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Preparations intensify for 2017 triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, Switzerland
Parties have been officially informed of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs, featuring a high-level segment, to be held in Geneva from 24 April to 5 May 2017.

Preparations intensify for 2017 triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, Switzerland

Preparations intensify for 2017 triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, Switzerland
 
 “The Silent Pandemic” - UN Human Rights Council discusses hazardous substances and wastes
The Human Rights Council has considered the latest Report by the Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances & wastes.

“The Silent Pandemic” - UN Human Rights Council discusses hazardous substances and wastes

 “The Silent Pandemic” - UN Human Rights Council discusses hazardous substances and wastes

The 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, recently considered the latest report of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, which this year focuses especially on children’s rights.

On 15 September 2016, on the occasion of the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council, the latest Report of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, Mr. Baskut Tuncak, was presented and discussed in Geneva, Switzerland. (See A/HRC/33/41).

The Report is the result of a broad consultative process with States, international organizations, civil society, national human rights institutions, and other stakeholders.

This year, the Report focuses particularly on children’s rights with respect to hazardous chemicals and wastes since, it comments, there is now what doctors refer to as a “silent pandemic” of disease and disability affecting millions during childhood and later in life. According to the Report, childhood exposure is a systemic problem everywhere, and not just limited to poisoning, as all around the world, children are born with sometimes huge quantities of hazardous substances in their bodies; pediatricians have now begun referring to some children as being born “pre-polluted.”  The World Health Organization estimated that over 1.5 million children under five died prematurely from toxics, pollution and other exposures; also, numerous health impacts are linked to childhood exposure to toxics, such as cancer, developmental disorders, learning disabilities and respiratory illnesses. 

The Report further states that, to remedy the situation:

  • Prevention of exposure is the best remedy.
  • The best interests of the child must be a primary consideration of States in protecting children’s rights. Which rights?
    • the right to life, to survival and development,
    • the right to physical and mental integrity,
    • the right to health,
    • the right to a healthy environment,
    • the right to be free from the worst forms of child labour,
    • the right to an adequate standard of leaving, including safe food, water and housing,
    • the right to non-discrimination, and
    • other rights implicated by toxics and pollution embodied in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • States have an obligation and businesses have a corresponding responsibility to prevent childhood exposure to toxic chemicals and pollution.

Finally, the Report ended on the Special Rapporteur offering recommendations to the various stakeholders to protect the rights of the child from toxic chemicals.

The presentation was followed by quite a few interventions by States, IGOs such as UNICEF, and NGOs: accountability and responsibility by businesses were often put forward. In his response further to the interventions, the Special Rapporteur stated that UNEP's chemicals work was largely driven by the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions as well as the – yet to enter into force - Minamata Convention, which together cover only 26 hazardous substances throughout their lifecycle, out of the thousands out there that would need regulation, and that this was a big gap. He further noted that SAICM, which he called an ambitious and broad mandate, has regrettably received insufficient financial resources. He also referred to the notable absence of compliance mechanisms under some of the previously mentioned Conventions. He also expressed his hope that Ministries of Health would be more involved in the topic of hazardous substances, and noted relative underfunding of the WHO Environment and Health Programme.

For more information on the above, consult:

Click here to read the entire report, in the 6 official UN languages.

Updated BRS Gender Action Plan now online
Reflecting the Secretariat’s commitment to taking action to reduce gender inequalities, the updated BRS Gender Action Plan is now available.

Updated BRS Gender Action Plan now online

Updated BRS Gender Action Plan now online
 
Brazil in the spotlight as we continue to focus on regional centres
Find out about the work of the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Brazil in the spotlight as we continue to focus on regional centres

Brazil in the spotlight as we continue to focus on regional centres
 
Your views sought on how to move “From Science to Action”
Secretariat launches online consultation process for enhanced science-policy mainstreaming.

Your views sought on how to move “From Science to Action”

Your views sought on how to move “From Science to Action”

Secretariat launches online consultation process for enhanced science-policy mainstreaming.

At the 2015 COPs, the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions adopted decisions BC-12/22, RC-7/12 and SC-7/30 on “From science to action” by which they recognized the importance of the science-policy interface for the effectiveness of the conventions and the need for greater access to scientific understanding in developing countries to enhance informed decision-making on the implementation of the conventions.

The Secretariat was requested to prepare a road map for further engaging parties and other stakeholders in informed dialogue for enhanced science-based action in the implementation of the conventions at the national and regional levels.

For this purpose, the Secretariat is carrying out an online survey to collect information on the challenges and opportunities of parties and stakeholders in bringing science and policy together.

We kindly invite responses to this survey. It should take about 10 minutes to respond to the questions. The information will then be used in the development of the draft road map.

The link to the online questionnaire is the following:
http://fs.pops.int/fs-ScienceToAction.aspx

For technical support and questions, please contact Ms. Kei Ohno Woodall at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions by:
E-mail: kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org or tel.: +41 22 917 82 01.

Report now online from Montevideo meeting on household waste
The report of the first meeting of the new informal Basel Convention partnership on household waste, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 2 to 4 August 2016, is now available online.

