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PREPCOM 3 for the Further Development of a
Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

Vienna | 19-24 September 2005
Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB
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Debate Continues at SAICM PrepCom-3

On the third day of the SAICM PrepCom-3, discussions continued in plenary on the overarching policy strategy (OPS) in the morning and afternoon and on the high-level declaration (HLD) in the afternoon. Contact groups on the global plan of action (GPA) and financial considerations met throughout the day. Above, delegates from EU countries start discussions on the high-level declaration.


Wednesday, 21 September
Reports by the Contact Groups and Drafting Group

Jamidu Katima, Tanzania, reported on progress in the contact group on the global plan of action.

Jean-Louis Wallace, Canada, reported on progress in the contact group on financial considerations.

Raphael Azeredo, Brazil, reported on progress made by the drafting group on the introduction to the overarching policy strategy, and stated that he would meet with delegations to resolve three remaining areas of bracketed text.
Plenary

Clifton Curtis, WWF, said language noting the SAICM was voluntary was not only unnecessary, but insulting and demeaning.

On precaution, Glenn Wiser, CIEL, said the concept was expanded in the Stockholm Convention to cover both environment and health.

Speaking for the Africa Group, Oludayo Dada, Nigeria, said that there must be a clear resolution of financial matters for the effective implementation of SAICM if negotiations are to continue.

Mahmood Khwaja, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, said proposed language noting that SAICM was voluntary was unacceptable.

Zhuo Zhuang, China, said capacity building and technical cooperation were especially important in the first stage of implementation.

Tim M'Mella, Kenya, advised qualifying relevant agencies as "development" agencies in the governance section of the overarching policy strategy.

Speaking for the African Group, Mobolaji Banjo, Nigeria, emphasized elements included in its informational document on proposed institutional arrangements for SAICM.

Eisaku Toda, Japan, questioned whence the principles of proportionality and inter-generational equity had been derived.

Seham Hussein, Egypt, stressed the importance of finding solutions to problems which have an effect on developing countries' health.

On capacity building, Rajae Chafil, Morocco, asked for a reference to national scientific research programs.

Judy Beaumont, South Africa, listed use of existing structures within the UN system, financial sustainability, openness, transparency and inclusiveness as key principles of institutional arrangements.

Ibrahim Abderahim, Chad, noted the problem of women's participation in chemicals-policy making was one of "competence" and suggested deleting text calling for ensuring their equal participation.

Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN, said if the problem is competence, it would be better to make a reference to that problem rather than to delete the paragraph.

Freddy Sikabongo, Namibia, strongly supported retaining text on ensuring equal participation of women in chemicals-policy decision making.

Eleonore Hauer-Rona, International Council of Women, cited her group's history of environmental activism, and called for text on ensuring their equal participation in chemicals-policy decision making to be kept.

Blaise Efendene, Cameroon, suggested clarifying the meaning of the word "governance" in the overarching policy strategy.

Lilian Veas Acuña, Chile, supported deleting a reference to the need for business frameworks to promote safer products to overcome technical barriers to trade.

Romeo Quijano, IPEN, said meaningful participation entails not only consultation but participation in formal and informal working groups.

Ouro-Djeri Essowê, Togo, suggested adding a reference to harmonization of chemicals-related national rules and regulations.

Laurraine Lotter, ICCA, said there was no need to establish a new body or forum acting as an oversight body.

David Brown, United States, supported using the ICCM as a forum to review progress, urging the first review to take place 5 years after adoption of SAICM to allow actors to make progress.

Central African Republic supported proposals to highlight the importance of technology transfer by creating a separate paragraph.

Nasser Abdullah Al-Sulaiti, Qatar, noted that developing countries with high income streams need support to diversify sources of income.

Emmanuella Ngenzebuhoro, Burundi, suggested adding references to chemical wastes.

Yang Daravuth, Cambodia, proposed text referring to the facilitation of "appropriate" use of chemicals.

Marie Makelola, Congo, stressed the need to address prevention, and not only control, of illegal international trafficking of hazardous substances.

Rob Visser, IOMC chair, asked for clarification on the changes required for the IOMC to assume a coordination role for SAICM, and to ensure input from other organizations.

On implementation and taking stock of progress, Fatemeh Falaki, Islamic Republic of Iran, proposed new text on bridging the gap in capacities between developed and developing countries.

Judy Stober, IFCS, called attention to the informational document it submitted on key lessons in the chemicals-management international framework.

Miguel Hildmann, Argentina, praised the value and uniqueness of the IFCS in promoting open exchanges among all participants, and called for consideration of its future once the SAICM is adopted.

Marthe Delphine Rahelimalala, Madagascar, said the high-level declaration should refer to human health and the environment.

Mario Abó Balanza, Cuba, commented on the role of an oversight body in implementation of SAICM.

Marta Ligia Perez, Colombia, suggested noting in the general principles section that humans are at the center of concerns of sustainable development, per the Rio Declaration.

Valentina Laius, Estonia, suggested text calling for for narrowing the gap between developed and developing countries.

Zadi Dakouri Raphael, Côte D'Ivoire, noted that it might be too early to agree on a high-level declaration in the absence of agreement on financial considerations.

Momodou Canteh, the Gambia, said that because chemicals could not be made completely safe, the text should refer to committing to improving, rather than "achieving," chemical safety.
Contact Groups

The Secretariat said it had compiled six subsets of concrete areas and activities needing further deliberations, which contain concrete measures and activities that constitute new proposed activities, and that might: be inconsistent with existing international policy; be too prescriptive; fall outside the scope of SAICM; need further drafting for clarity; constitute new proposed activities; and require or imply concerted actions. Participants in the contact group addressed the last subset.

The contact group reviewed the text of the chapeau and the first of seven sub-paragraphs on funding programs. Disagreement arose over references to "new and additional financial resources," and "encouraging" or "committing to" global efforts to advance sound chemicals management. The roles of the GEF, other multilateral funding mechanisms and bilateral programs were discussed at length. The text remains heavily bracketed.
Around PrepCom-3

PrepCom-3 President Viveka Bohn (Sweden) reviewed documents in the morning.

Delegates also had some morning reading to prepare for discussions.

ENB's logistics coordinator Louise Burke (Scotland).

Related Links

SAICM web site
PrepCom 3 meeting documents
UNEP Chemicals Unit
IFCS web site
Rotterdam Convention web site

Related ENB Coverage

Linkages Chemicals page
ENB coverage of SAICM PrepCom-2
ENB coverage of SAICM PrepCom-1
ENB coverage of POPs COP-1
ENB coverage of INC-11 and COP-1 of the Rotterdam Convention
ENB coverage of IFCS-4

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