Strategy for strengthening the engagement of the health sector in the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management
1. The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management is a global policy framework to guide efforts to attain the goal set out in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development that, by 2020, chemicals will be produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. The involvement of all relevant sectors and stakeholders is central to achieving the objectives of the Overarching Policy Strategy of the Strategic Approach.
2. The sound management of chemicals and human health are key issues in achieving sustainable development, including the eradication of poverty and disease and the elevation and maintenance of the standard of living in countries at all levels of development. The health sector is concerned with the impacts of all chemicals on human health irrespective of the economic sector involved (such as industry, agriculture or mining) and the point in the life cycle at which exposure takes place (production, use or disposal). The health sector can also contribute to sound chemicals management in its own health-care activities in order to prevent environmental, occupational and public health problems arising as a result of such activities.
3. In its resolution II/8, the International Conference on Chemicals Management requested the Strategic Approach secretariat to develop, in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and within available resources, a strategy for strengthening the engagement of the health sector in the implementation of the Strategic Approach. The present strategy represents the first time that the Conference has considered sector-specific approaches to attaining its objectives.