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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

IPEN Stockholm Declaration Page

Sweden | May 22, 2001

Statement of the IPEN Participating Organizations agreed in conjunction with the Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Any non-governmental organization can join the IPEN by signing the Stockholm Declaration.

Participating Organizations of IPEN (International Pollution Elimination Network), including (but not limited to) those gathered in Stockholm, Sweden to attend the Diplomatic Conference at which governments will sign the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants:

Hereby declare, on this occasion, our renewed commitment to work jointly toward the elimination of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other persistent toxic substances from the world's environment.

Furthermore, on this occasion:

* Recognizing the serious and long lasting injury to ecosystems and human health that POPs and other persistent toxic substances can cause in communities that immediately surround their source locations, and also in far distant regions;

* Cognizant of growing scientific evidence and public awareness around the world concerning the harm that is caused by these toxic pollutants; and noting special concerns about their accumulation in food and in human body tissues;

* Applauding the Stockholm Convention as the first negotiated, global, legally binding instrument that will oblige governments to take actions aimed at eliminating these pollutants from the world's environment;

* Calling attention to the precautionary approach which is affirmed in the Convention's Preamble and Objective, is referenced in its indicated method for determining best available techniques, and is operationalized in its procedures for evaluating additional candidate POPs;

* Noting that, upon ratification and entry into force of the Convention, the world's governments will be committed to proceed toward bans on the production, generation and use of POPs, and to promote and require appropriate substitution with cleaner products, materials, processes and/or practices;

* Noting further that under the terms of the Convention, governments will also be committed to identifying obsolete stockpiles and wastes containing POPs, to requiring their proper and complete destruction (chemical transformation), and to promoting proper cleanup and remediation of soils and other environmental reservoirs that are significantly contaminated by these substances;

* Calling attention to the initial list of twelve POPs whose releases the Stockholm Convention will aim to eliminate: Dioxins, Furans, DDT, PCBs, Chlordane, Heptachlor, Aldrin, Dieldrin, Endrin, Mirex, Toxaphene and Hexachlorobenzene;

* Understanding that this initial list of twelve POPs is only a starting point, and that expedited expansion of the list is needed in order to incorporate into the Convention other persistent, toxic substances of global concern that harm ecosystems and human health;

* Reminding donor governments, intergovernmental organizations, and international aid agencies of the commitments made to developing countries and countries with transitional economies to provide them with new and additional sources of financial and technical support in order to enable them to meet their obligations under the Stockholm Convention, and to make these resources available in an efficient and transparent manner;

* Celebrating the opportunity given to public interest nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in the global POPs Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee process, and noting that this enabled IPEN Participating Organizations from all corners of the world to make important contributions toward securing international agreement on numerous provisions of the Stockholm Convention;

* Recognizing that economic globalization encourages and promotes activities in many countries that result in toxic chemical pollution; and that organized efforts to oppose and stop polluting activities are often resisted by transnational corporate interests and others as a perceived threat to economic development and growth;

* Recognizing further that successful activity to implement this Convention and to eliminate POPs and other persistent toxic pollutants will require the participation of NGOs as effective stakeholders in joint activities involving governments, industry groups, international agencies, scientific centers, and others; and

* Commending the Government of Sweden, as host of this Diplomatic Conference, for its recent initiative to secure "bans on substances that accumulate in the body" and for advocating international chemicals policies based on the objective that: "the environment must be free from man-made substances and metals that represent a threat to health or biological diversity;" commending Sweden also for its international leadership in advocating chemicals policies based on the precautionary principle, the substitution principle, producer responsibility and the polluter pays principle; and commending Sweden finally for its important contributions toward securing agreement on a strong global POPs treaty.

 

IPEN Participating Organizations hereby declare and affirm our common:

* Commitment to work for a world in which POPs and other persistent toxic chemical substances no longer pollute our local and global environments, nor contaminate our food, our bodies, and the bodies of our children and future generations;

* Agreement that the mission of IPEN is to facilitate effective involvement by its Participating Organizations in local, national, and international activities to promote the elimination of POPs and other persistent toxic substances; and

* Demand that urgent action be taken to eliminate POPs and other persistent toxic substances, that this action move forward now, and that it not be delayed or deferred until after the Stockholm Convention has been ratified and enters into force.

 

To accomplish our shared vision, IPEN's Participating Organizations affirm our intention to work to:

* Phase-out and ban the production and use of POPs and other persistent toxic substances; and substitute cleaner products, materials, processes and practices, with priority, as appropriate, to non-chemical alternatives;

* Phase-out materials, products, and processes that generate and release dioxins and other unwanted byproduct POPs, and promote cleaner products, materials, processes and activities that avoid generation and release of toxic byproducts;

* Identify, make secure, and properly destroy obsolete stockpiles and wastes containing POPs and other persistent toxic substances by means that ensure complete destruction (i.e., chemical transformation), and that do not themselves generate or release toxic pollutants or otherwise cause injury to the health and the safety of workers and surrounding communities;

* Support the Polluter Pays Principle under which the producer, exporting company, and/or exporting country is responsible for the cleanup and destruction of obsolete POPs stockpiles, especially in developing countries;

* Halt combustion and other environmentally inappropriate methods of treating wastes and contaminated soils and sediments;

* Cleanup and remediate contaminated sites and environmental reservoirs containing POPs and other persistent toxic substances;

* Reduce and aim to eliminate the generation of wastes, including municipal solid waste, medical waste, and hazardous waste; and encourage waste prevention, resource recovery, re-use and recycling;

* Reduce and eliminate the use of toxic chemical pesticides, and substitute lower impact methods of pest and vector control to achieve effective agricultural and public health practices that are environmentally sound;

* Eliminate toxic chemical residues in food, animal feed, and drinking water;

* Secure opportunities for meaningful participation by public interest NGOs and other civil society organizations in programs at the local, country, regional and global level associated with the implementation of the Stockholm Convention, including enabling activities, demonstration projects, development of country implementation plans, monitoring activities, performance evaluation, and others;

* Develop timely and effective Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plans in all countries; and promote rapid execution of these plans to achieve the elimination of POPs and their sources;

* Appropriately and expeditiously expand the Stockholm Convention's current list of twelve global POPs to incorporate other POPs of global concern; support the immediate establishment of a POPs Review Committee that can begin screening candidate POPs even before the Convention enters into force; and establish appropriate commitments and obligations leading toward the elimination of all additional POPs that are listed subsequent to the initial twelve;

* Encourage donor countries and donor agencies to provide adequate technical and financial assistance to enable developing countries and countries with transitional economies to implement the Stockholm Convention, and undertake related activities to eliminate POPs and other persistent toxic substances;

* Establish a new focal area within the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to support implementation of the Convention, and ensure that it is adequately funded in GEF replenishments; and

* Secure the ratification of the Stockholm Convention by all countries in advance of the Rio + 10 World Summit on Sustainable Development (to be held in Johannesburg in 2002); and by the same deadline also secure ratification, by all countries, of other related conventions: the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent; the Basel Convention, together with its Ban Amendment forbidding export of wastes from OECD to non-OECD countries; and the 1996 Protocol to the London Convention on ocean dumping.

Agreed this 22nd day of May, 2001, in conjunction with the Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, by the undersigned IPEN Participating Organizations