Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and
soil pollution and contamination
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of
hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing
recycling and safe reuse globally
6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and
sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency,
wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to
air quality and municipal and other waste management
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries
taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of
12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along
production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life
cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water
and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable
development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
12.a Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more
sustainable patterns of consumption and production
12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates
jobs and promotes local culture and products
12.c Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities
1. Toxic chemicals
157. The Commission notes that efforts to control chemical risks to human health
and the environment have not kept pace with the widespread and growing use of
chemicals in all sectors worldwide.
158. The Commission recalls that Agenda 21 states that a significant
strengthening of both national and international efforts is needed to achieve an
environmentally sound management of chemicals. In that context, the Commission
urges Governments, international organizations and relevant non-governmental
actors to increase their efforts to ensure that chemicals are used and managed
in a sustainable way.
159. The Commission calls upon United Nations bodies and other international
organizations to improve international coordination to avoid unnecessary
duplication of efforts and to strengthen the International Programme on Chemical
Safety (IPCS) in order to share the burden of work, involving the World Health
Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization (UNIDO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) and the Commission of the European Union.
160. The Commission notes that the International Conference on Chemical Safety
was convened by WHO, UNEP and ILO in Stockholm from 25 to 29 April 1994, at the
invitation of the Government of Sweden, and was attended by 114 Governments and
relevant international organizations. The Commission also welcomes the
establishment of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety, as well as the
Priorities for Action adopted by the Conference, which are contained in the
161. The Commission endorses the Priorities for Action and welcomes in
particular the targets and timetables agreed upon, and calls upon Governments,
international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations to
implement the Priorities.
162. The Commission urges Governments, international organizations and
non-governmental organizations to participate actively in the Forum, encouraging
close links between a strengthened IPCS and the Forum.
163. The Commission welcomes the invitation of Governments to host
inter-sessional meetings of the Forum.
164. The Commission acknowledges the important role of the Forum in the
follow-up and review of chapter 19 of Agenda 21 and invites the Forum to report
to the Commission on its work, when appropriate, before the special session of
the General Assembly in 1997.
165. The Commission welcomes the recent progress by the Ad Hoc Working Group of
Experts on the Implementation of the Amended London Guidelines in the
development of possible elements for a legally binding instrument for the
mandatory application of the prior-informed-consent procedure (PIC) on a global
level. It recommends that UNEP, together with FAO and in close consultation
with other international organizations, continue to evaluate and address
problems with the implementation of the voluntary PIC procedure and to develop
effective legally binding instruments concerning the PIC procedure.
166. The Commission appreciates the recently agreed Code of Ethics on the
International Trade in Chemicals, stressing that it should be widely applied by
industry in all countries without delay. It emphasizes the role of industry as
a major player in furthering the objectives in chapter 19 of Agenda 21,
especially as regards risk assessment, the provision of data and the adoption
and implementation of risk-reduction measures.
167. The Commission welcomes the relevant provisions of the Programme of Action
for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, which, among
other things, calls for appropriate assistance to enable small island developing
States to control risks to human health and the environment of their peoples.
168. The Commission recognizes the need for Governments to develop appropriate
economic instruments to strengthen the sound management of chemicals throughout
their life cycle. It invites Governments to report to the Commission, at its
next session, on their experience in applying economic instruments in that
169. The Commission recognizes the importance of taking action to address the
health and environmental impacts of chemicals. It notes, for example, the
severe health impacts of human exposure to lead, endorses the ongoing work on
that issue in several international forums and encourages further efforts to
reduce human exposure to lead.
170. The Commission recognizes the need for Governments and intergovernmental
forums to identify persistent and bio-accumulative chemicals with a view to
phasing out or banning such chemicals.
171. The Commission notes the need to assess both the relative costeffectiveness
of programmes for implementing chapter 19 of Agenda 21 and whether
the commitments undertaken meet the needs of the public, bearing in mind the
risk of frequent contact with chemicals in everyday life.
172. The Commission acknowledges that efficient coordination of the work on
chemical safety on the part of concerned sectors at the national level, the
active participation of industry and employees as part of the mobilization of
the non-governmental sector, and the strengthening of the community right to
knowledge through environmental reports, eco-audits, emission inventories and
similar instruments are important factors for increased chemical safety.
173. The Commission stresses the need for strengthening national capabilities
and capacities for the management of chemicals, particularly in developing
countries, and encourages the commitment of Governments to concrete bilateral
action in that area.
