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A Toxics-Free Future

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Conferences

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC5) to prepare a treaty on mercury took place 13 - 18 January, 2013 in Switzerland and numerous representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations took part. This was the last negotiating committee meeting for the treaty, and it reached agreement on the text of the new treaty.

IPEN team at Honoring Minamata Action 

19 January 2013

Mercury Treaty Not Likely to Reduce Global Releases: Proposed name dishonours victims of the Minamata tragedy

(Geneva) – IPEN and other non-governmental organizations said that a new global mercury treaty is unlikely to reduce mercury releases, and may even result in increased mercury pollution at the close of treaty negotiations today. They also said that the proposed treaty name, “Minamata Convention”, dishonours those who continue to suffer from one of the worst cases of industrial mercury poisoning in the world. IPEN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations representing 700 public-interest organizations in 116 countries.

Read the entire press release: EnglishJapanese, Spanish   

Please use the tabs at the top of the page to learn about IPEN's Actions, Documents and Interventions during the meeting

IPEN participated in SAICM’s (Strategic Approach International Chemicals Management’s) 3rd international conference, which took place in Kenya from 17 – 21 September, 2012.

Prior to the meeting, IPEN finalized three booklets relevant to the SAICM conference:

IPEN Citizens’ Report: Implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) by IPEN Participating Organizations 2009–2012

Global Lead Paint Elimination by 2020: A Test of the Effectiveness of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management; and

Social and Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology Development in Africa.

Please find these publications and more on the Resources page.

NGO group at ICCM3

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC4) to prepare a global treaty on mercury took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay and many IPENers participated.

Alejandro, Angela and Imogen  Takeshi, Naji and Satish  Jindrich and Gohar

IPEN INC4 group shot

IPEN press release: 3 July, 2012

Mercury Treaty Legitimizes Increased Mercury Pollution

(Punta del Este, Uruguay) – Although two-thirds of delegates engaged in international negotiations for a proposed mercury treaty support language that would help protect human health and the environment, a small group of developed countries appears to oppose public actions to prevent and reduce exposure to mercury

“We are deeply concerned that, with current text, the treaty may actually legitimize increased global mercury releases to protect short-term economic interests. The price tag may appear to be “cheap,” but the cost of inaction on mercury pollution will be huge,” said Joe DiGangi, IPEN Scientific and Technical Advisor.

Read the entire press release: English /Japanese / Spanish

Please see: IPEN’s Thoughts about Preparing for the INC4 Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian, Spanish

Please use the tabs at the top of the page to learn about IPEN's Actions, Documents and Interventions during the meeting

Group photo OEWG

The functions of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management's (SAICM's) Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) are "to consider the implementation, development and enhancement of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals." The 1st Open-Ended Working Group for SAICM occurred in Belgrade, Serbia from 15-18 November, 2011. Approximately 25 representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations actively participated. Please see IPEN documents related to the meeting below. For more details about the meeting (background documents, agenda, etc.), please see the SAICM website.

IPEN Quick Views on the SAICM Open-Ended Working Group

In preparation for the first OEWG, IPEN prepared a "Quick Views" document that provided IPEN's viewpoints on the following meeting subjects:

• Financial and technical resources
• Lead in paint
• Chemicals in products
• Electronics
• Nanotechnology and nanomaterials
• Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)
• Environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants (EPPP)
• Health sector strategy
• Rio + 20

IPEN's Views are availble in Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish.

IPEN Position Papers on Emerging Policy Issues

IPEN Interventions

Individual inventions are listed below. View the full texts of the interventions.Raghda Malass, Syria Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development

IPEN Intervention on Implementation Activities - given by Bjorn Beeler, IPEN Secretariat
IPEN Opening Statement - given by Olga Speranskaya, IPEN Co-Chair / Eco-Accord, Russia
IPEN Intervention on Reporting - given by Manny Calonzo, IPEN Co-Chair / GAIA, Philippines
IPEN Intervention on Hazardous Chemicals in Electronics - given by Birhanu Genet, Pesticide Action Nexus Association, Ethiopia
IPEN Intervention on Nanotechnology - given by David Azoulay, IPEN Nano Working Group / Center for International Environmental Law, Switzerland
IPEN Intervention on Finance - given by Joe DiGangi, IPEN Secretariat
CIEL Intervention on Finances (resolution II/3 of ICCM2) - given by David Azoulay, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Switzerland

IPEN Intervention on GEF / SGP Experience - given by Raghda Malass, Syria Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development
IPEN Intervention on Lead in Paint - given by Manny Calonzo, IPEN Co-Chair / GAIA, Philippines

Eugeniy, Manny and Olga
IPEN Intervention on Chemicals in Products- given by Olga Speranskaya, IPEN Co-Chair / Eco-Accord, Russia

IPEN Intervention on Hazardous Chemicals in the Life Cycle of Electric and Electronic Products - given by Amanda Hawes, WorkSafe, U.S.
IPEN / WECF / CIEL Intervention on Endocrine Disruptors - given by Alexandra Caterbow, WECF
IPEN/HEAL Intervention on Health Strategy - given by Gohar Khojayan, Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment
IPEN Intervention on Rio + 20 - given by Joe DiGangi, IPEN Secretariat (Spanish PDF)


Amanda Hawes, WorkSafe, US

The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC1) to prepare the treaty on mercury took place 31 October- 4 November, 2011 in Kenya. Many representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations took part.

