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

Vienna | 19-24 September 2005
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Delegates Work Late at SAICM PrepCom-3

On the fourth day of the SAICM PrepCom-3, discussions continued in plenary on the overarching policy strategy (OPS) in the morning and afternoon. Contact groups on the global plan of action (GPA) and financial considerations met throughout the day, and on implementation and taking stock of progress in the afternoon. Small drafting groups on the OPS sections on risk reduction and knowledge and information, and on the statement of needs, met in the morning and afternoon. Contact groups and drafting groups continued to meet into the night. Above, members of national delegations and NGOs huddle in a drafting group during the lunch break.


Thursday, 22 September
Reports by the Contact Groups and Drafting Group to Morning Plenary

Jamidu Katima, Tanzania, reported that the contact group on the global plan of action had not been able to complete its work, and requested an additional half-day of time, which was granted. After the lunch break, he requested another half-day and evening, which were also granted.

S. Ali M. Mousavi, Islamic Republic of Iran, reported that the contact group on financial considerations had also been unable to complete its work, and requested an additional day of time, which was granted.

Raphael Azeredo, Brazil, reported that his drafting group on the introductory paragraph to the overarching policy statement had reached agreement on all but two points, which will be taken up by the plenary.
Plenary

Mark Hyman, Australia, suggested a further opening paragraph dealing with the progress in chemicals management since the Rio Summit, at the international, national and industry level.

Koulibaly Moussa, Niger, supported including a reference to control mechanisms.

Pavan Baichoo, International Labour Organization, noted that text referencing the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions neglected to mention international agreements on workplace chemicals safety.

Qu Wensheng, China, suggested adding references to international agreements in general to the paragraph on policies and programmes for the sound management of chemicals.

Tarek Eid El Ruby, Egypt, suggested noting that limited availability of, and access to, chemicals-related information was the case particularly in developing countries.

George Krhoda, Kenya, said the SAICM should express a sense of urgency, in order to help in bridging gaps in understanding.

On risk reduction, Jamal Ara, Pakistan, asked to add the general population to the list of affected groups.

Yuriy Kundiyev, Ukraine, said that it was inaccurate to claim there was no chemicals-related information available, stating that in developed countries, such information was readily available.

Boris Kurlyandskiy, Russian Federation, stated that chemicals-related information was not freely available.

Inger Schörling, Chemsec, said that the current risk assessment and risk management system had failed, and the problem had to be addressed.

Tim Meredith, World Health Organization, drew attention to research and electronic resources on chemical safety.

Bob Ford, United States, suggested that langauge on domestic and regional implementation be retained in text on illegal international traffic.
Contact Groups

The contact group on financial considerations reached agreement on a few of the twenty subparagraphs before it, but many sections of the text, including newly introduced proposals, were met with contention. Much of the text remained extensively bracketed as discussion continued until nearly midnight.

The contact group on the global plan of action completed its work at 11:15 pm, after discussing measures and activities on heavy metals and the risks they pose to human health and the environment. Most measures and activities were accepted, but some are footnoted pending the outcome of discussion on the overarching policy strategy.

The contact group on implementation and taking stock of progress adjourned at 11:11 pm after hearing proposals to appoint an existing programme in the Secretariat role for SAICM. UNEP will likely be partnered with another programme, with IOMC and WHO proposed thus far. A break out session of regional groups discussed some of the more controversial issues.
Side Event: Africa Stockpiles Programme

WWF presented a lunchtime side event on the Africa Stockpiles Programme, a continent-wide project which aims to clear all obsolete pesticide stocks from Africa and put in place measures to help prevent their recurrence.
Around PrepCom-3

UNEP International Chemicals Management booth.

IPEN booth.

ICCA booth.

CropLife International booth.

UNDP booth.

UNITAR booth.

World Bank booth.

Rotterdam Convention booth.

UNIDO display and table.

Delegates confer before the morning plenary.

IOMC chair Rob Visser confers with Chris Vanden Bilcke (Belgium) during afternoon plenary.

Some of the friendly United Nations security staff who watch over us.

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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