United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

African Group

Mr. Chairman,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of
the Africa Group.
The Group associates itself with the Statement made by
the G77 and China and let me also expresses the Group?s
appreciation to the panelists for their input into this
thematic discussion.
Mr. Chairman,
1. Significant progress has been made towards attaining
2020 goal since Johannesburg Plan of Action on
Chemicals. Agenda 21 revolves around essential
issues that includes but not limited to, ensuring better
survival, and sustainable use of resources. However,
we are concerned that in developing countries, more
remains to be done to ensure environmentally sound
management of toxic chemicals, within the principles
of sustainable development and improved quality of
life.
2. Africa believes that two of the major problems,
particularly in Africa, are; (first) lack of sufficient
scientific information for the assessment of risks
entailed by the use of a greater number of chemicals,
and; (secondly), lack of resources, especially human
resources constraints for assessment of chemicals and
analysis of existing data. We believe that the present
discussions could provide valuable lessons on how
this inadequacy could be compensated.
3. Africa is concerned that not only does chemical
contamination caused by deliberate dumping in
developing countries affects the environment. There
is also serious damage to human health, genetic
structures and reproductive outcomes. Developing
countries need the assistance and action of the
international community in the costly management of
the problem.
Mr. Chairman,
4. It is important to emphasize that increased
coordination of United Nations bodies and other
international organizations, involved in chemicals
assessment and management, should further be
enhanced to provide capacity building interventions at
the national level.
5. The broadest possible awareness of risks posed by
chemicals is a prerequisite for achieving chemical
safety of which Africa believe in the principle of the
right of the community and workers to know the risks
involved and possible mitigation measures.
I thank you Mr. Chairman