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A Toxics-Free Future


Interventions at SAICM

Closing Statements

Abouc and Ahmed Tiamiyu gave these closing statements on behalf of IPEN’s Youth Caucus and the Chemicals and Waste Youth Platform

Thank you, Madam Co-Chair.

I am Abouc From Nigeria Young Farmers Network, and IPEN Youth Caucus, speaking on behalf of the Chemicals and Waste Youth Platform of the Youth Constituency.

This is my first time attending this conference after following SAICM processes virtually.

My generation was not born when UNEP was created, and yet we are living with the consequences of decisions made back then. Those that are not responsible for the ecological crisis - including the children of the world - are on the frontlines. And here we are - asking you our rights, and claiming spaces that belong to us. Nothing about us, without us.

It is very important to note how decisions are being taken that will affect many unborn generations to come.

First, we welcome the new paragraph 9 dedicated to youth in the operating principles. We also welcome the inclusion of youths in the indicators.
This is a very big victory and recognition of the role of intergenerational equity and young people.

Second, on the road to ICCM-5, we call for meaningful engagement of youth in all processes of SAICM. We request that dedicated funding be made available for the youth constituency to participate at the Nairobi meeting and at ICCM-5 itself, especially for the youth from Global south.

We as the youth constituency plan on hosting a chemicals and waste youth forum before ICCM-5.

Third, on the new Science Policy Panel, it is important to ensure that the process will have participation of all stakeholders, especially the scientific community and the Indigenous Peoples.

Fourth, we congratulate the leadership of ICCM Presidency, host country Romania, IP4 co chairs and SAICM secretariat for their support. We are committed to cooperating with you.

Finally - as the youth constituency, we are advocating for young people that are not here with us, those that don't speak perfect English, those that don't go to schools, the young girls that suffer domestic violence, young migrants, young people living in extreme poverty. I quote a youth from the UN World Youth Report consultation “I feel powerless, because this crisis is caused by groups I have no influence on.”

The solutions are there. We want you to step up political will and do what is right.

Thank you.

Thank you, Madam Co-Chair,

I am Ahmed Tiamiyu from Community Action Against Plastic Waste (CAPws), Nigeria, and IPEN Youth Caucus, speaking on behalf of the Chemicals and Waste youth constituency.

In the last months, we have mobilized engagement across BRS COPs, UNEA and Stockholm+50. We support the growing momentum on chemicals and waste, and we are ready to continue to engage during the next meeting, towards ICCM5.

The production of chemicals doubled during our lifetime, and exposure to hazardous chemicals is harming not only our generation, but the generations to come after us.

On behalf of the youth constituency, we would like to call upon including a paragraph on Youth in the text, as we are concerned that the current version of the text lacks dedicated focus on youth.

We call for all SAICM stakeholders to engage with youth, recognize us as agents of change, and include intergenerational equity in the text of the new instrument. The new SAICM should enforce meaningful engagement and participation of youth across all SAICM-related processes, including at the national level, towards a true, inclusive, toxic-free future. We have also submitted our text proposals in writing.

Finally, we want to highlight that the decisions made here today impact the lives of current and future generations the most. And youth need to continue to be at the SAICM table - Nothing About Us, Without Us.


Statement on Stock-Taking

IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Tadesse Amera gave this statement on September 1, 2022

Thank you, Madame CoChair.

I speak on behalf of IPEN, a global network of over 600 public interest organisations from more than 125 countries.

In our opening statement, we highlighted the urgent need for strong action to meet the planetary chemicals and waste crisis. We have a unique opportunity to create an aspirational framework to be adopted at ICCM5.

Here in Bucarest this IP4 meeting is so very important and special, in the fact that we have not been able to diliberate face to face for nearly 3 years.

We must leave Romania with momentum and inspired to achieve an impactful and meaningful ICCM5.

Now that we take stock of progress, we also have to ask ourselves if the level of ambition reached during these negotiations is enough.