174. The Commission stresses the need for full implementation of both the
agreements on technology transfer contained in chapter 34 of Agenda 21 and the
relevant decisions of the Commission. In that context, the Commission urges the
international community to find concrete ways and means to transfer to
developing countries and economies in transition appropriate technologies as
regards toxic chemicals and chemical safety.
175. The Commission urges Governments to mobilize financial resources to respond
to the above priorities, as agreed in chapter 33 of Agenda 21 and the relevant
decisions of the Commission.
176. The Commission invites the task manager to continue to monitor progress
made by the United Nations and other international organizations in implementing
chapter 19 of Agenda 21 and to inform the Commission periodically of such
progress through IACSD.
PRIORITIES FOR ACTION ADOPTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
1. While Agenda 21 gives the overall objectives of the six programme areas and
suggestions for their implementation, the adopted recommendations indicate
priorities for immediate actions and goals to be achieved in the longer term.
Agenda 21 states that its successful implementation is first and foremost the
responsibility of Governments. Accordingly, the given recommendations are first
of all dealing with priorities for action by Governments, but several of them
regard work by which international bodies may develop effective tools for use by
2. Close cooperation between international organizations and Governments, and
the development and strengthening of cooperation at the regional level are in a
great number of cases important means to enhance significantly the result of
3. National implementation of international agreements on chemical safety
should be encouraged.
4. At the national level, an efficient coordination of the work on chemical
safety by concerned sectors is a prerequisite for successful results. Active
participation of employers and workers, mobilization of the non-governmental
sector, and strengthening of the community right to know are important factors
for increased chemical safety.
5. Much of the work to strengthen chemical safety has been carried out by
several United Nations bodies and programmes, the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Union, a number of countries,
industries, trade unions and other non-governmental organizations, resulting in
many useful tools for improvement of chemical safety. An expanded knowledge and
use of these means should be promoted.
6. Adequate and good quality information on scientific, technical, economic
and legal matters are essential for the sound management of chemicals.
Developing countries and countries with economies in transition have particular
problems in this regard. Bilateral technical assistance, transfer of
technology, and other kinds of support should be increased in order to
accelerate their development.
7. In all programme areas, there is a need for education and training.
Efforts to satisfy this need should be carefully coordinated, and emphasis
should be put on training the trainers.
8. Risk reduction activities should take into account the whole life cycle of
a chemical, and chemical controls and pollution control initiatives should be
closely integrated. Where relevant, the precautionary approach, as outlined in
principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, should be
9. Special attention should be paid to occupational safety and health problems
caused by chemicals, primarily in the interest of protecting workers? health.
In addition, epidemiological and other data based on human experience have
always proven to be valuable with respect to other chemical-related problems.
10. When determining priorities for risk management, the implementation of
these will be dependent upon the chemicals management capabilities of individual
countries. When setting priorities for international activities, high priority
should be given to those where achievement of goals can occur only when action
is carried out at the international level. Activities leading to greater
efficiency and cost savings, e.g. sharing of risk assessment reports of adequate
quality, should be promoted. Completion of work where significant initiatives
are well under way should have priority before initiating new programme
11. Major actions undertaken should be monitored to assess progress.
12. The order in which the following recommendations are presented does not
indicate various degrees of importance.
Programme area A. Expanding and accelerating international assessment of
1. Needs for different types of health and environmental risk assessments
should be identified and criteria for setting priorities for the various types
of risk assessments should be agreed. Applying these criteria, an initial list
of chemicals (including those of high production volume) for risk assessment by
the year 1997 should be established as soon as possible.
2. Harmonized approaches for performing and reporting health and environmental
risk assessments should be agreed as soon as possible. Such protocols should be
based on internationally agreed principles to permit the full use of risk
assessments performed by both national authorities and international bodies.
3. An inventory of risk assessments that are planned, in preparation or
completed should be established before the end of 1994.
4. Industry should be encouraged to generate and supply data required for risk
assessment to the greatest possible extent.
5. Human exposure data, and good quality health effects data from developing
countries, should be generated.
6. Taking into account the results of the activities recommended in items 1
and 2 and making full use of the evaluations produced by United Nations bodies,
OECD, and others, 200 additional chemicals should be evaluated by 1997.
7. If the target in item 6 is met, another 300 chemicals should be evaluated
8. The general principles for establishing guidelines for exposure limits,
including the setting of safety factors, need to be harmonized and described.
