United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Canada

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Delivered by: Greg Filyk / Canada
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Canada?s Statement
Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development ? 19th Session
Chemicals Theme
New York, 1 March 2011, 3:00 pm
Canada congratulates the Secretary General on developing a good report as a
foundation for our discussions. We look forward to decisions on chemicals at CSD-19
which are focused on practical and realistic measures for improving sound chemicals
management.
Since Agenda 21 was adopted in 1992, great progress has been made to protect
human health and the environment from the risks posed by organic and inorganic
chemicals. Canada believes that in order to make its full contribution to sustainable
development, sound management of chemicals must receive greater attention and
priority, particularly from national governments. Critical features for improving
governance, international policy and legal frameworks, and means of implementation,
include: ?mainstreaming? chemicals management into national development plans,
linked to Millennium Development Goals; strengthening national institutional and legal
infrastructures; improving national agency coordination; and consulting stakeholders in
meaningful ways.
As shown by Canada?s Chemicals Management Plan, we believe in the benefits to
governments and stakeholders of sharing information on research, risk assessment and
management of chemicals. We strongly support efforts by governments, the private
sector and civil society at all levels to create appropriate chemical safety measures,
including effective frameworks for chemical accident prevention and preparedness.
Canada endorses strengthening national and regional monitoring, consistent data
collecting and reporting to support international chemical treaties and initiatives.
However, we are concerned with the report?s frequent proposals for new ?global? or
?centralized? systems and networks. In Canada?s view, there are existing mechanisms
for much of this work.
Canada supports the use of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals
Management (SAICM) as the existing international policy framework for the chemical
and hazardous waste agenda. We note that the interventions of many countries and
stakeholders at CSD-18 reflect this view. We also see SAICM as the appropriate forum
to nominate and address emerging issues in the area of chemicals management, taking
full advantage of existing mechanisms to implement actions.
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Canada believes that civil society has a strong contribution to make in developing
national and international policy. Domestically, Canada has established mechanisms
for engaging civil society in the development of chemicals management policies.
Internationally, we have a proud record of including representatives from civil society
and provincial / territorial jurisdictions as full members of Canadian delegations to key
meetings of the chemical cluster - such as the Stockholm Convention and current
global mercury negotiations.
Canada views partnerships as a key element of sound chemicals management. We
support a stronger role for the private sector, through public-private partnerships,
information sharing and responsible use of chemical products. Canada also believes
that effective linkages and partnerships must be established between sound
management of chemicals and other related areas of sustainable development, such as
climate change, biodiversity, health, poverty eradication, natural resource sectors and
green economic growth.
At CSD-18, developing countries and countries with economies in transition highlighted
the importance of financial and technical assistance for capacity building in
environmentally sound management of chemicals and wastes. New approaches will be
needed to bridge the gap between identified funding needs and developed countries?
capacity to provide public, donor funds. However, we must also recognize the truism in
the Secretary General?s report, that ?sustainable funding of chemicals management in
the long-term has to come from national funding?.
Appended to this statement are proposed revisions by Canada on specific policy
options and actions in the report, for consideration in drafting decisions for CSD-19.
Attach.
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ANNEX Canadian Proposed Revisions to the Secretary General?s Report on Chemicals (E/CN.17/2011/5)
for the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for CSD-19
Canada is pleased to provide the Secretary General and IPM for CSD-19 participants with proposed revisions to specific paragraphs of the
chemicals report where we believe that improvements can be made, in order to assist development of draft decisions for consideration at CSD-19.
NOTE: Suggested revisions to text are indicated as follows: for deletion = strikethrough; for addition = underline.
Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
II. Policies for sound management of chemicals
A. Governance
B. Information Sharing
11 c. Implement the principle of ?no data, no market? and integrate
the acquisition, management and dissemination of information related
to hazardous substances in the process of developing and marketing
chemicals. Establish, improve and promote dissemination of
information related to hazardous substances between governments,
industry and the public. Universal access to this information and
knowledge is essential to the development of science-based prevention
and protection tools. This includes assessing the hazardous properties
of chemicals and strengthening screening and evaluation systems for
new chemicals entering the market;
Care must be taken to avoid using specific terms applicable only to a
particular state or regional organization, or do not enjoy international
consensus. For example, we understand the phrase ?no data, no
market? (which is referenced three times in the paper) to be a key
principle in the European Union?s REACH regulations. However, it is
not a universally used term, nor is it used in the Canadian regulatory
context.
