24 September 2013, Skopje, Macedonia - During the 5th Central and Eastern European regional meeting on SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management), UNITAR and OECD held a briefing session on nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials in the context of contributing to the outcomes from the 3rd International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-3) held in September 2012. The meeting began with UNITAR presenting an overview and progress-to-date on activities related to nanotechnology, an update on phases 1 and 2 of the nano pilot projects, and a summary of UNITAR’s nanotechnology programme. Presentations were also given by OECD, Armenia, and the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN).

The SAICM Secretariat organized an awards ceremony on the evening of the 24 September to recognize countries in the region that have had outstanding projects and successes through the Quick Start Programme Trust Fund (QSPTF). UNITAR, as executing agency for some of these projects, shared the awards with Albania, Georgia, and Macedonia. A joint project on “Strengthening Capacities of Civil Society Organizations for National and Regional SAICM Implementation in the EECCA Region” won the most outstanding project award for Belarus, along with Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan,which UNITAR accepted on their behalf.

On the last day of the meeting, UNITAR, as a member of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) presented the new “IOMC Toolbox for Decision Making In Chemicals Management”, which is an online tool for countries that would like to setup or improve their chemicals management system. The interactive toolbox assists countries to find answers and mechanisms when dealing with their specific needs and objectives and points users to available IOMC resources to address specific national problems related to chemicals management.

The 5th African Regional meeting on SAICM is scheduled in Pretoria, South Africa from 18 to 22 November. The meeting will follow a similar format as the CEE regional meeting.