2nd SAICM International meeting

We were present at the second SAICM intersessional meeting, taking place  from 13th until 15th of March in Stockholm. The meeting of Governments, NGOs and industry aimed to continue the discussion about a possible global platform for sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, after SAICM`s mandate will end in 2020.

We advocated, together with the IPEN network, for a future international chemicals and waste framework, aiming a high level of protection for human health and environment.

At her welcome speech the Swedish minister of environment, Karolina Skog, called for a world, in which chemicals are no longer produced or used in ways that harm human health and the environment. She pointed out that “the pollution caused by hazardous substances has never been worse than now. The impact on our children has never been deadlier.” She reminded that “we have a moral responsibility to protect the planet and future generations.” In terms of ongoing shift in production patterns, increased number of substances, we need more information. She pointed out, that industry in this regard is a key player with responsibility for chemicals produced and used.  She encouraged the delegates to create a strong framework on sound management on chemicals and waste and called for an agreement comparable with the Paris Agreement on Climate.

The three days meeting brought together the outcome of the first Intersessional Meeting in February 2017 and all the Regional Meetings which took place in the last months. This brainstorming meeting again discussed key elements of a “future SAICM” beyond 2020, such as:

  • Vision
  • Policy principles
  • Objectives and milestones
  • Implementation arrangements
  • Governance
  • High-level commitment.

We were involved in the five discussion groups, which were implanted to give input on the key element. We pointed out that the Beyond 2020 framework has to ensure the protection of consumers from hazardous chemicals such as EDCs, especially of the most vulnerable groups like pregnant women and children, and called for national action plans. We also called for sufficient financial support also for NGOs to implement a Beyond 2020 framework, taking into account, that especially NGO implementation work under the former SAICM Quick Start program was evaluated by an offical rapporteur as being very well and most efficient.

Our representative from the German office arranged a meeting between the international NGO Group and Gertrud Sahler, the ICCM5 president. She confirmed her appreciation of the NGO work and emphasized the importance of the NGO engagement in the process. The one and a half hours meeting focused on highly hazardous pesticides, financing, and women and chemicals.

The Meeting in Stockholm again was a brainstorming meeting which showed different approaches for a future SAICM: Beyond 2020 as a legally binding mechanism, or just an updated version of the current SAICM program with a new name and slogan, and a still open question on a solid financial mechanism.

The SAICM Secretariat will provide a paper, compiling the discussions at Meeting in Stockholm, as a preparation for the negotiations at the OEWG meeting in February 2019.

More information can be found here:
SAICM Website