18 d. Strengthen the community?s right to knowledge availability of
information about the environmental and health risks of chemicals
through, inter alia, product labels, environmental reports,
environmental impact assessments, eco-audits, emission inventories
and similar instruments. Data relevant to the health and environmental
impacts of chemicals should be made available to the public;
Canada strongly supports the intent of this paragraph, modified with
more general language to apply universally and to avoid possible
confusion with different uses of the term community or public ?right to
know?.
18 f. Promote Continue to support universal access to reliable Canada supports universal access to reliable information on hazardous
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
information on hazardous substances through the adoption of a global
system for communicating risks and hazards Globally harmonized
system for labeling of chemicals;
substances; however activities are already underway under the
Globally harmonized system for labeling of chemicals (GHS).
Therefore, we suggest that this paragraph be revised to ensure
avoidance of duplication and to recognize the current activities.
18 g. Develop Continue to support global networks to facilitate the
sharing of good practices, methodologies, interventions, approaches
and results of research to improve the sound management of hazardous
substances, including the clearinghouse mechanisms of chemical
conventions, the OECD and SAICM making every effort to avoid
duplication.
Canada supports global networks to facilitate the sharing of good
practices, methodologies, interventions, approaches and results of
research to improve the sound management of hazardous substances ?
however activities in this area currently exist under the clearinghouse
mechanisms of chemical conventions, the OECD and SAICM.
Therefore, duplication of efforts should be avoided, and we suggest
that this paragraph be revised to reflect existing efforts.
C. Chemical Safety, risk prevention and reduction
29 b. Establish a functioning regulatory system to set out rules for
registration, evaluation and restriction in for the use of chemicals. The
regulatory system needs to which could cover the whole life-cycle for
chemicals including production, transport, use, recycling and disposal
of chemicals. The regulation of the marketing of chemicals is critical.
The regulatory framework should incorporate the implementation and
enforcement of international legally binding instruments, such as the
ILO conventions and MEAs on chemicals and waste, as well as
voluntary standards and agreements such as the International Code of
Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides;
Canada supports this paragraph, with suggested revisions, to provide
more universal and less ?REACH-specific? language (see comments
above on 11 c.).
Canada prefers ?could? instead of ?needs? because some aspects of the
life cycle are within our provincial jurisdiction.
D. Monitoring
31. Current monitoring programmes fall largely into two categories:
monitoring environment impacts and monitoring human health impacts
(bio-monitoring). Environmental monitoring indicators include soil,
air, water, incident reporting, animals and plants. Bio-monitoring
indicators include human milk, blood, urine, incident reporting, food
and other household products. For example, a monitoring programme
Canada suggests deletion of the undefined term ?heavy metals?, to be
replaced with a specific example(s) of an inorganic substance of
recognized global concern.
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
can be routine sample checks to determine level of heavy metals in raw
materials such as meats mercury in foods destined for consumption,
such as fish or meat.
35 b. Better use existing data and data extrapolation in developing best
practices and increase the access to information gathered from the
monitoring. There is a need to develop a centralised database with
relevant information for each category of chemicals and the best
practices in monitoring them. There is also a need to bring together for
improved cooperation between public health and environment experts
and activities under a comprehensive integrated to improve
surveillance and monitoring system;
Development of a ?centralized database? for chemicals and monitoring
practices, and a ?comprehensive integrated surveillance and
monitoring system? would likely be complex and expensive, while
national and regional differences impact the relevance of data. The
report identifies several examples of organizations, programmes and
agreements which undertake monitoring, at national, regional and
global levels. We should explore strengthening existing mechanisms
and / or improving cooperation amongst them..
E. Emerging Issues
38. E-waste is another major concern, particularly in developing
countries. E-waste is identified as an emerging issue under SAICM and
Although some work to address this emerging issue has been
undertaken by various international organizations, in particular under
the Basel Convention. more More needs to be done especially in
minimizing the use of hazardous chemicals in e-products.
SAICM should be recognized as the appropriate international policy
framework dealing with e-waste as an emerging issue.
F. Partnerships
44 d. Promote the role of industry in information sharing and
implementation of the precautionary approach to chemical
safety, strengthen responsible advertising and marketing,
establish, improve and promote dissemination of information
and implement the principle of ?no data, no market?, and
mainstream practices for Corporate Social and Environmental
Responsibility (CSER) in the chemical industry.