Countries should establish guidelines for exposure limits for humans and for
particular environmental compartments for as many chemicals as possible, taking
into account the harmonization efforts and the potential use of such guidelines.
9. Research and development should be promoted for the better understanding of
the mechanisms of adverse effects of chemicals on humans and the environment.
10. Attempts should be made to further reduce the use of vertebrate animals in
toxicity testing by encouraging the development, validation and use of
Programme area B. Harmonization of classification and labelling of chemicals
1. The ongoing technical work on classification criteria should be
strengthened to enable finalization by 1997. Continued work to harmonize
classification systems and to establish compatible hazard communication systems,
including labelling and safety data sheets, should be completed by 2000.
2. Countries should ensure that there is sufficient consultation to allow the
development of a consistent national position on harmonization of classification
3. An international framework for translating the result of the technical work
on harmonization into an instrument or recommendations applicable legally at the
national level should be established at an appropriate time.
Programme area C. Information exchange on toxic chemicals and chemical risks
1. Networks for information exchange should be strengthened to take full
advantage of the information dissemination capacities of all governmental,
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
2. Both the types of information exchanged and the methods of effecting the
exchange should be tailored to meet the needs of major groups of users, taking
due account of different languages and literacy levels.
3. Relevant data available from international bodies should be consolidated,
if economically feasible, by 1997 on CD/ROM or other appropriate electronic
media, together with suitable searching and updating facilities.
4. Sources of information useful in responding to chemical emergencies should
be established and access to these sources should be readily and rapidly
5. Regional cooperation and information exchange networks should be
established in all regions as soon as possible.
6. National institutions responsible for information exchange on chemicals
should be created or strengthened, according to needs.
7. All countries should have nominated, by 1997, designated authorities for
participation in the PIC procedure.
8. Work should continue to evaluate and address problems with implementation
of the voluntary PIC procedure and to develop effective international legally
binding instruments concerning the PIC procedure.
9. All countries which export chemicals subject to the PIC procedure should
have the necessary mechanisms in place by 1997, including implementation and
enforcement provisions, to ensure that export does not take place contrary to
importing countries? decisions. Importing countries should also establish the
10. In all developing countries and countries in economic transition, training
should have been made available by 1997 in the implementation of the London
Guidelines and the PIC procedure.
11. The circulation of safety data sheets for all dangerous chemicals being
traded should be encouraged, as promoted by the recently agreed Code of Ethics
on the International Trade in Chemicals.
Programme area D. Establishment of risk reduction programmes
1. In all countries chemical risks which are both readily identifiable and
readily controllable should be reduced as soon as possible. In countries with
sufficient resources, plans for the possible reduction of other chemical risks
should be elaborated and enacted without delay. Industry, in accordance with
the polluter pays principle, has a particular responsibility to contribute to
the implementation of risk reduction programmes. Governmental experience and
progress in national risk reduction programmes shall be presented in a report by
1997 to serve as a basis for setting goals for the year 2000.
2. The feasibility and usefulness of extending pollutant release and transfer
registers to more countries, including newly industrialized countries, should be
evaluated and a report prepared by 1997.
3. As a particular priority, the recently agreed Code of Ethics on the
International Trade in Chemicals should be applied widely by industry in all
countries without delay.
4. Efforts to promote the development and use of clean technology regarding
the production and use of chemicals should be encouraged.
5. Countries should review their pesticides safety strategy in order to
protect human health and the environment, including surface and groundwater. To
reduce pesticide risks, countries should consider promoting the use of adequate
safer pesticides, as well as the decreased use by better management practices
and the introduction of alternative pest management technologies. A progress
report should be prepared by 1997.
6. By 1997 not less than 25 more countries should have implemented systems for
prevention of major industrial accidents in accordance with international
principles such as those contained in the 1993 ILO Convention (No. 174) on the
Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, and the United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) Convention on Transboundary Effects of Industrial
7. By 1997 not less than 50 more countries should have introduced national
systems for emergency preparedness and response, including a strategy for
education and training of personnel, with the aid of, inter alia, the APELL
programme and the ILO Code of Practice on the Prevention of Major Industrial
8. By 1997 not less than 40 more countries should have established poison
control centres with related clinical and analytical facilities, and good
progress should have been made on harmonizing systems for recording data in
9. Priority attention should also be given to finding and introducing safe
substitutes for chemicals with which high and unmanageable risks are associated.
