United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Group of 77 & China

Mr. Chairman,
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of G77 and China to address the critical issue of waste management which is highlighted in Agenda 21 as major concern in maintaining the quality of the Earth¡¦s environment. Its relevance to the global endeavors to eradicate poverty and achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development is well recognized.
2. The G77 and China would like to thank the Secretary-General for the preparation of the report on the theme of Waste Management. The Group is of the view that in our discussions on waste management, we must also bear in mind the other themes of the current review cycle which are interconnected.
Mr. Chairman,
3. I would like to list the following persistent challenges in developing countries:
?X Ineffective and inefficient waste management still resulting in adverse impacts on health of surrounding communities as well as local environment, in terms of pollution of land, water and air which are becoming more acute. In this regard, effective and environmentally sound waste management requires immediate attention particularly in developing countries.
?X The problem of solid waste management is a growing source of concern in urban centers of developing countries, driven by population growth, rapid urbanization, industrialization and rising living standards, and is identified as one of the major challenges in the promotion of sustainable consumption and production in developing countries.
?X Many developing cities have not been able to set up adequate systems for the collection of municipal and industrial waste due to their poor infrastructure base, limited resources and lack of proper urban management planning. Waste management infrastructure is largely non-existent in rural areas.
?X Improvements in infrastructure are urgently needed to combat the high cost of health services and thereby eradicate poverty and reduce rural-urban migration.

?X Poor waste management practices, in particular, widespread dumping of waste in water bodies and uncontrolled dump sites, aggravates the problems of generally low sanitation levels in developing countries.
?X For the most part in developing countries, services are not available for the separate handling of special waste such as household hazardous waste, construction and demolition waste, medical and infectious waste, tires, sewage sludge or chemical and pharmaceutical waste.
?X A significant obstacle to effective waste management is cost. There is a need for investment in the development of low-cost options suitable for poor communities, which could be upgraded as incomes rise. This will require long-term technical cooperation between developed and developing countries. Governments will need to tap the resources and expertise resulting from North-South and South-South cooperation and partnerships. Donor countries can assist developing countries by allocating higher portions of official development assistance (ODA) to waste management programmes, providing a higher proportion of financial assistance in the form of grants and improving donor coordination in implementation efforts.
?X The gap between waste management policy and legislation and actual waste management practices is widening due to perennial capacity constraints and lack of waste management facilities for various waste streams.
?X Access to major investments and acquiring the technical know-how needed to resolve the capacity constraints.
?X Emerging new waste streams such as electronic waste require special attention aiming at a high rate of recovery worldwide. Electronic waste intended for recycling is illegally exported from developed to developing countries disguised as second hand goods. Electronic companies¡¦ failure to take responsibility for recycling their products is expanding the trade in hazardous waste from developed to developing countries, poisoning people and environment.
Mr. Chairman,
4. On the lessons learned and the way forward, we would like to highlight the following:
?X Comprehensive national and local policies on waste management covering all types of waste and all aspects of waste management need to be formulated and rigorously enforced. Policy frameworks to support resource recovery from waste need to be strengthened as well.
?X There is need to promote the use of biotechnologies, with emphasis on bio-remediation of land and water, waste treatment, soil conservation, reforestation, afforestation and land rehabilitation.

?X The economic, environmental and social benefits, as well as the local applicability, of an integrated solid waste management approach with a focus on the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) have been demonstrated, but need to be more widely disseminated.
?X In this context, intensive efforts are needed in capacity-building financing 3Rs and transfer of technology in the municipalities of developing countries.
?X The involvement of the private sector, in partnership with local communities, in solid waste management activities, has created employment and job opportunities for a substantial number of jobless city residents, many of whom were previously unemployed women and youth. Gradually, this experience is gaining ground, and is certain to reach other countries.
?X Solid waste management activities have been serving as means of income generation for people. The income generated is not only from wage payments but also from sales of items recovered from solid waste.
?X Support for the improvement of regulatory frameworks and infrastructures, monitoring and data-collection capabilities for the effective monitoring of waste generation, treatment and disposal, and the establishment of criteria for waste treatment and disposal quality. This should be supported by effective national institutions with the necessary backstopping from the international community.
?X Economic instruments, such as resource taxes and household user fees combined with landfill taxes, have been particularly useful for inducing overarching waste prevention behavior.
5. Finally, Mr. Chairmen, the efforts of developing countries must be complemented by the international community as follows:
?X The international community should support transfer and dissemination of knowledge and technology and foster investments in best practices for environmentally sound management of various waste streams in developing countries. The scale of investments needed for proper sanitation and environmentally sound management of wastes is beyond the capacity of developing countries.
?X The international community should implement the relevant international agreements/conventions on waste management (particularly the Bamako, Basel and Cotonou Conventions) and provide assistance to developing countries to strengthen their national, human and institutional capacities for implementation and enforcement (especially for control of imports and exports of wastes and waste containing products).

?X The international community should conclude, as a matter of urgency, the negotiations and ratification of a protocol on liability and compensation for damages under the Basel Convention.
?X The availability of financial resources for developing, implementing and operating management systems in developing countries needs to be enhanced. There is a need to develop and implement innovative financial instruments to raise funds for waste management.
?X Specific assistance is needed to establish proper inventories of hazardous, radio-active wastes and sites potentially affected by poor management of such wastes, as a basis for developing and implementing facilities for managing them and cleaning up contaminated sites.
?X Assistance is also required for awareness and cultural exchange programmes for integrated waste management.
?X Electronics companies need to increase their efforts to collect and responsibly treat e-waste. It is critical they take full responsibility for the safe recycling of their products and put an end to growing e-waste dumps across the developing world.
Thank you.