Canada supports this paragraph, with suggested revisions, to provide
more universal and less ?REACH-specific? language (see comments
above on 11 c.).
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
III. Strengthening implementation framework and enabling
environment
A. International policy framework: Strategic Approach to
International Chemicals Management
51 a. Strengthen the international policy framework for chemicals,
including through full and effective implementation of SAICM, and
the chemical and waste conventions. The third session of the ICCM in
2012 will be the next major opportunity to take stock of SAICM
implementation and renew momentum behind it, as well as to consider
additional emerging policy issues;
Editorial revisions.
51 c. Consider and pay increased attention to the possible need for
international structures to continue, evolve or be supplemented beyond
the lifetime of SAICM in 2020. This might include the possibility to
develop a global structure for implementing policy actions on
chemicals of concern and to promote a proactive approach to the
management of chemicals. Discussion of such matters will likely
feature prominently at the fourth and fifth sessions of the ICCM in
2015 and 2020, respectively. [In the meantime, CSD-19, the
international environmental governance process, including the
meetings of UNEP's Governing Council, and the United Nations
Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio20) may provide
opportunities for initial debate.]
Canada recognizes that the future agenda is important, and to that
effect, we believe it is important to assess the effectiveness of SAICM
first before concluding that there is a need to strengthen international
structures concerning chemicals or speculating on possible future
structures or actions.
We suggest square bracketing the last sentence for possible
modification, pending the outcome of concurrent discussions at the
UNEP Governing Council and the UN Conference on Sustainable
Development preparatory meeting.
B. International legal framework
58e. Successfully ratify the Ban amendment under the Basel
Convention that bans hazardous waste exports for final disposal and
recycling from Annex VII countries (Basel Convention Parties that are
members of the EU, OECD, Liechtenstein) to non-Annex VII countries
(all other Parties to the Convention); Enhance the ability of vulnerable
developing countries and countries with economies in transition to
Canada agrees that the Ban Amendment is an important instrument to
protect vulnerable countries against adverse effects of imports of
hazardous wastes that they cannot handle in an environmentally sound
manner. It is Canada's view, however, that the Ban Amendment does
not take into consideration a country's true capacity to manage
recyclables in an environmentally sound manner and as such can
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
protect themselves against unwanted imports of hazardous waste, and
enhance efforts for combating illegal traffic of hazardous waste, by
strictly applying the Basel Convention provisions and improving
standards of waste management practices.
prevent legitimate trade. Given the growing movements of hazardous
wastes between developing countries which the Ban Amendment does
not address, Canada believes that a broader set of initiatives is needed
to facilitate the ability of vulnerable developing countries and countries
with economies in transition to protect themselves against unwanted
imports of hazardous wastes and improving standards of waste
management practices.
C. Means of Implementation
63 a. Mobilize financial resources at all levels, both public and private
to support the transition to sound management of chemicals. In the
short and mid term time horizon, the UNEP Executive Director?s
consultative process on financing options for the chemicals and wastes
agenda is considering specific proposals for new approaches to
financing arrangements. could include a multilateral fund for
chemicals such as the one of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that
Deplete the Ozone Layer, transforming SAICM?s QSP into a
permanent funding arrangement during the life time of SAICM, as well
as expanding the funding for the chemicals focal area in GEF.
However, sustainable funding of chemicals management in the longterm
has to come from national funding. This implies both greater
support to mainstreaming sound management of chemicals within
national development plans and strategies and greater use of economic
instruments to sustain national funding for chemicals management
related policies and measures;
Editorial revisions.
63 c. Strengthen regional and sub-regional centres for capacitybuilding
and transfer of technology, established as self-supporting
entities under the three Basel and Stockholm conventions;
Canada strongly supports use of regional and sub-regional centres for
delivering technical assistance, technology transfer and capacity
building. Canada notes that the Basel and Stockholm Regional
Centres are intended to be self-supporting, supplemented with
voluntary, bilateral or GEF funding for specific activities. Canada
encourages host countries to continue, and strengthen where necessary,
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
supporting their ?gift to the convention? (as was popularly expressed at
the Stockholm COP-4 meeting), which in turn could help build each
centre?s capacity to serve its respective region, attract new partnerships
and programmes, and mobilize additional voluntary funding resources.
