Fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management

Interventions by Rolph Payet on progress and challenges towards the achievement of the 2020 goal for the sound chemicals management, at the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (agenda item 4(a)).

Distinguished Participants, 

As a stakeholder of SAICM, this meeting is an important opportunity for us to assess what more we must do together over the next five years especially with regards to the numerous outstanding challenges highlighted by previous speakers. 

Enhanced cooperation and coordination between chemicals and wastes-related MEAs, in particular the BRS conventions, and SAICM, is indeed key to the pursuit of the 2020 goal. 

With this in mind, I am pleased to inform you (in a flash) of the outcomes of the 2015 meetings of the three COPs and of the specific contributions made under the three Conventions to the five objectives of the SAICM Overarching Policy Strategy: 

With regard to the Risk reduction Objective:

  • Nine new technical guidelines were adopted under the Basel Convention, including, on an interim basis, technical guidelines concerning the transboundary movement of e-waste and used electronic and electrical products; 
  • Three new chemicals were added to the Stockholm Convention
  • One new chemical was added to the Rotterdam Convention 
With regard to the Knowledge and information Objective:
  • The three conferences of the parties adopted identical decisions on the clearing-house mechanism for information exchange and “Science to action”, promoting the exchange of information and strengthening the scientific underpinning for decision-making and policy-making in the sound management of hazardous chemicals and wastes.
  • I would also like to draw the attention of delegations to the report of the Special Rapporteur on implications of human rights on chemicals and wastes with regards to ‘access to information’. 

With regard to the Governance Objective: 

  • The COPs re-emphasized the importance of enhancing cooperation and coordination with other international bodies to facilitate the fulfilment of the objectives of the conventions, in particular within the chemicals and wastes cluster. 
  • Pursuant to this mandate, the BRS Secretariat participates in SAICM meetings and provides inputs to relevant SAICM processes in areas of common interest, and undertakes a number of other cooperative activities with the SAICM Secretariat, through an internal task-force established in early 2014 between the BRS Secretariat and the Chemicals and Waste Branch of UNEP. 
  • I bring to your attention information document SAICM/ICCM.4/INF/24, which summarizes the main areas of cooperation between the BRS Secretariat and SAICM. 

With regard to the Capacity-building and technical cooperation Objective:

  • Similar decisions on technical assistance were adopted by the COPs in which they welcomed the technical assistance programme for the biennium 2016-17 and requested the Secretariat to implement it with relevant actors;
  • The Basel and Stockholm COPs adopted similar decisions on regional centres, and further recognized their role in enhancing the provision of technical assistance to support national efforts of developing countries and countries with economies in transition for the implementation of the conventions; 
  • On partnerships, the Basel Convention COP extended the mandate of the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) until 2017. 

With regard to the Illegal traffic Objective:

  • The COPs requested the Secretariat to prepare recommendations on possible synergies between the three conventions in preventing and combating illegal traffic and trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes, building on lessons learned under the Basel Convention.
  • The COP to the Basel Convention mandated the Implementation and Compliance Committee to develop guidance on how to deal with wastes illegally trafficked ; and renewed the membership of the Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE) which promotes cooperation and coordination between relevant entities to deliver capacity-building activities and tools on preventing and combating illegal traffic. 

The BRS Secretariat is an important stakeholder to SAICM and, as mandated by the COPs, will continue to contribute to SAICM processes and activities of relevance to the conventions. 

Other interventions made by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions at the ICCM4: