Statement of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Convention at the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly

Delivered by Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Remarks on the occasion of the 4th meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly
Nairobi, 15 March 2019

Your Excellency,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to address this fourth meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly on “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production”, a topic of great relevance to the successful implementation of the chemicals and waste agenda, in particular the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, agreements to which your governments are very committed to.

Throughout the week, the relevance and importance of the chemicals and wastes conventions towards achieving sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and achieving a peaceful and fair world have been highlighted, thus raising awareness of the importance of making the “invisible, visible”.

Last Monday we commemorated the 30 years of achievements, as well as of the innovative spirit of the Basel Convention on the transboundary movement of hazardous and other wastes and their disposal.

Ladies and Gentleman, Today I take the opportunity to extend to you a very warm invitation to the 2019 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, which will be held in Geneva, from 29 April to 10 May, under the theme: “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste".

The meetings will be touching upon a number of key issues which are of relevance to this gathering, some of which include:

  • The proposal to establish of a new partnership on Plastic Wastes under the Basel Convention, as well as a proposal to amend annexes to Convention which, are intended to increase the effectiveness of the Convention with regard to plastic wastes.
  • Under the Rotterdam Convention seven new hazardous chemicals will be considered for listing under the Convention, and Parties will also consider the adoption of compliance procedures as well as the outcomes of the intersessional process on enhancing the effectiveness of the Convention. The urgency to control the international trade and not ban those chemicals, has been expressed in many side events organized this week.
  • Under the Stockholm Convention Parties will be invited to consider listing a number of chemicals used in the production of non–stick kitchen ware, food processing equipment, textiles paper, paints, and firefighting foams, to name a few.

We will also be focusing on issues of technical assistance and the role our network of regional centres can play in supporting countries in building their national capacities, among other needs, to manage chemicals and wastes, and accordingly thank and invite our donors for their continued support.

As we engage for a cleaner and healthier planet, I count on the commitment of your governments, in responding to the recommendations of our scientific committees to consider further controls and management of those chemicals. It is imperative that we make progress at each and every Conference of the Parties, so that we can achieve the sustainable development goals with regards to the sound management of chemicals and wastes.

With these few words, allow me to reiterate the commitment of our Secretariat in working with governments, other UN agencies and international organisations, multistakeholder groups and the private sector in advancing the global agenda.

Let us together continue to make the visible, invisible as we move towards a Clean Planet and Healthy People!

Thank you for your attention.