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Overall Orientation and Guidance for achieving the 2020 goal of sound management of chemicals

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Overall Orientation and Guidance for achieving the 2020 goal of sound management of chemicals

The future we want for the sound management of chemicals

1.In paragraph 23 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, Governments identified the goal of “achiev[ing] by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment” (see appendixA).That goal was further adopted as part of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management by the International Conference on Chemicals Management at itsfirst session in 2006.

2.The importance of the sound management of chemicals for the protection of human health and the environment, and therefore for sustainable development,has been recognized on a number of subsequent occasions, including by heads of Stateand Government and high-level representatives at the UnitedNations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. In the outcome document of the Conference,entitled “The future we want”, they reaffirmed the aim to achieve, by 2020, the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle and of hazardous waste in ways that lead to minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment, as set out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation(see appendix B). The United Nations Environment Assembly, in its resolution 1/5, welcomed the important contribution of the Strategic Approach in facilitating action by all relevant stakeholders towards the sound management of chemicals and waste, and emphasized the need for continued and strengthened multisectoral and multi-stakeholder involvement as well as the need for continued strengthening of the Strategic Approach.

3.Guided by theDubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management, the Overarching Policy Strategy and the Global Plan of Action, the Strategic Approach provides a policy framework to support efforts for achieving the World Summit goal. It complements the international chemicals and waste framework by including existing multilateral environmental agreements and addressing the need for and importance of comprehensive national chemicals management frameworks. The Strategic Approach is the only global mechanism which covers all agricultural and industrial chemicals, throughout their life cycles. It has created an inclusive and overarching multi-stakeholder and multisectoral platform for achieving the World Summit goal of sound chemicals management by 2020. Environmental, economic, social, health and labour aspects of chemical safety are reflected in the Strategic Approach and the Quick Start Programme. With its integrated overall approach, the Strategic Approach allows for a balanced consideration of all factors relevant to chemicals management, including the identification of emerging policy issues, and it provides a flexible framework for international action that both complements and goes beyond legally binding approaches.

4.While significant achievements have been made towards achieving the 2020 goal, changes that have occurred since its establishment in 2002 and since the Strategic Approach was adopted in 2006 have resulted in aneed to reflect on progress towards the 2020 goal, understanding the gaps in implementation,and prioritize actions. There is also a continued need to understand and address the different challenges and capacities among all countries–developing countries, countries with economies in transition and developed countries. In order to ensure lasting achievements by 2020 and beyond, stakeholders must respond to the advances made in the overall chemicals and waste cluster, build on the solid foundations and momentum that the Strategic Approach and the Quick Start Programme have helped to create, and make optimal use of resources.