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Recent Meetings

Chemicals Management


Meetings from: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 

December 2003

SECOND SESSION OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION EXPERT GROUP ON BAT-BEP

The Second session of the Stockholm Convention Expert group on Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) met 8-12 December 2003 in Villarrica, Chile. The meeting was attended by experts from 24 countries, as well as representatives of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. Participants discussed the development of guidelines on best available techniques and provisional guidance on best environmental practices relevant to the provisions of Article 5 and Annex C of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. A contact group met to discuss consideration of alternatives in the application of BAT. Participants also addressed guidelines and guidance for different source categories, such as pulp and paper bleaching, open burning of wastes, thermal processes in the metallurgical industry, smoldering of copper cables, cement kilns firing hazardous waste, waste incineration and chemical production. Toward the close of the meeting, the Expert Group welcomed the offer made by Japan to host its third session, which was tentatively scheduled for 11-16 October 2004. The report of the meeting can be found on the Stockholm Convention's web site at: http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/bat_bep/2nd_session/r...

November 2003

PIC INC-10

The Tenth Session Of The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee For An International Legally Binding Instrument For The Application Of The Prior Informed Consent Procedure For Certain Hazardous Chemicals And Pesticides In International Trade (PIC INC-10) was held from 17-21 November 2003, in Geneva. Delegates to INC-10 resumed consideration of major issues associated with the implementation of the interim PIC procedure and continued their work in preparing for the entry into force of the Convention and for the first Conference of Parties (COP-1). During the meeting, delegates agreed to add four forms of asbestos, DNOC, and dustable powder formulations of benomyl, carbofuran and thiram (formerly referred to as Granox T and Spinox TBC) to the interim PIC procedure. Delegates deferred to the next meeting a decision on including a fifth form of asbestos, chrysotile. Working groups met during INC-10 to discuss issues relating to compliance and to draft financial rules. Issues discussed in these working groups included measures to be taken in response to non-compliance, membership and rules of procedure for the Compliance Committee, and technical assistance trust funds. Other issues discussed included: activities of the Secretariat and review of the situation as regards extrabudgetary funds; issues to arise from the Conference of Plenipotentiaries; outcomes of the fourth session of the Interim Chemical Review Committee, and the assignment of Harmonized System customs codes. Delegates also agreed to hold a “mini-INC” session in advance of COP-1 in order to facilitate the process of transitioning between the interim and legally-binding procedures, including adding further chemicals to the interim procedure in advance of COP-1. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of this meeting is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/chemical/pic/pic10/
PrepCom 1 of the International Conference on Chemicals Management for further Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

The first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), met from 9-13 November 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. Delegates provided initial comments on potential issues to be addressed during the development of the SAICM, examined ways to structure discussions, and considered possible outcomes of the SAICM process. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Committee adopted a report, which contains inter alia, issues to be addressed during the development of the SAICM; items to be forwarded to PrepCom2 and a proposal for intersessional activities. While many delegates expressed commitment to the SAICM with calls for an ambitious objective and scope, the future of the process and when PrepCom2 will convene ultimately depends on financial support from all stakeholders. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of this meeting is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/chemical/saicm/
FOURTH SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM ON CHEMICAL SAFETY

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (Forum IV) took place from 1-7 November 2003, at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Forum IV took stock of the progress achieved on the commitments and recommendations since its last meeting in 2000, focusing on topics relating to: children and chemical safety; occupational safety and health; capacity building; hazard data generation and availability; acutely toxic pesticides; the widening gap among countries in following chemical safety policies; and input to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. Delegates also considered and agreed on decisions on the globally harmonized system for the classification and labeling of chemicals, and on illegal traffic. In response to decisions SS.VII/3 and 22/4 IV of the UNEP Governing Council, Forum IV discussed the further development of a strategic approach to international chemicals management (SAICM), and presented the outcome of its deliberations to the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the further development of a SAICM, which took place immediately following Forum IV. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of this meeting is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/chemical/ifcs4/

