective information clearinghouses; and
- confirms the establishment of the OEWG to prepare for ICCM-4 in 2015, and requests the Secretariat to organize its second meeting in 2014, bearing in mind the need to shorten the length of the meeting as much as possible.
The annex to the resolution contains the Secretariat staffing structure, as well as the indicative budget for 2013-2015.
AFRICAN PROPOSAL ON HIGHLY HAZARDOUS
PESTICIDES: On Friday evening, Kenya formally introduced a draft resolution on highly hazardous pesticides (SAICM/ICCM.3/CRP.16), co-sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bhutan, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Guyana, ITUC, IPEN, Iraq, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, PAN, St. Lucia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zambia. The draft resolution proposed: supporting the progressive banning of highly hazardous pesticides and their substitution with safer alternatives; supporting the inclusion of such a ban in the FAO International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides; inviting FAO, WHO, UNEP and other relevant institutions to develop a priority candidate list of highly hazardous pesticides for the ban; and inviting these institutions to report on the matter to ICCM-4.
The African Group, Colombia, Palestine and the Russian Federation supported adoption of the proposed resolution. The EU, with Australia, the US, Japan and Norway, said that they supported the spirit of the resolution but could not accept the resolution in its present form, asking that it be worked on during the intersessional period for consideration at ICCM-4.
President Peitz suggested, and delegates agreed, to reflect the discussion on the resolution in the report of the meeting.
VENUE AND DATE OF THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE
On Friday morning, the Secretariat introduced the report on the scheduling of the sessions of the Conference (SAICM/ICCM.3/INF/3), noting that it is possible to schedule the Conference back-to-back with relevant meetings of IGOs, including those of the governing bodies of UNEP, the World Health Assembly and other relevant meetings expected to take place in 2015.
The US proposed that the Secretariat consult with delegates on all offers for the venue of ICCM-4, proposing criteria for choice of venue and date, including that: the widest possible participation of all stakeholders be encouraged; costs should not exceed precedent meeting; and availability of appropriate conference facilities and security.
ADOPTION OF THE REPORT: On Friday evening President Peitz introduced the draft report of the meeting (SAICM/ICCM.3/L.1 and Add.1) and the report was adopted with some amendments.
On the health sector strategy, China asked and delegates agreed to replace “there were differences in the chemical management and health systems of different countries” with “there were differences in the competences on health systems of different countries.”
On the consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes, GRULAC, supported by China, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, called for editing text to show that there was a varying degree of support for the UNEP ED’s proposal on an integrated approach to financing, concerned that the wording “considerable support for the mainstreaming and industry involvements of the proposal” indicates that all delegates supported the issue. Norway noted that “welcoming an integrated approach” was not the same as “welcoming the UNEP ED’s proposal on long term financing.” The rapporteur said that the report reflects plenary discussions and thus the present wording on the general welcome of the UNEP ED’s report by delegates in spite of differing views on its content.
Finance Contact Group Co-Chair Ziegerer confirmed that the group had divergent views on the UNEP ED’s proposal, noting areas of agreement including: the long-term financing for SAICM is adequate, predictable, accessible and sustainable; the need for discussion on how to allocate resources to voluntary mechanisms; and the need to expound on the governance structure of the long-term financing mechanism. President Peitz proposed that the proceedings of the contact group be appended to the report as an annex and called for consensus on the report of the meeting.
China insisted that the text reflect that “only some delegates” supported the elements of the UNEP ED’s proposal; and that “some delegates gave support for mainstreaming and industry involvement” and thus delete reference to “considerable support.” He also asked that the oral report of Co-Chair Ziegerer be reflected in the report of the meeting and not annexed as a condition to his delegation adopting the report. GRULAC, supported by Argentina, called for the meeting report to reflect a declaration read out on its position at this meeting. The EU asked that its intervention on the same issue also be so reported.
President Peitz proposed that the draft report: note the changes suggested by China for paragraphs 60 and 61; reflect the oral report of the Finance Contact Group Co-Chairs in the section on the adoption of the report; append the written report of the Contact Group Co-Chairs to the report of the meeting; capture the discussion regarding the adoption of the report; and ensure that the GRULAC and EU interventions on finance are correctly reflected under the finance agenda item.
