An informal drafting group discussed potential elements for inclusion in a high-level declaration on the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. The possible declaration would be adopted at the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), currently scheduled to convene in Bonn, Germany, from 5-9 July 2021.
ICCM5 is expected to include a high-level segment to reaffirm political commitment to implementing sound chemicals and waste management beyond 2020, and its crucial contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The HLD Informal Drafting Group convened virtually on 24 November 2020 to discuss its aims and objectives, organizational matters, and the structure and approach of the proposed declaration. Gertrud Sahler, President of ICCM5, told the group she had intended to propose a process to develop a high-level declaration as part of the “beyond 2020” ICCM5 outcome, during the fourth meeting of the Intersessional Process (IP4) considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste beyond 2020. However, IP4 was postponed due to COVID-19.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions, and the need to make progress on a successor agreement to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), dialogue will take place virtually through the informal drafting group as well as Technical Briefings and Virtual Working Groups.
The informal drafting group will compile, organize, and synthesize input, views, and proposals from SAICM stakeholders. These proposals will aim to inform the work of a more formal drafting group at the rescheduled IP4 (March 2021) or ICCM5 (July 2021).
The informal drafting group is expected to address:
- Priorities and key messages for strengthening the sound management of chemicals and waste;
- Scope of the declaration, considering the current context (COVID-19, economic recovery interventions, and progressing on sound management), the contribution of sound management of chemicals and waste to implementing the 2030 Agenda, progress to date, and gaps to be addressed; and
- Structure of the declaration, including participation, responsibilities, and process to address current challenges.
A call for submissions from stakeholders on essential elements for a possible declaration generated input from, among others, the African Group, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the EU, Iran, Iraq, Switzerland, the US, Friends of the Earth, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), Pesticide Action Network International, UN Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Organisation for Economic and Development Co-operation (OECD), and International Council of Chemical Associations. Stakeholders were asked to address the most important aspects and key messages for strengthening the sound management of chemicals and waste, as well as political will. Their submissions are available on the webpage of the informal drafting group.
An initial outline of proposed elements will be published on the SAICM website to enable further input from the Bureau and IP participants. The informal group may also organize online technical briefings to gather additional input and feedback.