Background

In 2006, the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) adopted the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a policy framework to foster the sound management of chemicals. SAICM is based on principles of multi-stakeholder and multi-sector engagement and supports the achievement of the World Summit on Sustainable Development goal that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health. 

UNITAR has provides technical assistance to countries in their efforts to implement SAICM. This includes developing or updating National Profiles, preparing national SAICM implementation plans, designing national pollutant release and transfer registers, and undertaking preparatory activities for implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Activities to 2018

Since 2007, UNITAR has served as the international executing agency for more than 70 projects supported by the SAICM Quick Start Programme Trust Fund (QSPTF), coordinating more than USD 13 million in funding. A video outlining UNITAR’s support to the QSPTF can be viewed here UNITAR Support to the SAICM QSPTF.

To support national SAICM implementation, the SAICM Secretariat and UNITAR, in collaboration with the IOMC, developed Guidance for Developing SAICM Implementation Plans

Responding to one of the key functions of ICCM – to call for appropriate action on “emerging policy issues” as they arise and to forge consensus on priorities for cooperative action – OECD and UNITAR have been leading actions related to nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials, with the support of the Government of Switzerland.

Supporting the Beyond 2020 Process

In September 2015, the fourth International Conference on Chemicals Management initiated an intersessional process to prepare recommendations regarding the Strategic Approach and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020.  Since then, UNITAR has been actively participating and providing input to the development of a chemicals and waste management framework beyond 2020. 

For example, in January 2018, UNITAR organized, with support from the Government of Germany, a workshop entitled: The Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Are approaches and lessons from the biodiversity cluster relevant for the management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020? – see Workshop description. This workshop gathered more than 60 participants from different stakeholder groups and aimed to share experiences from the biodiversity cluster and provided an opportunity to reflect on how their experiences could inform thinking relevant to the beyond-2020 process.  An information note with the outcomes of the Workshop was presented at the second meeting of the intersessional process on 13-15 March 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden.

In February 2019, UNITAR organized, with support from the Government of Germany and Switzerland, a stakeholder workshop on strengthening governance for the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020.  An information note with the outcomes of the workshop were presented at the Open Ended Working group of the Intersessional Conference on Chemicals Management on 2-4 April 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

In September 2019, UNITAR is planning to organize, with the support from the Government of Germany, a Workshop on Stakeholder workshop on Governance: Sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020.  The outcomes of this workshop will be presented as an INF document to the Third Meeting of the intersessional Process, in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1-4 October 2019.

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