CLOSING STATEMENTS; In closing statements on Friday night, the EU said that at this meeting SAICM has reaffirmed its importance as one of the key tools that will progress sound chemicals management, noting the high costs to inaction and the need to deliver more through direct funding towards “on-the-ground activities.”
Kenya reiterated the need to deliver on long-term financing at ICCM-4. Zambia, on behalf of the African Group, called for support for African regional meetings to consider follow-up actions agreed to at ICCM-3, work on emerging issues such as nanomaterials and EDCs, and prepare for ICCM-4.
Slovenia, for the CEE Group, said her group was satisfied with ICCM-3 deliberations, extension of the QSP and agreement on cooperative actions on emerging issues. The Group expressed hope that WHO would continue its involvement in the SAICM Secretariat.
Jamaica, for GRULAC, praised ICCM-3’s spirit of cooperation and collaboration and recognized work done to extend the QSP.
IPEN applauded the resolution on lead in paint, appreciated the resolution on hazardous substances in e-products, which includes EPR, and acknowledged the chemicals in products resolution as important for consumers
PAN called for inclusion and involvement of a wider range of stakeholders in the intersessional work before ICCM-4. Tim Kaston, UNEP, for Amina Muhammed, UNEP’s Deputy Director, congratulated ICCM-3 for scoring several successes with actions towards achieving the 2020 goal.
President Peitz thanked delegates for their engagement in the meeting, remarking that the common goal of SAICM remained in sight in spite of diverging views in discussions. Noting that financing is a challenge for the larger chemicals and waste agenda, she recalled the words of Rémi Allah-Kouadio (Côte d’Ivoire), during the HLD that “cooperation, prevention and commitment are key to achieving 2020 goal.” She closed the meeting at 10:05 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF ICCM-3
In 2006, governments adopted the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management’s (SAICM) and agreed to ensure by 2020 that “chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment” through the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycles. Now, six years later, delegates at the third session of the International Conference of Chemicals Management (ICCM-3) had a difficult path before them. With meetings only every three years and only eight years to go, delegates had to address key issues that would improve SAICM’s chance of successfully achieving the 2020 goal, and confirm its relevance within the international chemicals agenda as a truly comprehensive, responsive, action-oriented and multi-sectoral strategy to promote global chemical safety.
The first issue delegates had to tackle concerned emerging policy issues to reduce risks from hazardous chemicals, including on lead in paint, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials, and hazardous chemicals in electronic and electrical products (e-products) throughout their life cycle. The second referred to a strategy to strengthen the health sector’s involvement in SAICM, recognizing that health is an integral part of the 2020 goal and plays a powerful role in mobilizing chemical safety efforts, particularly at the national level. The last issue related to decisions on the short-term and long-term financing of SAICM, which are necessary to secure the resources needed to implement chemical safety activities, including on emerging issues and health, as well as to ensure that SAICM’s governance structure runs smoothly.
This brief analysis looks at progress achieved on these issues at ICCM-3, and considers whether the Conference put SAICM on track toward achieving the 2020 goal and confirmed its relevance within the international chemicals agenda.
THE CHALLENGE OF “RESPONSIVENESS”: EMERGING ISSUES
At its second session in 2009, the ICCM adopted several procedural decisions that were needed to implement SAICM, including a process to consider new emerging policy issues, new activities for inclusion in the SAICM Global Plan of Action (GPA), and the establishment of an open-ended working group to discuss these and other matters in preparation for ICCM meetings. ICCM-2 also adopted a resolution on emerging policy issues that called for preliminary work on a number of matters, including lead in paint, chemicals in products, e-products (focusing on e-waste), and nanotechnology and nanomaterials.
With this structure and preliminary work in place, ICCM-3 had to decide on next steps to address these emerging issues, and a new proposal on EDCs. Some of these issues have either been on the international chemicals and wastes agenda for many years (e-products), or cannot be truly considered an “emerging” problem (lead in paint). For these, the challenge was to trigger meaningful action to effectively reduce exposure and risk of human or environmental harm. Other issues are relatively new, such as nanotechnology and nanomaterials and EDCs. For these issues delegates had to agree to assert or confirm their status as “emerging issues,” and set off collective action to better understand, and raise awareness about, potential risks, as well as enable decision-making on how to best manage identified risks. With regard to these matters, the challenge was to “appropriately apply the precautionary approach,” as provided in SAICM’s Overarching Policy Strategy (OPS).
