The 11th edition of the SAICM Newsletter is a review of our work over the third quarter of 2022. It provides our readers with highlights of the Secretariat’s support to SAICM stakeholders, as well as the latest knowledge products and results from the SAICM-GEF project.

We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the ICCM5 President, members of the ICCM5 Bureau, and to all our stakeholders for the ongoing commitment and support as we embark on our collective  journey toward key milestones to ensure the global sound management of chemicals and waste.

SAICM Secretariat


Outcomes of the Fourth Intersessional Process (IP4)

After a prolonged postponement due to travel restrictions brought about by COVID-19, the Fourth Meeting of the Intersessional Process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste (IP4) took place in Bucharest from 29 August to 2 September 2022. The meeting was preceded by regional, stakeholder and sectoral meetings, as well as technical briefings from 27 to 28 August 2022.

Opening the meeting, Romania’s Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, Mr. Barna Tánczos said, “Chemicals are everywhere in everyday life, from packaging, clothing, cosmetics but their use must not endanger human health or the environment. That’s why this meeting in Bucharest, which is in preparation for the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), is essential for the elaboration of the following arrangements for a strategic approach and sound management of chemicals and waste.”

Romania’s Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests Mr. Barna Tánczos addressing delegates at the opening of IP4 in Bucharest, Romania   Photo: IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

Attended by nearly 270 delegates, including government representatives, industry, civil society and academia from across the globe, the meeting emerged with a “Co-Chairs’ Single Consolidated Text” in plenary on the final evening of the five-day meeting. The single consolidated document covers the vision, scope, principles, strategic objectives, targets, institutional arrangements, issues of concern, implementing measures and financial considerations.

While significant progress was achieved on several key areas, delegates agreed that further discussions were needed on outstanding issues and agreed to adjourn IP4 and reconvene in early 2023 at a date and venue to be set by the Bureau in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms. Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Director of UNEP’s Economy Division said, “Over the week in Bucharest, we’ve seen considerable progress in creating a global movement to achieve a planet safe from chemicals and waste pollution, where our health is not at risk, and where economies and industry can flourish.  This is the time when all sectors of the economy can play an active part, co-creating together. An exciting journey lies ahead."

(Left) Director of UNEP’s Economy Division Ms. Sheila Aggarwal-Khan urged delegates attending IP4 to be ambitious yet concrete in their deliberations.
Photo: IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

A “Co-Chairs’ Single Consolidated Text” was seen as  major step forward toward an ambition instrument to manage chemicals safely.   Photo: IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

For full coverage and summary report of the meeting click here...

Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)

Participating Organizations of the IOMC participated in the Fourth Meeting of the Intersessional Process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste.
Of particular interest to the IOMC were issues related to indicators for the new instrument, managing existing policy issues (EPIs), the need for meaningful multisectoral engagement, and advancing integrated chemicals and waste management. 
For more information click here...

IOMC Workshop organized by UNITAR in Bucharest, Romania

Strengthening integrated chemicals and waste management:
How can a future framework beyond 2020 ensure effective engagement of all key stakeholders?
In order to encourage discussions and enhance input to the Fourth Meeting of the intersessional process the IOMC organized a one-day workshop to discuss the ideas contained in the paper that focused on strengthening integrated chemicals and waste management.
The paper features ideas to advance integrated chemicals and waste management, and proposes three dimensions:
  • Developing basic national chemical management systems and capacities in all countries
  • Integrating chemicals management in key industry sectors and product value chains
  • Integrating chemicals management with sustainable development issues and initiatives.
The workshop featured five main sessions, with an introduction, a session for each of the three dimensions, and a concluding session. Remarks and presentations were given by a wide range of stakeholders, including the ICCM5 President, Ms. Anita Breyer, the IP4 co-chairs, Ms. Judith Torres and Ms. Kay Williams, representatives of the IOMC, and representative of governments, the private sector, NGOs and academia. Approximately 100 participants attended, from all regions and stakeholder groups.
There was a general welcoming of the IOMC contribution on integrated management of chemicals and waste to inform and stimulate discussions at IP4.
The main observations and messages from the workshop, including through plenary presentations and discussions, and interactive working groups were presented at the technical briefing held in Bucharest on 27 August 2022.
A meeting summary document will be produced in the coming weeks and shared with participants and on the workshop webpage, hosted by UNITAR.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Chemical Accidents Involving Nanomaterials: Potential Risks and Review of Prevention, Preparedness and Response Measures
This report aims to investigate safety issues related to the prevention of, preparedness for, and response to accidents involving manufactured nanomaterials. Available information, guidelines, and seven accident cases are analysed for raising awareness of chemical safety policymakers on the potential risks of chemical accidents involving nanomaterials and reviewing measures to prevent them.

The report is accessible here...

Revision of the OECD Substitution and Alternatives Assessment Toolbox
The OECD released a new version of the Substitution and Alternatives Assessment Toolbox. The toolbox is a repository of key practical resources to support alternatives assessment and substitution of chemicals of concern. The toolbox is composed of four resource areas:
  • Tools and data sources that present online resources and software that can be used in conducting chemical substitutions or alternatives assessments;
  • Frameworks, guides, toolkits and product rating systems;
  • Non-hazard assessment tools;
  • Case studies of substitution.  
The toolbox can be accessed from the OECD webpage on substitution of hazardous chemicals here...

Update on Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Pilot Project

As part of the project “Increasing the global implementation of Globally Harmonized System (GHS) through a pilot focusing on Africa”, the SAICM Secretariat is organizing an Inception Workshop to be held from 4 to 5 October 2022 at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The objectives of the GHS Pilot project for Africa Inception Workshop are as follows:
  • Allow the core project stakeholders (including the recipient country representatives, project steering committee and other relevant implementing partners) to meet in person to facilitate later communication and provide a sound basis for the project to build on.
  • Update project stakeholders on the project scope including concept, objectives, components, and outputs.
  • Ensure a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each project stakeholder.
  • Gather information on each recipient country’s status, needs, and expectations. Define their roles and responsibilities and finalize the legal agreement between recipient countries and UNEP (Small Scale Funding Agreement).
  • Share experience and lessons learned from other countries and stakeholders having implemented GHS.
  • Start planning the subsequent project activities.
  • Agree on a communications plan for project execution.
Representatives of the recipient countries will be joined by project partners from the European Commission, ECHA, ICCA, UNITAR, SAICM, and UNEP.

New Publications developed under the SAICM GEF 9771 project

The Potential Key Role of SAICM Focal Points in Reducing Harm from HHPs

This factsheet was developed to ensure information about Highly Hazardous Pesticides reaches all SAICM National Focal Points and other relevant stakeholders for them to make effective and informed decisions and play an active role in facilitating the reduction of health and environmental risks from HHPs. The factsheet was produced by stakeholders from the University of Cape Town, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, the Food and Agriculture Organization and Umweltbundesamt.

SAICM Communities of Practice
The SAICM Communities of Practice on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues provide a space for interactive discussions and exchanges of best practices on the sound management of chemicals and waste among SAICM stakeholders.

Join at:

Upcoming sessions

26 October: - Hearing from Farmer Groups on Why Highly Hazardous Pesticides are Used
30 November : Data collection – post registration monitoring
16 November : Compliance with Lead Paint Laws
10 November : Chemical’s regulation enforcement

Summaries from previous discussions
Montreal Convention:
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