Report now online from Montevideo meeting on household waste

Report now online from Montevideo meeting on household waste
 
Kyrgyzstan workshop pushes forward regional actions on E-waste
Government, civil society, and international organisations exchange best practices and highlight shared challenges on E-waste in eastern Europe and central Asia.

Kyrgyzstan workshop pushes forward regional actions on E-waste

Kyrgyzstan workshop pushes forward regional actions on E-waste

A regional workshop on enhancing capacities for the environmentally sound management of waste electrical and electronic equipment through the regional delivery in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, held from 6 to 8 July 2016 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was organized to raise awareness on the importance of the environmentally sound management of e-waste throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The workshop brought together government representatives from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Ukraine, industry representatives from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russian Federation, civil society organizations, Aarhus centres, and international and regional organizations, including UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO and OSCE. Participants exchanged best practices with regard to environmentally sound management of e-waste, including information on new technologies. The workshop revealed specific challenges associated with a lack of specific legislation on e-waste, the application of the principle of extended producer responsibility, and the lack of efficient systems for collection, repair and recycling operations of e-wastes. Finally, the workshop served as a platform to coordinate planned capacity building activities on e-waste in the region by different UN agencies.

Synergies Decisions document now online
The latest BRS publication charts the Synergies process from 2006 to the present day through decisions adopted by parties to protect human health and environment.

Synergies Decisions document now online

Synergies Decisions document now online
 
Synergies review: e-surveys launched
E-surveys are now available online to gather data and feedback on the synergies process.

Synergies review: e-surveys launched

Synergies review: e-surveys launched

At the ordinary meeting held in 2015, the respective conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions decided to review the synergies arrangements at their meetings in 2017 (BC-12/20, RC-7/10 and SC-7/28). With the objective to gather data to inform this review process, e-surveys have been dispatched to all stakeholders. The e-surveys can also be accessed via the hyperlinks below.

Parties
Please click here to access the e-survey for parties. The submission deadline is 5 August 2016.

BCRCs and SCRCs
Please click here to access the e-survey for BCRCs and SCRCs. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

FAO country offices
Please click here to access the e-survey for FAO country offices. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

Partners
Please click here to access the e-survey for partners. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

Secretariat staff
Please click here to access the e-survey for Secretariat staff. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

Synergies workshop in Geneva marks 10 years of cooperation on chemicals and waste
With support from the Government of Switzerland, Geneva hosted a global workshop to further enhance cooperation between the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, 21-23 June 2016.

Synergies workshop in Geneva marks 10 years of cooperation on chemicals and waste

Synergies workshop in Geneva marks 10 years of cooperation on chemicals and waste
 
UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2
Resolutions on the sound management of chemicals and waste, marine litter, and the role of MEAs among resolutions agreed by UN member states at UNEA in Nairobi, 23 - 27 May 2016.

UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2

UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2

More than 2,000 delegates from around the world representing governments, civil society, and international organisations gathered from 23 – 27 May 2016 to attend the second UN Environment Assembly, held at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

As the first global meeting since the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, UNEA2 aimed to forward efforts to deliver the environmental dimension of the 2030 agenda. A small team from the BRS Secretariat attended and contributed to numerous Side Events, panel discussions, High-Level forums, Green Room events and throughout the conference throughout the week in order to emphasise the centrality of sustainable management of chemicals and waste to the implementation of the SDGs. An interactive quiz was launched at UNEA2 on this subject to gauge delegates’ appreciation of these linkages and the results will be shared in due course. To take the quiz, please go to the BRS website.

Key resolutions adopted by Member States on Friday 27 May included those on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste, on Marine Litter, on Sustainable Consumption and Production, on Oceans, and on the role of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, (MEAs).

For more information on UNEA2 and on the resolutions agreed, please see the UNEP website.

New Director for BCCC Africa
The Government of Nigeria in consultation with the Secretariat has appointed Professor Percy C. Onianwa as the new director of Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa effective 23 May 2016.

New Director for BCCC Africa

New Director for BCCC Africa
 
BRS launches SDGs quiz for delegates at UNEA2
Not attending UNEA2? You can be there in spirit by taking our online SDG quiz, which will be shared with delegates throughout this week in Nairobi.

BRS launches SDGs quiz for delegates at UNEA2

BRS launches SDGs quiz for delegates at UNEA2

Not attending UNEA2? You can be there in spirit by taking our online SDG quiz, which will be shared with delegates throughout this week in Nairobi.

Profile of Regional Centre continues focus on Caribbean
Find out about the Basel Regional Centre for the Caribbean, located in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Profile of Regional Centre continues focus on Caribbean

Profile of Regional Centre continues focus on Caribbean
 
E-waste technical guidelines finalised and now available online in 6 UN languages
Adopted at COP.12, these much-anticipated guidelines are a crucial resource for parties seeking to sustainably manage this fast-growing waste stream.

E-waste technical guidelines finalised and now available online in 6 UN languages

E-waste technical guidelines finalised and now available online in 6 UN languages
 
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