July 2003

POPs INC-7

The Seventh Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-7) for an International Legally Binding Instrument for Implementing International Action on Certain Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was held from 14-18 July 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland. Approximately 400 delegates from more than 135 countries, as well as representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, attended the meeting. With expectations that the Stockholm Convention will enter into force early in 2004, this was almost certainly the last meeting as an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee. (The Convention will enter into force 90 days after receipt of the 50th instrument of ratification; 33 countries have ratified thus far, and there are indications that the required balance will be met early in 2004). Significant progress was made during this meeting in laying the groundwork for the successful administration of the Convention, although a number of the most contentious issues have been left for consideration by the Conference of the Parties. During the week, delegates focused on addressing a number of “housekeeping” issues in preparation for the first COP. These included developing rules of procedure and financial rules for the COP, clarifying dispute settlement rules, elaborating reporting formats, and considering offers to host the permanent secretariat. INC-7 also provided the opportunity for delegates to consider on some of the more complex and contentious issues that will need to be addressed as the Stockholm Convention enters into force. These include in particular, such issues as the financial mechanism, the terms of reference for the POPs Review Committee, and non-compliance. No progress was made on the issue of a non-compliance mechanism, with developing countries firmly entrenched in their position that technical and financial matters be addressed prior to non-compliance. Discussions on this issue were postponed. By the end of the meeting, delegates had dealt with all the issues in the Chair's programme of work, and decisions were adopted on: offers to host the permanent Secretariat; technical assistance; national implementation plans (NIPs); exempted use; Party reporting; specific exemptions; DDT; interim financial arrangements; a standardized Toolkit for identification and quantification of dioxin and furan releases; measures to reduce or eliminate releases from stockpiles and wastes; effectiveness evaluation; the budget; and the financial mechanism. Following a week of work by the Legal Drafting Group (LDG), delegates were able to forward to COP-1, with few remaining outstanding issues, draft rules of procedure, draft financial rules, and draft rules of arbitration and conciliation. Review by the LDG also allowed for clarification of the draft terms of reference of the POPs Review Committee, thus allowing a clear focus on key political decisions at COP-1. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail is available online at: http://www.iisd.ca/chemical/pops7/

May 2003

First Session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG 1) of the Basel Convention

The first session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG 1) of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 28 April to 2 May 2003. The Open-ended Working Group was established at the sixth Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention with the mandate to assist the COP in developing and keeping under continuous review the implementation of the Convention's work plan. The meeting considered a range of issues relating, inter alia, to: the Strategic Plan for the implementation of the Basel Convention; the mechanism for promoting implementation and compliance of the Convention; the preparation of technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of persistent organic pollutants as waste; the sustainable partnership on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile telephones; proposed areas for cooperation with environmental non-governmental organizations and with industry and the business sector; and follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. At the meeting, more than 100 Parties agreed to fund a first batch of 15 projects designed as the first step in the implementation of the new 10-year Strategic Plan of the Basel Convention. A total of US$880,000 will be allocated to five projects in Africa, five in Latin America, three in Asia and two in Europe. The projects focus on various issues including: detecting and preventing illegal shipments of hazardous wastes; the provision of training; improving the design and operation of waste landfills; developing inventories and databases; and assessing management options for priority waste streams such as used oil. More information is available online at: http://www.basel.int/

February 2003

22nd Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Fourth Global Ministerial Environment Forum