Governments, industries and users of chemicals should also develop, where
feasible, new, less hazardous chemicals and new processes and technologies which
effectively prevent pollution.
10. While recognizing that risk reduction activities are primarily national
responsibilities, international risk reduction programmes could also be
warranted for those problems that are international in scope.
11. Attention should also be paid to ensuring that all countries introduce
appropriate legislation to implement the United Nations Recommendations on the
Transport of Dangerous Goods and to ensuring that this legislation is regularly
updated whenever the Recommendations are revised, especially in the context of
the global harmonization of classification and labelling systems.
Programme area E. Strengthening of national capabilities and capacities for
management of chemicals
1. The strengthening of national capabilities and capacities to manage
chemicals in a great number of developing countries requires, in addition to
funding and support from developed countries, innovative thinking as to how to
make best use of existing systems. Bilateral assistance arrangements between
developed and developing countries and countries with economies in transition
should be encouraged. Efficient regional cooperation is of the utmost
2. National profiles to indicate the current capabilities and capacities for
management of chemicals and the specific needs for improvement should be
elaborated as soon as possible and not later than 1997.
3. Comprehensive guidelines for chemical legislation and enforcement should be
elaborated as soon as possible, taking into account, inter alia, the principles
of the 1990 ILO Chemicals Convention (No. 170).
4. By 1997 mechanisms for ensuring liaison of all parties involved in chemical
safety activities within a country should be established in the majority of
5. Further education programmes and training courses should be arranged at the
national and regional level to provide a core of trained people, both technical
staff and policy makers, in developing countries and countries with economies in
6. Efforts should be made to improve the coordination of activities in the
area of education, training and technical assistance.
7. As a longer-term objective, chemical information systems should be
established in all countries, comprehensive legislation should be enacted and
enforcement procedures be in place. Continued campaigns to increase the public
awareness of chemical risks and their prevention should be run.
Programme area F. Prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and
Until control legislation is in place in a sufficient number of countries,
as a basis for further legal international instruments to halt illegal traffic
in toxic and dangerous products, all efforts should be made to improve the
situation, including strengthening of the PIC procedure.
2. Hazardous wastes
177. The Commission notes with concern that many countries face severe and
urgent health and environmental problems due to the production and mismanagement
of hazardous wastes by industrial and other economic activities, as a result of:
(a) The lack of environmentally sound waste treatment facilities and
(b) The lack of information and expertise;
(c) The lack of preventive approaches;
(d) The lack of financial resources to cover the enormous costs of
treatment and remedial action;
(e) The illegal traffic in hazardous wastes both nationally and across
178. The Commission welcomes the progress achieved in the area of hazardous
wastes and in that regard endorses:
(a) The decisions taken by the Parties to the Basel Convention on the
Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal at
their second meeting, which, inter alia, prohibit immediately all transboundary
movement of hazardous wastes destined for final disposal from States that are
members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to
non-OECD States, and the phase-out by 31 December 1997 of all transboundary
movement of hazardous wastes that are destined for recycling and recovery, from
OECD to non-OECD States;
(b) The decision to ban ocean dumping of industrial wastes taken at the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) by the Contracting Parties to the
Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other
Matters (London Convention, 1972) that will become effective on 1 January 1996;
(c) Recent actions taken by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the
World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO),
IMO and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system and actions
taken at the national level.
179. The Commission stresses, however, that the current situation requires
further concrete action by Governments, international organizations,
non-governmental organizations and the private sector in order to implement
chapter 20 of Agenda 21 and emphasizes, while taking into account the state of
development of each country, that particular attention should be given to:
(a) The prevention, to the extent possible, of hazardous wastes and a
minimization of their toxicity through the development, dissemination and
application of an integrated cleaner production approach in all planning, such
as the UNIDO/UNEP Cleaner Production Centres, and the use of an appropriate mix
of institutional and regulatory measures as well as economic instruments;
(b) The environmentally sound management and disposal of waste with a view
to ensuring the principle of proximity and self-sufficiency.
180. The Commission urges Governments to:
(a) Ratify or accede to the Basel Convention and to develop adequate
control regimes, such as customs procedures, as well as methods and tools of
(b) Support the fund established by the Contracting Parties to the Basel
Convention, which is still very short of resources, to specifically support
developing countries? hazardous waste minimization and management needs.
