The new text of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) that will be negotiated at the Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) holding in Bonn, Germany, from September 25 to 29, 2023, is anticipated to be more ambitious than the existing one.
This submission was made by Dr Leslie Adogame, Executive Director of the Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev Nigeria), as the group sought to convey some points to the Federal Ministry of Environment ahead of the global summit.
According to Adogame, the new instrument should continue to recognise the precautionary principle, the right to know, the polluter pays principle and other agreed principles as embodied in multilateral chemical and environmental agreements and other agreements like the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, Montreal Protocol, and the ILO Convention No. 170 concerning safety in the use of chemicals at work and a host of relevant intergovernmental declarations.
The new instrument, he further projected, should contribute the implementation of measures to realise, for example, the people’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and the workers’ right to safe and healthy working conditions, as well as measures to meet the Convention of Biodiversity’s target to “reduce by half both excess nutrients and the overall risk posed by pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals.”
Adogame, who made the disclosure in a recent correspondence to the Pollution Control and Environmental Health director in the Ministry, called government attention to the fact that the scope of the new SAICM/ instrument should cover chemicals and waste, the new instrument should retain all SAICM emerging policy issues and other issues of concern, and the new instrument should strengthen the involvement of various stakeholders.
According to him, the new instrument should stress that new adequate, predictable and sustainable financing is essential to achieve the full spectrum of issues, objectives, and targets of the Strategic Approach and the sound management of chemicals and waste throughout their lifecycle.
The ICCM5 will be preceded by the Resumed Fourth Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Beyond 2020 holding from September 23 to 24, 2023, and the Regional Meetings from September 21 to 22, 2023.
“The ICCM5 is expected to agree on a new instrument to succeed SAICM, that will promote global action on chemical hazards. As the 2020 SAICM goal to minimise the adverse effects of chemicals and waste throughout their lifecycle on human health and the environment has yet to be attained, the new instrument is anticipated to be more ambitious and to catalyse a more proactive and timely action to achieve the said goal,” said Adogame.
SRADeV Nigeria is the SAICM NGO National Focal Point on chemicals and waste cluster recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organisation (WHO).