2 September 2019: Delegates to the third meeting of the Intersessional Process Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP3) are considering a paper on issues of concern developed by the Co-Chairs of the IP.

The document (SAICM/IP.3/4), submitted in advance of the IP3, which is meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 30 September to 4 October 2019, includes the Co-Chairs’ proposed text on the definition, criteria and possible modalities for adopting issues of concern, and describes the background and considerations behind the text. Participants are expected to review the text and further develop it as an IP3 output.

The text details suggested criteria for issues of concern, which relate to, inter alia: potential impact on human health or the environment, taking into account vulnerable subpopulations, ecosystems, and toxicological and exposure data gaps; the extent to which the issue is being successfully addressed by other bodies; and the extent to which the issue is relevant across regions.

Proposed text on mechanisms for adopting issues of concern and for monitoring their progress addresses: identification, nomination, selection, review and prioritization; implementation mechanisms; tracking progress, including monitoring and reporting against milestones; criteria for completion or sunsetting an issue; and accelerating progress on an issue.

The text notes that SAICM should continue to provide a forum for open discussion and information exchange by all stakeholders and to promote collaborative action. It further notes that once an initial set of issues of concern is established, any proposal to take on other issues will trigger a review of the relative importance of all issues that may determine the termination of one or more issues of concern as necessary to ensure priority issues are addressed and that overall capacity/resources to take on new issues has not been exceeded.

The proposed text also identifies the need to distinguish between issues which primarily need capacity-building support at a national or regional level and those where collective action is required.

IP3 is expected to develop recommendations for consideration by the fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) related to: targets, milestones and indicators; institutional arrangements; mechanisms to support implementation; and financial considerations.

The ‘Beyond 2020’ process was launched in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2017, and aims to create a new and enhanced platform to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, as well as consider the broader pollution agenda. The goal is to have the new framework ready for adoption at ICCM5 in October 2020 in Bonn, Germany. [IP Co-Chairs’ Note on Addressing Issues of Concern] [Meeting Webpage] [IISD RS IP3 Coverage]