181. The Commission urges the Parties to the Basel Convention to ask its
secretariat to develop procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the
recent decisions taken by the Parties at their second meeting and, in
cooperation with relevant units of UNEP, UNIDO and WHO, to assist specific
developing countries on a pilot basis, within the period 1994-1995, with the
development of a legal framework for hazardous waste management, the preparation
and implementation of hazardous waste management plans in specific geographical
areas and capacity-building in the field.
182. The Commission invites the Conference of the Parties to the Basel
Convention to consider the feasibility of developing non-compliance procedures
for the Convention.
183. The Commission urges the Parties to the Basel Convention to ask its
secretariat to undertake case-studies of the illegal traffic in hazardous wastes
and of wastes whose status is ill-defined and that are destined for recycling
184. The Commission urges that the illegal disposal of tanker sludge and ballast
water into marine waters be given high priority and recommends that they be
subject to relevant requirements of the appropriate international conventions.
185. The Commission welcomes the efforts to develop regional arrangements
similar to the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the
Control of Transboundary Movement of All forms of Hazardous Waste within Africa.
186. The Commission recalls and reaffirms UNEP Governing Council decision 17/5
on the application of environmental norms by the military establishment and
urges Governments to take action to implement the decision fully.
187. The Commission invites UNEP to consider the feasibility of arranging
regional meetings, in cooperation with the United Nations regional commissions
and regional organizations, on the implementation of the decision and on how
national environmental plans for the military establishment relating to
hazardous waste management can be designed and implemented.
188. The Commission recommends that the following actions and measures be taken
at the national level:
(a) Governments should establish and/or strengthen national institutions
to manage hazardous wastes;
(b) Governments should develop and reinforce laws and regulations on
hazardous wastes and strengthen their enforcement;
(c) Governments should, on the basis of toxic release inventories
providing information on sources and quantities of hazardous wastes, develop and
enhance integrated national hazardous waste management plans, taking into
account all sources and fates of hazardous waste, e.g., industry, military
establishments, agriculture, hospitals and households;
(d) Priority should be given to activities designed to promote cleaner
production, prevention and minimization to the extent possible of hazardous
waste through applying the life-cycle approach and the provision of adequate
information, research, development and demonstration activities as well as
training and education;
(e) Case-studies on specific industry sectors should be launched in
different countries, with particular emphasis on small and medium-sized
(f) Effective systems should be developed and maintained for the
segregated collection of wastes, and incentives should be provided to encourage
the segregation, recycling, reuse and reclamation of hazardous wastes.
189. In order to give support to national activities, the following regional and
international measures should be taken:
(a) Efforts to support the exchange of information among and between
developed and developing countries on the minimization and environmentally sound
management of hazardous wastes in support of the transfer of environmentally
sound technologies should be increased;
(b) Focused training activities adapted to specific local needs should be
190. The Commission stresses that production facilities transferred to
developing countries and economies in transition should have environmentally
sound waste management plans, so that the waste generated by those facilities
should not, either by its quantity or quality, be harmful to the environment of
191. The Commission urges industry to develop voluntary codes of conduct for the
use of clean technologies and the safe management of hazardous wastes in all
countries where they operate.
192. The Commission welcomes the relevant provisions of the Programme of Action
for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and urges
that adequate support be given to various strategies identified in the Programme
of Action for the management of hazardous wastes.
193. The Commission also welcomes the proposal of Poland to join with UNEP in
hosting an international symposium on cleaner production to strengthen the
international activities in that field in Poland from 12 to 14 October 1994.
Initiatives that minimize the production of hazardous wastes will contribute to
advances in the area and offer economic advantages.
194. The Commission further welcomes the proposal of Germany to host an
international workshop in 1994 on the minimization and recycling of waste,
including the development of strategies towards life-cycle management, which
could also contribute to hazardous waste reduction.
195. The Commission stresses the need for:
(a) Governments and relevant international organizations to develop
economic instruments and consider mobilizing additional financing earmarked for
hazardous waste management and to take other measures to facilitate the
prevention of hazardous wastes, such as eco-labelling and mandatory take-back of
(b) International organizations to harmonize testing methodologies and
hazardous waste nomenclature, taking into account the work done by OECD;
(c) National and international institutions to assess the full dimensions
of soil and groundwater contamination, in particular that due to improper
storage and disposal of hazardous wastes;
(d) Governments to require the necessary prevention and remedial actions
to address the problems of contaminated soil and groundwater.