As seen during the discussions on the role of precaution in the SAICM negotiations, and related processes such as the Stockholm Convention, not everyone was on the same page when addressing the need to tackle issues such as nanotechnology and nanomaterials, and EDCs, where there is scientific uncertainty on potential risks. A few participants expressed the view that SAICM’s limited resources should be spent addressing the “basics” in addition to well-established problems, stressing that the 2020 deadline is not far off and many developing countries still lack the basic legal frameworks, technical infrastructure and/or enforcement capacities needed to manage chemicals safely. Chemical industry participants also insisted that “the dose makes the risk,” and action on emerging issues should not be taken merely on the basis of intrinsic hazardous properties, or before potential risks have been fully understood.
In response to these arguments, different stakeholders said that tackling existing or emerging issues is not an “either/or” proposition, and while capacities and resources may differ considerably between countries, the adverse environmental and health effects of chemicals do not. Fully recognizing the dual challenge of limited resources and time constraints to move toward the 2020 goal, these delegates said that SAICM’s relevance and added value to international chemicals policy resides precisely in its ability to respond to relevant issues that other instruments may be too slow to address due to their legally-binding nature or narrower scope. With regard to the argument that more scientific evidence on potential risks is needed, many delegates replied that sound chemicals management requires applying precaution. As one delegate from a developing country commented, “we need to work on the basis of the precautionary principle and if scientific evidence exists on an issue that is of concern, we must pay attention to it before it’s too late.”
ICCM-3 proved it was up to the task and adopted an omnibus resolution on emerging issues that confirms SAICM is a responsive instrument that can provide solutions to help governments move toward the 2020 goal. Among other key outcomes, the Conference reaffirmed its commitment to achieving a phase-out of lead in paint through the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paints, which was established for that purpose at ICCM-2, reiterating the urgent need to prevent child exposure to a widely-known toxin that has serious health impacts and no known safe exposure levels. On e-products, whose use continues to grow exponentially across the globe, ICCM-3 endorsed work to identify, compile and create an international set of best practices that could lead to future action and contribute to reducing risk, including labeling of hazardous ingredients, greener design, and extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies, which place greater responsibility on manufacturers for the reuse, recycling and disposal of their products. While the resolution’s section on e-products did not address the issue of planned obsolescence, EPR can create incentives for designing products that last longer and can help minimize e-waste generation, a key objective of the Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes.
On nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, ICCM-3 confirmed that SAICM is an appropriate forum to take further action, including information exchange and dialogue on potential risks that will raise awareness and inform decision-making processes to address those risks. This was of particular importance to developing countries that are largely unaware of the potential risks of these new technologies and materials. The Conference also agreed to new activities in this area under the GPA that actors could implement, including development of approaches to protect workers, the public and the environment from potential harm related to manufactured nanomaterials, and conducting or financially supporting scientifically-sound research to increase understanding of the environmental, public and occupational health effects, including risk assessment, of nanomaterials. Lastly, ICCM-3 asserted that addressing EDCs is a priority, and proposed specific steps to generate data to fill existing gaps in knowledge, and disseminate information and raise awareness on the potential risks of EDCs, as well as potential responses to address those risks.
THE TEST OF BEING “MULTI-SECTORAL”: A BIGGER ROLE FOR HEALTH
SAICM was established as a multi-stakeholder process that engages all relevant actors and sectors in sound chemicals management. While considerable strides have been made to engage key sectors in the process, as one participant noted, “in reality SAICM has remained very much within the environmental community.” Recognizing that sound chemicals management is as much about health as it is about the environment, as reflected in the 2020 goal, ICCM-3 had before it a strategy to more fully engage the health sector in SAICM’s implementation, which was prepared by the Secretariat and the World Health Organization (WHO) during the intersessional period.