63 g. Consider establishing a system to prevent transfer of obsolete
technologies to developing countries Promote best available techniques
and best environmental practices in chemical-related sectors, and
promote the co-operative development of environmentally sound
technologies;
While Canada supports, in principle, the intent of this paragraph, we
believe that it would be difficult to design and implement an effective
and efficient ?system? to prevent transfer of ?obsolete? technologies.
Defining ?obsolete? might prove difficult, particularly in a world of
fast-changing technologies. Further, while new techniques and
practices may indeed be considered ?best available?, many older
technologies which might be deemed ?obsolete? by some, maintain
significant or possibly superior value, may be equally or better suited
to user needs and capacities, and provide a practical, cost-effective
service. We suggest a positive approach in promoting best available
techniques and best environmental practices.
63 h. Consider establishing an international mechanism, in
collaboration with regional and sub-regional centres established under
the conventions as well as UNEP and FAO regional offices, to support
education and capacity building for the sound management of
chemicals aligned with the implementation of SAICM and the three
main conventions on chemicals; and
This paragraph appears to duplicate existing efforts under the chemical
conventions and SAICM with respect to clearinghouse mechanisms,
technical assistance and capacity building, and UNEP and GEF
sponsored workshops. There is no need to establish a new international
mechanism for this purpose. Therefore, we suggest that this paragraph
be deleted.
63 i, Strengthen human and technical capacity for risk assessment,
reduction and monitoring in both government and public interest
organizations, and provide assistance to developing countries.
The intent of this paragraph is already covered in preceding sections
and paragraphs, including: information sharing (27), chemical safety
(29h), and monitoring (35e). Therefore, we suggest that this paragraph
be deleted.
IV The way forward The purpose of this section is not entirely clear and does not appear to
be well-organized. It selects and reiterates a few elements from
previous sections, but also introduces entirely new topics. For example,
the important issue of interlinkages with other key issues, such as
climate change and biodiversity, is mentioned for the first time in this
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
section of the report (para. 67).
66. A life-cycle approach should be adopted, and the commitment to
basic principles such as the precautionary approach and polluter pays
principles; no data, no market; public right to know; public information
and education; and progressive substitution of the most dangerous
chemicals should be strengthened.
The policy options paper refers to the internationally agreed term
?precautionary approach? in paragraphs 11f, 39, 44d; and should use
this term consistently throughout the document. See comments above
re: ?no data, no market? (11 c) and public or community ?right to
know? (18 d).
75. To enhance information sharing and accessibility, implementation
by Member States of the GHS remains a priority. The establishment of
a global system for communicating risks between developed and
developing countries should be enhanced. To establish an international
mechanism to support education and capacity building for the sound
management of chemicals should be considered.
Regarding: ?a global system for communicating risks?: there is a WTO
notification process and UN/WHO avenues to do this already.
Regarding: ?establish an international mechanism to support education
and capacity building?: See comments on 63h. There is no need to
establish a new international mechanism for this purpose.
76. Chemical safety should become an important part of national
policy. Highly hazardous pesticides should be addressed through
implementing the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution
and Use of Pesticides. A pesticide Pesticide authorization and
regulatory systems should be established at the national level. The
international codes and standards for industrial chemicals should be
developed. Countries need to address existing stocks of obsolete
chemicals while take taking proactive strategies to avoid the
development of future new obsolete stocks of chemicals.
Editorial revisions.
78. The link between chemical safety, risk prevention and
reduction and sustainable development should be fully reflected in the
funding decisions of bilateral development assistance cooperation
agencies. Donors need to recognize and encourage the inclusion of
chemical safety objectives as important elements of development
cooperation. Meanwhile, countries need to integrate fully the
objectives of sound management of chemicals into national plans and
corresponding budgets. Consideration should be given to expanding
the funding for the chemicals focal area in GEF, should be considered.
Editorial revisions.
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Canadian Proposed Revisions to Document E/CN.17/2011/5 Rationale
A permanent and sustainable SAICM financial mechanism to replace
the and to sustaining the funding for SAICM beyond the current QSP
Trust Fund period should be established.
81. The international policy and legal framework for chemicals should
be further strengthened, including through
The international community should continue to act for the full and
effective implementation of the chemical and waste agenda, including
through support for SAICM as the international policy framework,
successful negotiation of the globally legally binding instrument on
mercury, examination of the usefulness effectiveness of broader
chemical legal instruments, and development consideration of
international structures for sound management of chemicals post-2020.
See comments on 51 c.
Stakeholders