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A Toxics-Free Future



Closing Statement

IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Tadesse Amera gave this statement on March 3rd, 2023

Thank you, Madam CoChair. Distinguished delegates.

I am speaking on behalf of IPEN a network of over 600 public interest organisations from more than 125 countries, with a focus on low- and middle-income nations. 

We welcome the progress made in this meeting in setting ambitious language on identifying and addressing Issues of concern as well as in strengthening the multi-sectoral approach of SAICM. 

In addition, achieving sound management of chemicals also requires an improved long-term enabling framework.

IPEN has been part of the SAICM negotiations and implementation since the very beginning, and we continue to work hard to have a strong new instrument adopted in Bonn. The current chemicals and waste crisis requires increased ambition and immediate action to prevent harm to human health and the environment. 

In this respect we would like to highlight three points:

  • The instrument should renew the commitment to achieve its goal on the basis of prevention, precaution and reinforcing the recognition fundamental human rights that are threatened by hazardous chemicals. 

  • Secondly. minimizing the negative impacts of chemicals on health and the environment requires considerable resources, especially financial resources. While countries have committed to funds for climate and biodiversity, there is no commitment for sustainable, predictable, and accessible funding that would address the third planetary crisis. The polluter pays principle needs to be made operational. As stated today by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, “Protection from hazardous substances is a basic part of our right to a healthy environment. People & the planet must ALWAYS come first, NOT the chemical industry's profits. 

  • Finally, highly hazardous pesticides constitute a small group of pesticides, but they cause a high proportion of pesticide poisoning cases. Africa, one of the most impacted regions has therefore proposed to address this problem in the spirit of SAICM: through a voluntary, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholders’ Global Alliance on Highly Hazardous pesticides. ICCM5 has the opportunity to start making a significant contribution to the sound management of chemicals that will lead to saving thousands of lives and decrease the burden of diseases due to pesticides.

Madame Co-Chair, in closing I would like to assure you that IPEN is committed to continue to do everything possible to make the future SAICM a success, as it is of vital importance to the people we represent.

Thank you.


Intervention on CRPs

Presented by Tadesse Amera, IPEN Co-Chair

February 28, 2023

Thank you Madam Co-chair,

As clearly indicated by Africa, highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs), as part of the agreed issues of concern, cause millions of unintentional poisoning and thousands of deaths world-wide and the majority of these are from Africa mainly affecting African farmers, IPEN supports the African Conference Room Paper (CRP) on a Global Alliance on HHPs.

We also welcome CRP.10 proposing the development of an International Code of Conduct on Chemicals and Waste Management as it will be an important guiding document for establishing a basic national chemicals management system.

We also welcome CRP.12 on targets relating to transparency and access to information on chemicals in products and materials. The right to know about what chemicals citizens are exposed to through products and their properties should be a fundamental principle that needs to be implemented under the Beyond 2020 framework.

Finally we also support the CRP from the labor sector.