196. The Commission stresses the need for full implementation of the agreements
on technology transfer contained in chapter 34 of Agenda 21 and the relevant
decisions of the Commission. In that context, the Commission urges the
international community to find concrete ways and means of transferring to
developing countries and economies in transition appropriate technologies as
regards the prevention, minimization, treatment, disposal techniques and
remedial action concerning hazardous wastes.
197. The Commission urges Governments to mobilize financial resources to respond
to the above priorities, as agreed in chapter 33 of Agenda 21, and the relevant
decisions of the Commission.
198. The Commission invites the task manager, UNEP, to continue to monitor
progress made by the United Nations and other international agencies in
implementing chapter 20 of Agenda 21 and to inform the Commission periodically
of such progress through IACSD.
3. Radioactive wastes
199. The Commission acknowledges the report of the Secretary-General on progress
achieved in the implementation of chapter 22 of Agenda 21 (E/CN.17/1994/15).
The Commission requests the Secretary-General to issue an addendum to the
report, including information on radioactive wastes contained in the national
reports received since the date of the report.
200. The Commission notes that the generation of radioactive wastes continues to
increase worldwide from nuclear power generation, the decommissioning of nuclear
facilities, nuclear-arms reduction programmes and the use of radionuclides in
medicine, research and industry, and that enhanced efforts must be made, at both
national and international levels, to promote the safe and environmentally sound
management of radioactive waste.
201. The Commission also notes that radioactive defence wastes represent the
same risks as other types of radioactive wastes. However, in a number of
countries, the management of radioactive defence waste is not subject to the
same safety rules as the management of other radioactive wastes. In those
countries it is outside the control of national civilian radiation protection
and safety authorities but generally falls under military rules.
202. The Commission further notes that a number of countries have been involved
in the monitoring and safe management of radioactive wastes, that legislation
has been enacted or amended and safety standards updated, and that licensing and
control procedures have been reviewed.
203. The Commission recognizes that efforts have been geared towards identifying
and establishing permanent disposal sites for radioactive wastes and that
Governments are continuing their efforts to manage interim storage facilities
and to find practical measures for minimizing and limiting, where appropriate,
the generation of those wastes.
204. The Commission welcomes the progress made in technical, legal and
administrative measures at the national, regional and international levels with
the aim of ensuring that radioactive wastes are safely managed, transported,
stored and disposed of, or are treated with a view to protecting human health
and the environment.
205. The Commission supports the effective international cooperation in
research, exchange of information and standard-setting that was carried out in
the field under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD), and, concerning research and the exchange of information, in
the European Union. In particular, it welcomes the progress made in the IAEA
Radioactive Waste Safety Standards (RADWASS) programme.
206. The Commission also welcomes the development by IAEA of the Codes of
Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste and by
the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the Codes of Practice on the
Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-level Radioactive
Waste in Flasks on Board Ships.
207. The Commission expresses its satisfaction at the November 1993 decision at
IMO by the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine
Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention, 1972) to
convert the voluntary moratorium on ocean dumping of all radioactive wastes into
a binding prohibition. That global prohibition will strengthen earlier bans
agreed upon in regional contexts. The Commission urges all Contracting Parties
to the Convention to respect its now binding character.
208. The Commission considers it imperative that the export of radioactive
wastes be inadmissible to countries that do not have the technical, economic,
legal and administrative resources for environmentally safe and sound management
of radioactive wastes.
209. The Commission calls attention to the needs of developing countries and
economies in transition to establish or strengthen their capacities for the safe
management of radioactive wastes, including spent radiation sources.
210. The Commission:
(a) Urges Governments to apply the precautionary principle
(e.g., preparatory measures for final disposal) in decisions concerning new or
extended activities generating radioactive wastes;
(b) Urges Governments to undertake the further research and development of
such areas as the minimization and reduction of the volume of radioactive
wastes, potential sites for the storage of radioactive wastes, safety and health
standards associated with the handling of radioactive wastes and remediation
procedures and processes;
(c) Calls upon Governments to fully implement the IAEA and other relevant
codes of practice that have been adopted in the area of transboundary movements
and the transport of radioactive wastes;
(d) Recommends that Governments encourage suppliers of sealed radiation
sources to accept the return of such sources and ensure their safe and
environmentally sound management after use;
(e) Calls upon Governments to ensure that radioactive wastes arising from
military activities should be subject to the same types of strict safety and
environmental regulations as those arising from civilian activities;
(f) Calls upon Governments to internalize, to the maximum extent possible,
all costs of the operations of nuclear facilities and of related waste
management, including the decommissioning of nuclear facilities;
(g) Supports world-wide efforts to demonstrate viable methods for the safe
disposal of long-lived and high-level radioactive wastes and the reinforcement
of international cooperation in the field.