7 February 2003: The 22nd session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council (GC) and fourth Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) took place from 3-7 February 2003, at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Nearly 1000 participants, including delegates from 148 countries, as well as representatives of UN agencies, international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, business and industry, and youth organizations, attended the week-long gathering. During the meeting, delegates considered a wide range of topics, including emerging policy issues, the role of civil society, international environmental governance (IEG), linkages among environment-related conventions, and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). High-level ministerial consultations were held on the theme, “Implementation of the Outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.” Sessions focused on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), regional implementation of the WSSD's outcomes, the promotion of sustainable production and consumption patterns, and the use of the natural resource base to help combat poverty, including UNEP's contribution to the WSSD's biodiversity commitments. The Governing Council concluded its work by adopting more than 40 decisions on issues relating to international environmental governance, post-conflict environmental assessment, water policy and strategy, a strategic approach to chemicals management, a mercury programme, support to Africa, production and consumption patterns, and the environment and cultural diversity. After protracted negotiations, delegates also adopted UNEP's Programme of Work and budget for the biennium 2004-2005. UNEP Governing Council takes a number of chemicals-related decisions At the 22nd session of the UNEP Governing Council – held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 3-7 February 2003 – delegates reached agreement on a number of chemicals-related issues. These included decisions on lead, the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and the global mercury assessment (see article below). The decision on lead encourages the sound management of lead-containing wastes through the application of technical guidelines and the reduction of lead exposure, and calls on governments to act in cooperation with the private sector on the phase-put of leaded gasoline and lead-based paint. On the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM), governments agreed to continue developing the SAICM despite clear differences over the speed with which work should progress. EU, Norwegian and Swiss pressure for “substantive guidance” for the process was resisted by Australia, the US and Colombia. The decision mandates the SAICM Steering Committee to proceed with the further development of a strategic approach to be regularly reviewed in light of the WSSD's target. Regarding the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the decisions invite States to ratify or accede to the Conventions, while the continued participation of the UNEP Secretariat is authorized as the interim Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention. UNEP Governing Council Adopts “Compromise Decision” on the Global Mercury Assessment Delegates at the 22nd session of the UNEP Governing Council – held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 3-7 February 2003 – adopted a “compromise decision” aimed at addressing the dangers of mercury. The decision was taken after considering the report of the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment Working Group, an assembly of approximately 150 international experts. The report, which was finalized in a Working Group meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in September 2002, calls on governments to consider a list of options aimed at reducing the risks of mercury. The decision notes that there is sufficient evidence from the Global Mercury Assessment to warrant immediate national action to protect human health and the environment from releases of mercury and its compounds. Governments are invited to submit their views on the possible medium- and long-term actions on mercury. These views will be compiled and synthesized for presentation at the Governing Council's 23rd session, with a view to developing “a legally binding instrument, a non-legally binding instrument, or other measure or actions.” The decision also includes requirements to consider further action on other heavy metals at the Governing Council's 23rd session. Links to further information Earth Negotiations Bulletin web coverage, summary report and analysis http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/unepgc/22gc/ UNEP Governing Council homepage http://www.unep.org/GoverningBodies/GC22/Default.asp Global Mercury Assessment, UNEP Chemicals http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/
22nd session of the UNEP Governing Council

At the 22nd session of the UNEP Governing Council – held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 3-7 February 2003 – delegates reached agreement on a number of chemicals-related issues. These included decisions on lead, the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and the global mercury assessment (see article below). The decision on lead encourages the sound management of lead-containing wastes through the application of technical guidelines and the reduction of lead exposure, and calls on governments to act in cooperation with the private sector on the phase-put of leaded gasoline and lead-based paint. On the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM), governments agreed to continue developing the SAICM despite clear differences over the speed with which work should progress. EU, Norwegian and Swiss pressure for “substantive guidance” for the process was resisted by Australia, the US and Colombia. The decision mandates the SAICM Steering Committee to proceed with the further development of a strategic approach to be regularly reviewed in light of the WSSD's target. Regarding the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the decisions invite States to ratify or accede to the Conventions, while the continued participation of the UNEP Secretariat is authorized as the interim Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention. UNEP Governing Council Adopts “Compromise Decision” on the Global Mercury Assessment Delegates at the 22nd session of the UNEP Governing Council – held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 3-7 February 2003 – adopted a “compromise decision” aimed at addressing the dangers of mercury. The decision was taken after considering the report of the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment Working Group, an assembly of approximately 150 international experts. The report, which was finalized in a Working Group meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in September 2002, calls on governments to consider a list of options aimed at reducing the risks of mercury. The decision notes that there is sufficient evidence from the Global Mercury Assessment to warrant immediate national action to protect human health and the environment from releases of mercury and its compounds. Governments are invited to submit their views on the possible medium- and long-term actions on mercury. These views will be compiled and synthesized for presentation at the Governing Council's 23rd session, with a view to developing “a legally binding instrument, a non-legally binding instrument, or other measure or actions.” The decision also includes requirements to consider further action on other heavy metals at the Governing Council's 23rd session. Links to further information Earth Negotiations Bulletin web coverage, summary report and analysis http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/unepgc/22gc/ UNEP Governing Council homepage http://www.unep.org/GoverningBodies/GC22/Default.asp Global Mercury Assessment, UNEP Chemicals http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/