Throughout the meeting, delegates heard interventions on the major role that the health sector can play in mobilizing action on sound chemicals management and raising awareness about its critical role in sustainable development, including in agriculture and a wide range of industrial sectors and activities. As one participant noted, “the chemicals issue becomes very real when you talk about it in terms of health impacts, especially if you’re talking about children.” This was seen during ICCM-3 itself, where participants made impassioned calls for action, supported by perturbing health-related facts, such as the occurrence of 41 million pesticide-related poisonings each year, or the continued widespread exposure of children to lead, and reduced reproductive capacity in both men and women, which in turn will impact greatly on the viability of future populations. In this context, some said it was ironic that, just as efforts were being made to more fully engage the health sector in SAICM, the continued presence of the WHO in the Secretariat was in jeopardy due to lack of external financial resources. Many saw this as an indication that the WHO does not see SAICM as a high enough priority to merit funding a WHO staff member in the SAICM Secretariat.
The difficulty of fully engaging the WHO in SAICM is an indication that SAICM still faces a key challenge: that of ensuring all relevant sectors are sufficiently and consistently engaged, within their respective capacities, in chemicals management at all stages, from high-level policy making at global, regional and national levels, to on-the-ground implementation by relevant actors and partners. Reflecting on this issue, one developed country delegate made the point that even at the domestic level the cross-cutting nature and complexity of the chemicals issue make it very difficult to engage all sectors and players in a consistent manner. To illustrate the point, he remarked on the considerably smaller number of government representatives from the health sector attending ICCM sessions. For developing countries, limited financial resources are an additional issue to consider, as even health departments must often focus on curative medicine at the expense of more preventative approaches.
At ICCM-3, many were reassured to hear that a considerable number of governments have put in place multi-sectoral chemicals committees that seek greater coordination and collaboration among relevant government ministries and departments. One participant expressed hope that the health strategy adopted at ICCM-3 may assist governments in their efforts to engage the health sector in chemical safety, and to prioritize and mainstream chemicals management in national development plans. On-the-ground improvements will require further engagement of relevant sectors at the international level, however, and this will require considerable resources. As the WHO pointed out during the meeting, “access to funding is imperative for the health sector for health-supportive actions called for under SAICM.” In this context, similar policies to engage other key sectors will be confronted with the same challenge.
As with emerging issues, however, asserting SAICM’s ability to achieve the 2020 goal will require further engagement with key sectors At ICCM-3, many supported creating an agricultural strategy and/or a multi-stakeholder programme within the agricultural sector to focus on pesticides and safer alternatives, noting this would greatly contribute to promoting chemical safety in the agricultural sector. This is particularly significant for developing countries, whose agricultural populations still bear the overwhelming majority of pesticide-related poisonings, and whose basic infrastructure to prevent and address health risks is still widely inadequate. With broad agreement on the goal of phasing out highly hazardous pesticides as a practical, concrete way to reduce the toll of pesticides on farmers and their families, many left ICCM-3 feeling hopeful that this issue will be taken up during the intersessional period and lead to concrete outcomes at ICCM-4.
THE PERSISTENT CHALLENGE OF FINANCE
The issue of finance was on everyone’s minds prior to ICCM-3, and was, indeed, a point of contention between donors and recipients. In SAICM, like in the Rotterdam and Basel Convention negotiations, it has been repeatedly emphasized that financial and technical resources to implement chemical safety activities in less developed countries is instrumental to achieving chemical safety objectives. It was precisely this recognition that led UNEP to engage in a “consultative process” for an integrated approach to financing the sound management of chemicals and wastes. ICCM-3 had before it the outcome of that process, in the form of a proposal by UNEP’s Executive Director (UNEP ED), which will be taken up by the UNEP Governing Council (UNEP GC) at its 2013 session for a final decision.
Most developed country participants hoped ICCM-3 would send a clear message to the UNEP GC endorsing the notion of an integrated approach to financing chemicals and wastes, if not necessarily in the terms outlined in the UNEP ED’s proposal, and calling on the UNEP GC to clearly incorporate SAICM in the integrated approach to ensure it will provide resources to finance SAICM-related implementation activities and become SAICM’s long-term financial mechanism. Many developing countries did not agree with this proposal, however, and insisted that ICCM-3 avoid any substantive comments on sections of the UNEP ED’s proposal. Behind their calls was the insistence that new and additional financial resources provided by donor governments (“external” financing), which were only included after enormous emphasis had been placed on mainstreaming and industry involvement, should be the main source of financing for SAICM, and a desire to keep the critical issue of financing SAICM within SAICM, rather than ceding control to UNEP.