In this respect, we would like to highlight three brief observations:

  • We are glad to see open and constructive negotiations during this meeting, and welcome the progress made on vision, strategic objective and targets. However, we should also work on indicators to support targets. We should also not abandon important principles of prevention, precaution and highlighting a human rights approach in achieving the sound management of chemicals and waste following the UN General Assembly recognizing the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right.
  • On financing, despite progress, there is still much work ahead. We want to reiterate that NEW adequate, predictable and sustainable financing is necessary to achieve the ambition and commitments we will set for the Beyond 2020 instrument. The implementation of the industry involvement pillar of the integrated approach must aim at mobilizing the necessary resources to ensure that the ever-growing chemical industry be held accountable from the growing threat from chemicals and waste.
  • Finally, Madame co-chair, the new global chemicals and waste framework can only be successful if a broad range of stakeholders feel ownership of it. This can only be achieved by open, inclusive, transparent, participatory, face-to-face meetings. This meeting is providing stakeholders the possibility to take ownership of the Beyond 2020 instrument. We have already tried working virtually and it is clear that remote, virtual work cannot meaningfully engage stakeholders in the intersessional processes leading to ICCM5 and deliver an ambitious text including a global plan to take on the global chemicals and waste crisis to ensure a toxics-free planet for healthy people and environment.

Thank you.


Statement on fiannce, capacity building, monitoring and reporting-taking stock of progress

IPEN Steering Committee member Gilbert Kuepouo gave this statement on August 29, 2022

Madame co-Chair,

I am giving this intervention on behalf of IPEN

SAICM has the broadest scope of all multi-lateral environmental agreements with the lowest allocation of funding.

It is vital for the success of this negotiation and the success of the implementation of the Beyond 2020 instrument, that a mechanism to mobilize financial resources be established.

Madame co-Chair, from our viewpoint, it is clear that no meaningful progress will be made without adequate financing for implementing whatever commitment we can agree to, and to reach whatever goal we set for ourselves.

In no case, the inventory of existing capacity building initiatives nor inventories of existing funding mechanisms will generate the necessary resources for the achievement of the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020.

Therefore, we would like the thematic group on finance, monitoring and reporting to consider the following:

  • The establishment of a funding mechanism following the model of the Quick Start Programme. The QSP TF was identified as one of the unmitigated successes of SAICM because of its broader scope and easy accessibility.
  • The implementation of the industry involvement pillar of the integrated approach to ensure that the ever-growing chemical industry be held accountable, and not only profit from the manufacturing and trade of harmful chemicals, but also bears the fair share of the costs of their sound management.
  • That objectives for the industry involvement and other financial commitments are reflected in targets, indicators, and milestones and that monitoring and reporting instruments track progress on financial objectives of the beyond 2020 instrument.

Thank you, Madam Co-Chair

Gilbert Kuepouo speaks at SAICM


Statement on Governance and Institutional Arrangements

IPEN Steering Committee member Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh gave this statement on August 29, 2022

Dear Madame co-chair, Distinguished Delegates. I make this statement on behalf of IPEN.

IPEN believes that the SAICM is key to advancing the sound management of chemicals and waste considering human health and the environment.

We have achieved some success since the adoption of SAICM in 2006 but we have a long way to go considering the pressing challenges of chemicals and waste the world is facing. Particularly in addressing emerging policy issues and other issues of concern already identified more work needs to be done.

In this context the negotiations for the proposed instrument should consider the following issues:

  • SAICM should strengthen its open, inclusive, participatory and transparent structure which should be multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder;
  • Reporting back and stocktaking of the progression of national implementation plans is very critical to measure the progress of implementation and national plans and should be made public for all stakeholders to review, including a universal periodic review method for reporting;
  • Issues of concern agreed by the International Conference on Chemicals Management should be carried forward into the new instrument;
  • The science-to-policy panel should be a tool to raise awareness about the existing scientific knowledge and allow it to take action on emerging issues and issues of concern that were already agreed upon in SAICM;
  • The science-to-policy panel should also have inclusive participation, allow the consideration of different forms of knowledge including from indigenous peoples, and take into account gender-specific dimensions;
  • Finally, we should not allow the science-to-policy panel to be a tool for delaying the need for action on chemicals through corporate capture.

