United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


The Government of Canada contributes to the chemical management goals under Agenda
21 through its domestic, regional, and international work.
Canada completed the systematic examination of its inventory of domestic substances in
commerce (a total of 23,000 substances) in 2006. Following this categorization exercise,
4,300 substances identified for further attention are being addressed, in priority, under
Canada?s Chemicals Management Plan. This Plan aims to protect human health and the
environment from the risks posed by organic and inorganic chemicals, through: setting
clear priorities for assessment and management; integrating our management approach to
include industrial chemicals, consumer products, food, drugs and pesticides; strengthening
industry?s stewardship role for the chemicals they produce and use; and providing citizens
with increased access to information on risks.
Canada recognizes the importance of cooperation at the global and regional levels and
through key international institutions in order to meet commitments under the Strategic
Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). Canada supports
international efforts towards a legally binding instrument for mercury, and is proud to have
played a role in developing significant global agreements, such as the Montreal Protocol on
ozone-depleting substances and the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants
(POPs), and in providing significant financial resources to assist capacity building,
including the Canada POPs Fund. Canada also contributes to collective efforts under the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop science
and risk-based standards and guidelines that accelerate the sound management of chemicals
globally and help avoid unnecessary duplication.
Going forward, Canada views international cooperation as increasingly vital to effective
risk assessment and risk management of chemicals. Benefits can be achieved by sharing
research, information, and the burden of work between jurisdictions, as well as through
enhanced coordination and alignment of regulatory approaches. Improved cooperation may
help all jurisdictions to address data gaps, and to make progress on challenges such as those
related to chemicals in consumer goods and articles.
Canada believes that our multilateral efforts could most usefully focus on ensuring full and
effective implementation of existing global agreements (including completion of
outstanding compliance mechanisms) and in utilizing existing fora such as SAICM and the
OECD to further joint work.
Canada recognizes that securing financial resources for chemicals management is a
universal challenge. New approaches are needed to bridge the gap between funding needs
identified by developing countries and developed countries? capacity to provide public,
donor funds. Developing and developed countries should work together under the UNEP
Financing Options and other initiatives to find innovative ways to raise political awareness
of chemical issues; to ?mainstream? them into domestic policies and development plans;
and to mobilize additional resources - both public and private and from domestic and
international sources.
We look forward to working with the international community through existing forums,
towards our shared 2020 goal for chemicals management.