INC3 NGO team

INC3 NGO team

 

IPEN’s Initial Views on the Draft Mercury Treaty Text

IPEN prepared comments on the draft Mercury Treaty text, which was circulated to government delegates planning to attend the INC3. Read the comments here: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian, Spanish

Please use the tabs at the top of the page to learn about IPEN's Actions, Documents and Interventions during the meeting.

 

The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare the treaty on mercury (INC2) took place 24-28 January, 2011 in Japan and numerous representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations took part.

Group shot, INC2 - Photo credit: John Wickens

IPEN Views on the Mercury INC2 Elements Document

Prior to the meeting, IPEN prepared an analysis of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) “Draft elements of a comprehensive and suitable approach to a global legally binding instrument on mercury” document, called: “IPEN Views on the Mercury INC2 Elements Document.” IPEN was disappointed by the UNEP document, as we felt that the measures outlined in the paper were insufficient to drive the actions that are needed to reduce releases of mercury to the global environment on the scale required to adequately protect human health and the environment and bring down global mercury pollution so that fish are once again safe to eat.

See IPEN’s Analysis of UNEP’s “Elements” document: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, RussianSpanish

This was circulated to government delegates planning to attend the INC2.

IPEN’s INC2 follow-up document

In addition, following the INC2, IPEN shared with delegates and others some thoughts and observations about the meeting. IPEN felt that important progress was made at INC2, but discussions at the meeting also highlighted some concerns that we wanted to raise. See IPEN’s INC2 follow-up document: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

Please use the tabs at the top of the page to learn about IPEN's Actions, Documents and Interventions during the meeting.

Some IPENers at INC2 

The first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare the treaty on mercury (INC1) took place 7-11 June, 2010 in Sweden and numerous representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations took part.

Group Photo INC1

IPEN Views on a Global Mercury Treaty

Prior to the meeting, IPEN prepared Views on a Global Mercury Treaty, which explains why a global treaty on mercury is needed and puts forward a civil society vision for the treaty.

From this document, IPEN prepared an excerpted version, a “Brief Statement of IPEN Views of a Global Mercury Treaty, which was circulated to government delegates planning to attend the INC1. Arabic, English , Chinese , French , Portuguese , Russian , Spanish

Please use the tabs at the top of the page to learn about IPEN's Actions, Documents and Interventions during the meeting.

The second session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2) was held in Geneva, Swtizerland from 11 - 15 May, 2009. Numerous representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations actively participated. Please see IPEN information and documents related to the meeting below. For more details about the meeting (background documents, agenda, etc.), please see the SAICM website.

Documents

IPEN Quick Views of ICCM2

This document is a summary statement of IPEN's views on issues that ICCM2 was called upon to address, including:

  • Rules of Procedure
  • Evaluation of SAICM implementation
  • Coherence among international instruments
  • Modalities for reporting
  • Strengthening of national chemicals management capacities
  • Financial and technical resources
  • Emerging policy issues
  • Subsidiary bodies
  • Information exchange and scientific and technical cooperation
  • Cooperation with intergovernmental organizations

Citizens' Report: Global Outreach Campaign on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

This report documents more than 300 activities conducted by public interest NGOs that relate to SAICM implementation. The report was made available online in the beginning of May (see press release below), but it was also introducd to international delegtes at a side event on 13 May at the ICCM2 meeting.

Global Study to Determine Lead in New Decorative Paints in 10 Countries

IPEN and Participating Organization Toxics Link's Executive Summary and Global Study to Determine Lead in New Decorative Paints in 10 Countries were highlighted at a side event on 13 May called “Eliminating Lead in Paint: a Partnership for Health.” The side event convened a multi-sectoral panel of speakers and presented information on the extent of lead in paint, safer alternatives on the market, industries’ goals, and how to achieve a global phase-out of lead in paint.

 

Press Releases

1 May, 2009: SAICM International Chemical Status Report Released

Coalition of NGOs Call for More Action to Protect Health and Environment from Dangerous Chemicals

16 May, 2009: NGOs call for urgent action on toxic chemicals at UN Conference

Chemical industry refuses to provide financial support; political will to carry out agreement uncertain.

15 May, 2009: NGOs Disappointed at Nano Outcome of International Conference on Chemical Management (ICCM2)

“The actions on nanotechnology that were agreed upon today do not reflect the urgency of the issue. The delegates were made aware that nanomaterials are an intergenerational risk, with nanoparticles being passed from mother to child via maternal blood. Yet these risks appear to have been ignored in the response by ICCM2," said Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN CoChair.

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