We look forward to engaging in these discussions these weeks. 

Thank you, Madame chair.


Statement on Vision and Objectives

Eugeniy Lobanov from the international environmental project Ecoidea gave this statement on August 29, 2022

Thank you, Madam Co-Chair,

I’m speaking on behalf of IPEN and PAN.

We support your proposal to start discussions about vision, objectives, targets, and indicators.

From our perspective we need an agreement for a strong SAICM-Beyond-2020 Framework that goes beyond the Dubai Declaration and secures ambitious targets for prevention and reduction of harmful chemicals and waste globally bringing about real change.

A successful outcome of the discussions from our perspectives shall contain the following elements:

  • A timeless vision with a strong enabling framework, recognizing precautionary and sustainability principles as basic principles and rationale behind all measures.
  • Ambitious strategic objectives addressing prevention, precaution, information sharing, transparency, and the urgency to achieve the sound management of chemicals. These objectives shall reflect on the impact of hazardous chemicals and waste for all and on the most vulnerable groups to develop and implement measures for its elimination, and prevention.
  • The scope shall include chemicals and all waste throughout their lifecycle.
  • The document shall contain clear targets, indicators, and milestones that are measurable and time-bound.

IPEN and its participating organizations are ready to work with everyone on these matters.

Thank you very much Madam Co-Chair.


IPEN Opening Statement

IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Tadesse Amera gave this statement on August 29, 2022

Thank you, Madam CoChair.

I am Co-Chair of IPEN, a network of over 600 public interest organisations from more than 125 countries. I also want to acknowledge the hard work of the other public interest organizations here that you will hear from during this plenary session. We have participated actively in SAICM negotiations and implementation since the very beginning twenty years ago.

The UN General Assembly recently adopted a resolution establishing access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right. At the same time, recent scientific evidence shows that the global threat of plastic and chemical production has exceeded the “planetary boundaries” for chemical pollution. In addition, the global chemical industry is projected to double by 2030, with rapid growth in emerging economies.

I come from Ethiopia, a country that does not produce any of these chemicals, similar to most other African countries, and many other countries represented in this room. Still, Africans are heavily and disproportionately impacted by the harm of chemicals and waste exported to our countries.

SAICM is the only instrument we have today to address most chemicals and waste but its goals were not met although progress was made. We have to learn from this experience and make sure the new framework that we started negotiating 6 years ago will succeed in creating meaningful change on the ground, that goes beyond a focus only on management systems. We need an even higher ambition this time to meet the increasing planetary crisis caused by chemicals.    

It is therefore important that the new framework addresses the entire lifecycle of chemicals and all wastes, to mirror what is already agreed to by the UN General Assembly in SDG 12.4, which states the importance of achieving “the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their lifecycle...."

Meaningful, open, inclusive and transparent in person participation is the only way to make the new framework to address chemicals and waste successful. Without broad stakeholder buy-in, we will not be able to make any progress towards meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. So, while we welcome the discussions during the Virtual Working Groups that kept the attention high on the need for an ambitious new framework, we also acknowledge that the process was not inclusive and accessible for many stakeholders. Starting from the IP3 outcome document is therefore the most fair way forward, and any text suggestions from the Virtual working groups can be introduced in the thematic group discussions.

Finally, the framework must also be accompanied by new and additional, adequate, sustainable and predictable funding accessible to all relevant stakeholders to address chemicals and waste issues.

Madame Co-Chair, in closing I would like to assure you that IPEN is committed to continue to do everything possible to make this meeting and the Beyond 2020 process meaningful and successful.

Thank you.

Tadesse Amera speaks at SAICM