International UN conference on chemicals management starts in Brazil
The further drafting of international regulations on chemicals management will be discussed at the UN conference on chemicals management in Brasília starting today. During his opening speech at the conference, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth advocated greater ambition in chemicals policy, "Chemicals safety has to be ensured in all countries in the medium term. We need to lay the necessary foundations in the coming years. Germany will advocate this approach within the framework of its presidency in international chemicals management up to 2020."
The UN conference aims to draw up proposals for shaping long-term international chemicals and waste policy and present them for adoption by 2020. The goal is to manage the production and use of chemicals in such a way as to minimise significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Two more conferences are planned for 2018 and 2019.
Germany holds the presidency, which is focused on preparing for the concluding conference in 2020. The 300 participants expected in Brasília are from 69 countries and include representatives of national and international NGOs, industry and research. The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is the main guideline for international chemicals management under the auspices of the UN. It is an overarching political framework, not binding under international law, on international chemicals and waste management.