211. The Commission urges Governments to promptly begin, in the context of IAEA,
after the finalization of the Nuclear Safety Convention, work on the development
of an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management,
including consideration of the total life-cycle management of nuclear materials.
In order to speed up the process, IAEA should urgently complete preparations
related to safety fundamentals, which is a prerequisite for beginning such work.
212. The Commission invites IAEA, in cooperation with other relevant
organizations, to continue to develop or improve standards for the management
and safe disposal of radioactive wastes, and to report the results to the
Commission at its third session.
213. The Commission calls upon the international community:
(a) To further support the development of international standards for
radioactive waste management;
(b) To take all necessary steps to prohibit the export of radioactive
wastes, except to countries with appropriate waste treatment and storage
(c) To strengthen cooperation and provide assistance to economies in
transition in solving their urgent and specific problems due to improper
treatment and disposal with regard to radioactive wastes;
(d) To provide technical assistance to developing countries in order to
enable them to develop or improve procedures for the management and safe
disposal of radioactive wastes deriving from the use of radionuclides in
medicine, research and industry;
(e) To facilitate financial assistance to developing countries in order
for them to address adequately radioactive waste management problems.
214. The Commission calls upon Governments and relevant multilateral funding
organizations to assist developing countries in national capacity-building for
the safe and sound management of radioactive wastes.
215. The Commission urges Governments, together with IAEA, to promote policies
and practical measures to minimize and limit, where appropriate, the generation
of radioactive wastes and provide for their safe processing, conditioning,
transportation, storage and disposal, taking into account the provisions of
chapter 22 of Agenda 21.
F. Other matters
Matters related to the inter-sessional work of the Commission
216. The Commission, taking into account its mandate to coordinate and review
progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development, bearing in mind the experience
acquired so far in work carried out inter-sessionally and recognizing the need
for further rationalization and integration of future inter-sessional activities
with a view to adequately preparing for its third session:
(a) Reconfirms the mandate of its Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Open-ended
Working Group on Finance, as contained in paragraph 61 of chapter I of the
report on its first session (E/1993/25/Add.1); requests the Working Group, in
carrying out its mandate to, inter alia, (i) focus more directly on the
financial sources and mechanisms appropriate to sectoral issues under review by
the Commission; (ii) develop a matrix of financial sources and mechanisms which
can be applied to these sectors, and maintain the integrated approach; and
(iii) pursue the study of selected innovative financing mechanisms, as well as
of economic instruments; and also requests the Working Group to involve more
actively international financial institutions and other multilateral funding
organizations and the private sector in its work, bearing in mind the need to
bring together concrete projects and private actors;
(b) Decides to establish an inter-sessional ad hoc, open-ended working
group composed of Governments, which will nominate experts to assist the
Commission in the preparation, in a coordinated and integrated way, of the
examination of sectoral issues to be reviewed by the Commission at its third
session, in accordance with the multi-year thematic programme of work of the
Commission - namely, the sectoral cluster entitled "Land, desertification,
forests and biodiversity". The mandate of the working group should be:
(i) To review chapters 10 to 15 of Agenda 21 and the Non-legally Binding
Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the
Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of
Forests, taking account, as appropriate, of inputs from other forums,
such as the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the
Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat Desertification
in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, Particularly in Africa, inasmuch as such inputs have
a bearing on the work of the Commission;
(ii) To take stock of inter-sessional activity organized by Governments or
international organizations on sectoral issues under review at the
Commission?s third session;
(iii) To group together initiatives under way on a particular sectoral
(iv) To convey the results of relevant inter-sessional work to the
(v) To make recommendations on the organization of the Commission?s
discussions of sectoral issues in the light of inter-sessional
217. The Commission, taking into account the need for effective implementation
of its functions related to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies,
cooperation and capacity-building, decides that the functions of its
Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Technology Transfer and
Cooperation, established at its first session for a trial period of one year,
will be carried out by the two ad hoc working groups referred to above as
(a) The Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Finance will
consider all issues related to the financial aspects of transfer of
environmentally sound technologies;
(b) The Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Sectoral Issues
will consider technology transfer issues in relation to the specific sectoral
issues under review in 1995, including the experience of individual countries.
