The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2015. Sound management of chemicals and waste (SMCW) is a specific target under SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production. It is also referred to under SDG 3 on Good Health and Well-being and SDG 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation. However, given that chemicals and waste affect almost all aspects of development, SMCW is relevant for, and supports the implementation of, many of the SDGs, if not all. SMCW is therefore of significant relevance for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goals and targets in the area of food security, health or sustainable cities, for example, cannot be reached without SMCW. Upgrading industrial processes based on the principles of green chemistry can help to achieve SDG 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. The flip side of the SDGs/SMCW interface is equally important: Some SDGs, such as those addressing access to information, inclusive institutions, or justice and partnerships, help create an enabling environment that could support the minimization of the adverse effects of chemicals and waste.
To advance analysis and action for strengthening synergies between national implementation of SDGs and international chemicals and waste agreements, UNEP’s Chemicals and Waste Branch (including the SAICM Secretariat and the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention), the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and UNITAR have initiated a collaboration to advance analysis, outreach, and knowledge-sharing in this area. As such, an International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on the Integrated National Implementation of SDGs and International Chemicals and Waste Agreements took place in in Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 13 April, 2016. The core support provided by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) is greatly appreciated.
The Workshop brought together more than 7060 participants from governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, academia and civil society.
The outcomes and findings of the workshop are also expected to inform further considerations of the SDGs and SMCW interface at the national and international levels, including the intersessional process to prepare recommendations regarding the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, initiated at the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4). The intersessional process was mandated to consider the need for and develop recommendations regarding measurable objectives in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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