Some developing countries had a more conciliatory position, and said they were prepared to compromise, provided the integrated approach ensures adequate and additional resources for SAICM implementation, and exhibits the same flexibility to access funding that countries have enjoyed within the Quick Start Programme (QSP), which was set up to fund enabling activities and has effectively funded some implementation activities. Should the integrated approach not exhibit these characteristics, these delegates said, ICCM-4 would provide an opportunity to reopen the issue of long-term financing to ensure SAICM is adequately funded to ensure progress toward the 2020 goal. Others drew a harder line, calling for a mechanism similar to the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund or, at the very least, an expansion of the mandate of the QSP to include implementation activities. In the end, the views of the first group of developing countries prevailed, and ICCM-3 adopted a resolution on finance that only has a vague reference to the UNEP ED’s proposal, and concentrates on the broader picture of long-term financing so as not to prejudge the outcome of the consultative process. However, without a discussion on the specific elements of the proposal (mainstreaming, industry involvement and external financing), and only a general request that the UNEP integrated approach should include SAICM, it is unclear whether the integrated approach will provide sufficient funding for SAICM-specific activities, as contained in the GPA. In this context, the jury is still out on the role that the UNEP integrated approach may play in the implementation of SAICM.
In addition to a potential decision on the Executive Director’s proposal, ICCM-3 had the more pressing task of deciding on whether to extend the QSP, widely recognized as a successful mechanism that has facilitated early implementation of SAICM in many countries. In this regard, positions were somewhat closer. Donors were reticent to explicitly “expand” the Programme to cover implementation activities, rather than just enabling activities, fearing that doing so could lead to the conversion of the QSP into the long-term SAICM financial mechanism. Some noted that in reality, the QSP’s mandate has been interpreted in a generous way that has enabled countries to benefit from QSP funding for both enabling and implementation activities. The advantages of this flexible approach were ultimately recognized by participants, and the decision on the QSP effectively ensures that those countries that have finalized enabling projects will be able to start implementation without delay, while those that have ongoing projects or that have not yet benefitted from QSP funding will be able to access the Programme for enabling activities.
As noted above, the issue of long-term financing still needs to be resolved and divided positions prevailed until the closing session of ICCM-3. However, the decision to extend the QSP program to ICCM-4 was welcomed as a positive step that will enable continued work until a long-term solution has been found. At the same time, as one participant noted, “the QSP will only be as good as the resources it has.” With three years to ICCM-4, and not much time before 2020, many are hopeful that all stakeholders will pitch in in proportion to their means and contribute to replenish the QSP to help bolster SAICM implementation.
ICCM-3: MOVING TOWARD THE 2020 GOAL?
ICCM-3 decisions on emerging issues, the health sector strategy and the QSP have reaffirmed the relevance of SAICM as a unique strategy that has the potential to respond to the challenges of sound chemicals management in ways that are more responsive and comprehensive than narrower instruments and processes. Whether SAICM can realize the 2020 goal, however, will depend to a large extent on continued efforts to engage all key sectors in chemicals management from high-level policy making to on-the-ground implementation. It will also depend on continued efforts to prioritize chemicals management within national, regional and international development plans and strategies, and on the adoption of measures that effectively reduce risks from chemicals. Most of all, achieving the 2020 goal will require that countries demonstrate their commitment to SAICM by providing sufficient financial resources for its implementation. With the 2020 goal approaching, and the UNEP integrated approach to be determined during the intersessional period, the issue of long-term financing promises to play a crucial role at ICCM-4.
