Second meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the International Conference on Chemicals Management

Speaking notes for Rolph Payet on the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres 15 December 2014

Dear participants,

The Basel Convention provides in Article 14 for the establishment of Regional Centres for Training and Technology Transfer (BCRCs) regarding the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes and the minimization of their generation, and the Stockholm Convention provides in Article 12 for the establishment of regional and subregional centres for capacity-building and transfer of technology (SCRCs) to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to fulfil their obligations under the Convention.

The 14 Basel Convention Regional Centres and 16 Stockholm Convention Regional Centres, where 7 serve as joint regional or sub-regional centres, are established and operating pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and decisions of the Conference of Parties. Their primary purpose is to provide services, mainly technical assistance, capacity building and in many cases project implementation and coordination for the implementation of the Conventions to the Parties served by the Centres.

At our last regional centres meeting three weeks ago, heads of those centres called for a more integrated approach to chemicals management and they are ready to implement not only the decisions of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, but also decisions within the chemicals area provided financing is available, such as from the GEF, UNEP SAICM QSP, and voluntary contributions to the BRS Secretariat among others.

All Centres are indeed catalysts for the promotion and implementation of policies aimed at life-cycle of chemicals and integrated waste management. They are suitable forum where programmes’ synergies could be established or where their potential could be exploited.

The network of the Basel and the Stockholm Conventions Regional Centres is also working with the regional offices of UNEP and FAO. The Regional Centres are conducting training programmes, workshops, seminars and pilot projects in the field of the environmentally sound management (ESM) of hazardous wastes and the elimination of POPs, transfer of environmentally sound technology and minimization of the generation of hazardous wastes, with specific emphasis on training of trainers, disseminating information, including promotion of public awareness, identifying, developing and strengthening mechanisms for the transfer of technology.

The Regional Centres are also organizing meetings, symposiums, missions in the field and carrying out joint projects in cooperation with UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, UNITAR, WHO and industry and non-governmental organizations. In doing so, the centres work closely with SAICM.

We fully endorse and support the request by the SAICM regional meetings that the Basel and Stockholm Conventions regional centres continue to act as regional delivery centres for SAICM and that our regional centres are key actors in the implementation of various projects at the regional level. We wish to recognize and support the contribution of the SAICM Quick Start Programme to several of the projects carried out by the regional centres.

We are working together to support countries to enhance their capacity to achieve the sound management of chemicals and wastes for a better living and contributing to the three dimensions of sustainable development. We thank you for your support and efforts.

We invite countries that are willing to enhance their capacity for the sound management of chemicals and wastes, including the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, to continue to submit their needs for capacity building of human resources and strengthening of the institutions to the BRS Secretariat or the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres.

I take the opportunity to bring to your attention information document SAICM/OEWG.2/INF/8 and especially the table which summarizes the main areas of cooperation.

Finally, I like to highlight that the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP in its Resolution 1/5 on chemicals and waste acknowledged the role of the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions to support the implementation of those conventions and all relevant activities, as well as the role that they play in contributing to other chemicals –and waste-related instruments and in mainstreaming the sound management of chemicals and waste.

Thank you for your attention!