Participation In International Chemicals Management Meetings

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Barbados will next week participate in high-level talks in Geneva, Switzerland, as environment officials seek to ensure that this country fulfils its international obligations relating to the effective management of chemicals.

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Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, will participate in the Second Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2), which takes place from next Monday, May 11 to Friday, May 15.??

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He will be joined at that meeting by Director of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Jeffrey Headley, who is in Switzerland attending the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which ends tomorrow.

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ICCM2 will be the first opportunity for countries to review progress on the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which emphasises multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder participation that reflect the cross-cutting nature of chemical safety issues.

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This session will include a high-level segment, from May 14 to 15, with opportunities for formal segments and two round-table discussions on public health, financial matters and other special events. Minister Lowe will also serve as a panelist for the High-Level round table on the future financing of the SAICM.

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Other panelists include: the Swiss State Secretary, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme, and the Council Secretary of the Global Industry Group and the International Council of Chemical Associations.

??While chemicals play an important part in the global economy and are present in many products which we use in everyday life, certain chemicals do pose considerable dangers to human health and the environment.

A group of chemicals known as POPs are highly toxic and once released into the environment they remain there for a long time.

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The Stockholm Convention, which was officially adopted by the United Nations in 2001, is an international agreement intended to govern effective chemicals management on an international scale. It also seeks, where possible, to foster the reduction and by extension complete elimination of the production and use of all POPs.

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As a party to the Convention, Barbados is required to dispose of waste and obsolete POPs in an environmentally sound manner in compliance with the requirements of the Basel Convention.??

cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb??

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