Eighth Session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG 8) of the Basel Convention: The Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) assists the Conference of the Parties (COP) in promoting the implementation of the Convention. dates: 25-28 September 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Basel Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8218 fax: +41-22-797-3454 email:[email protected] www: http://www.basel.int/
Second Meeting of Technical Expert Group on ESM of Wastes: The second meeting of the technical expert group to complete the development of a framework for the environmentally sound management (ESM) of hazardous wastes and other wastes will meet back-to-back with OEWG 8. Members will discuss the further development of the draft framework, which has also been presented to and will be discussed by OEWG 8. dates: 30 September - 2 October 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Basel Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8218 fax: +41-22-797-3454 email:[email protected] www: http://www.basel.int/
Second Joint Meeting of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions Regional Centres: The meeting is expected to: review and follow up on the activities undertaken since the first joint meeting; promote information exchange; and consolidate and mobilize regional expertise and other available resources. dates: 1-3 October 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Basel Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8218 fax: +41-22-797- 3454 email:[email protected] www: http://www.basel.int/
POPRC 8: The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) is a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention established for reviewing chemicals proposed for listing in Annex A, Annex B, and/or Annex C. dates: 15-19 October 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Stockholm Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8729 fax: +41-22-917-8098 email: [email protected] www: http://www.pops.int
Biennium Conference of the Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM): The conference provides an opportunity for all stakeholders in waste management to discuss challenges, opportunities and new trends in waste management. dates: 4-5 November 2012 location: Osaka, Japan contact: GPWM Secretariat phone: +81-669-154-588 fax: +81-669-150-304 email: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/gpwm/
49th Meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-Compliance Procedure of the Montreal Protocol: The meeting will discuss issues related to parties’ compliance with the provisions of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and produce a report for consideration of MOP 24. location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Ozone Secretariat phone: +254-20-762-3851 fax: +254-20-762-0335 email: [email protected] www: http://ozone.unep.org/
24th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol: MOP 24 is scheduled to consider a number of issues, including nominations for critical- and essential-use exemptions, QPS uses of methyl bromide, and proposed amendments to the Montreal Protocol. dates: 12-16 November 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Ozone Secretariat phone: +254-20-762-3851 fax: +254-20-762-0335 email: [email protected] www: http://ozone.unep.org/
Fifth Session of the INC to Prepare a Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury: This meeting is the last of five Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) meetings to negotiate a legally binding instrument on mercury. location: Geneva, Switzerland phone: +41 22 917 8192 fax: +41 22 797 3460 email: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/MercuryNot/MercuryNegotiations/tabid/3320/language/en-US/Default.aspx
Ninth Meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee: This subsidiary body of the Rotterdam Convention reviews chemicals and pesticide formulations according to the criteria set out by the Convention in Annexes II and IV respectively and make recommendations to the COP for listing these chemicals in Annex III. dates: 11-15 March 2013 location: Rome, Italy contact: Rotterdam Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8296 fax: +41-22-917-8082 email: [email protected] www: http://www.pic.int/
Coordinated Ordinary and Extraordinary Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions: The ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will convene in Geneva, Switzerland. dates: 28 April - 10 May 2013 location: Geneva, Switzerland phone: +41-22-917-8729 fax: +41-22-917-8098 email: [email protected] www: http://synergies.pops.int/Implementation/ExCOPs/ExCOPs2013/tabid/2747/language/en-US/Default.aspx
PIC COP 6: The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC COP 6) will consider the recommendations of the Chemical Review Committee for listings in Annex III to the Convention, as well as the development of a compliance mechanism and matters related to technical assistance. dates: 1-5 July 2013 location: Rome, Italy contact: Rotterdam Convention Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8296 fax: +41-22-917-8082 email: [email protected] www: http://www.pic.int
Eleventh International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant: Convened under the theme “Science informing global policy.” The conference will celebrate the official launch of the UNEP Global Legally Binding Treaty on Mercury, and consider how to put the treaty into practice. The meeting aims to exchange information on the science of mercury behavior and release, and its effect on ecosystems. dates: 28 July - 2 August 2013 location: Edinburgh (Scotland), United Kingdom contact: Marcus Pattison phone: +44-1727-858840 fax: +44-1727-840310 email: [email protected] www: http://www.mercury2013.com/
ICCM-4: The fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management is expected to take place in 2015. OEWG-2 is expected to take place in 2014. dates: 2015 location: to be confirmed contact: SAICM Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8532 fax: +41-22-797-3460 email: [email protected] www: http://www.saicm.org