218. The Commission decides that the Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Open-ended Working
Group on Sectoral Issues will have a one-year mandate so that the Commission can
review its performance at its third session, in 1995.
219. The Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Groups on Finance and
Sectoral Issues should meet for a period of one week each, at least six weeks
before the third session of the Commission. The meeting on sectoral issues
should take place before that on finance in order to facilitate the
identification of the resource needs and mechanisms applicable to specific
220. The Commission requests the Secretariat, in order to ensure transparency,
to disseminate, as appropriate, within existing resources, information about
inter-sessional activities and their results, possibly on the basis of a common
213. We recognize that the sound management of chemicals is crucial for the protection of human health and the environment. We further recognize that growing global production and use of chemicals and their prevalence in the environment calls for increased international cooperation. We reaffirm our aim to achieve, by 2020, the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle and of hazardous waste in ways that lead to minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment, as set out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. We also reaffirm our commitment to an approach for the sound management of chemicals and waste, at all levels, that responds in an effective, efficient, coherent and coordinated manner to new and emerging issues and challenges, and encourage further progress across countries and regions in order to fill the gaps in the implementation of commitments.
214. We call for the effective implementation and strengthening of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management as part of a robust, coherent, effective and efficient system for the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle, including to respond to emerging challenges.
215. We are deeply concerned that many countries, in particular the least developed countries, lack the capacity for sound management of chemicals and waste throughout their life cycles. Additional efforts are needed to enhance work towards strengthening capacities, including through partnerships, technical assistance and improved governance structures. We encourage countries and organizations, which have made progress towards achieving the goal of sound management of chemicals by 2020 to assist other countries by sharing knowledge, experience and best practices.
216. We commend the increased coordination and cooperation among chemical and waste conventions, namely the Basel Convention, the Rotterdam Convention and the Stockholm Convention, and encourage continued enhanced coordination and cooperation among them and with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. We take note of the important role regional and coordinating centres of the Basel Convention and those of the Stockholm Convention.
217. We commend existing public-private partnerships and call for continued, new and innovative public-private partnerships among industry, governments, academia and other non-governmental stakeholders aiming to enhance capacity and technology for environmentally sound chemicals and waste management, including for waste prevention.
218. We recognize the importance of adopting a life cycle approach and of further development and implementation of policies for resource efficiency and environmentally sound waste management. We therefore commit to further reduce, reuse and recycle waste (3Rs), and to increase energy recovery from waste, with a view to managing the majority of global waste in an environmentally sound manner and, where possible, as a resource. Solid wastes, such as electronic waste and plastics, pose particular challenges, which should be addressed. We call for the development and enforcement of comprehensive national and local waste management policies, strategies, laws and regulations.
219. We urge countries and other stakeholders to take all possible measures to prevent the unsound management of hazardous wastes and their illegal dumping, particularly in countries where the capacity to deal with these wastes is limited, in a manner consistent with the obligations of countries under relevant international instruments. In this context, we welcome the relevant decisions taken at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention.
220. We recognize the importance of science-based assessments of the risks posed by chemicals to human beings and the environment, and of reducing human and environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals. We encourage the development of environmentally sound and safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in products and processes. To this end, we encourage, inter alia, life cycle assessment, public information, extended producer responsibility, research and development, sustainable design and knowledge-sharing, as appropriate.
221. We welcome the ongoing negotiating process on a global legally binding instrument on mercury to address the risks to human health and the environment and call for a successful outcome to the negotiations.
222. We recognize that the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances is resulting in a rapid increase in the use and release of high global-warming potential hydrofluorocarbons to the environment. We support a gradual phase-down in the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons.
223. We acknowledge that sustainable and adequate long-term funding is a key element for the sound management of chemicals and waste, in particular in developing countries. In this regard, we welcome the consultative process on financing options for chemicals and waste, initiated to consider the need for heightened efforts to increase the political priority accorded to sound management of chemicals and waste, and the increased need for sustainable, predictable, adequate and accessible financing for the chemicals and waste agenda. We look forward to the forthcoming proposals by the Executive Director of UNEP, which will be considered by the International Conference on Chemicals Management and at the twenty-seventh session of the Governing Council of UNEP.