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“Zero Draft” Outlines Vision, Scope of Future Chemicals and Waste Framework

Delegates to the fourth session of the Intersessional Process for Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP4) advanced their work on the outline for a future global policy framework to promote chemical safety.

“The consumption of chemicals by all industries and modern society’s reliance on chemicals for virtually all manufacturing processes make chemicals production one of the major sectors of the global economy,” the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes. It further indicates that the sector’s heavy reliance on water and energy and chemicals’ potential adverse impacts on the environment and human health make sound management of chemicals a key cross-cutting issue for sustainable development.

SAICM was created in 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), at the first International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM), as a voluntary multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral policy framework to promote chemical safety. The ENB analysis of the meeting highlights SAICM as a “tool” where governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), international organizations, academia, the private sector, and other stakeholders “have an equal say on the platform’s work.”

The Intersessional Process was established by ICCM4 to maintain momentum until ICCM5, initially planned for 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19, where recommendations for a post-2020 platform or instrument for the sound management of chemicals and waste will be considered.

IP4 delegates welcomed as a “significant achievement” the “Co-Chairs’ Single Consolidated Text” – a “zero draft” document, which covers the vision, scope, principles, strategic objectives, targets, institutional arrangements, implementing measures, financial considerations, and procedures for designating “issues of concern” for special attention and concerted action.

IP4 convened in Bucharest, Romania, from 29 August to 2 September 2022. Delegates agreed to suspend the meeting and reconvene in early 2023 to continue deliberations. At the resumed IP4 session, ENB writes, delegates “can continue work on building common understandings that can be translated into the desired outcome in the most feasible, yet effective way.”

In the run-up to the conference, the SDG Knowledge Hub reported on the five regional meetings that took place in preparation for IP4 in Latin America and the Caribbean (6-7 May 2022), Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) (12-13 May 2022), EU-JUSSCANNZUK (Japan, the US, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, and the UK) (23 June 2022), Africa (28-30 June 2022), and Asia-Pacific (5-7 July 2022).

ICCM5 is scheduled to meet in Bonn, Germany, from 25-29 September 2023. [ENB Coverage of IP4]

 

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