United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Group of 77 & China

Chairperson,
Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates,
On behalf of the Group 77 and China, let me congratulate you for chairing this session. I also extend my Group?s congratulations to facilitators for their excellent presentations.
Chairperson,
The importance of chemicals to developing countries cannot be over emphasised. In developing countries, agricultural sector widely relies on chemicals products. We use chemicals in producing organic and inorganic fertilizers for crops and crop protection to influence food quality as well as to control insects and weeds. Chemicals are also widely used in the medical sector, mining and mineral processing, cosmetics, and as preservatives including production of plastic products etc.. Chemical industry has significant socio economic contribution to the economies of developing countries providing forward and backward linkage. For this reasons therefore, chemicals are closely linked to the Millennium Development Goals and contribute to poverty alleviation, jobs creation and improved living standards. It is the interest of G77 and China to encourage continued investments in production, capacity building, research and development in this sector.
Chairperson,
Notwithstanding its usefulness, chemicals are also main contributor of toxic compounds therefore unregulated wide scale use of chemicals lead to pollution and can also promote adverse environmental and health impacts worldwide. Chemical pollution has serious damage to human health, genetic structures, reproductive outcomes and the environment; its remedial measures can be costly requiring both financial, technology and capacity which all are inadequate in developing countries. In this context, G77 and China urges the international community to continue efforts as spelled out in Johannesburg Plan of Action to manage chemicals.

Chairperson,
Significant efforts are taking place at international levels that need to be coordinated and harmonised. G77 and China acknowledges that the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) constitutes an important global framework for strengthening capacity for sound chemicals management and narrowing the capacity gap between the developing and the developed countries. This strategy also acknowledges the enhancement of International cooperation through the adoption and implementation of multilateral agreements including the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Montreal Protocol on the Ozone Layer. G77 and China is following closely emerging proposals intended to address the challenges on chemicals management which we believe could be a good starting point for further articulation of internationally harmonised regime on chemicals including:
? setting out rules for registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals,
? Managing certain toxic chemicals, particularly pesticides;
? strengthening preparedness for chemical emergencies;
? developing legislation on compensation for environmental damages; and
? Supporting developing countries in their efforts to prevent illegal trans-boundary shipments of hazardous chemical and radioactive wastes.
Chairperson,
While these processes are in progress, we are concerned that in developing countries, more remains to be done to ensure the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, within the principles of sustainable development. G77 and China believe that two of the major problems, particularly in developing countries, are (a) lack of sufficient scientific information for the assessment of risks entailed by the use of a great number of chemicals, and (b) lack of resources for assessment of chemicals for which data are at hand as well as inadequate human resources capacity. We believe that efforts should be made within the framework of sustainable development to support developing countries.
The G77 and China emphasise that increased coordination of United Nations bodies and other international organizations involved in chemicals assessment and management need immediate attention and should be further promoted cognizant of the linkage to other areas Sustainable Consumption and Production. We look forward to enhanced support by the international community to all processes that address sound management of chemicals.

Chairperson,
I now wish to turn to the critical issue of waste management.
There is an urgent need to intensify the fight against poverty and to drastically improve the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals related to sanitation and public health in the developing countries. Great benefits could be achieved through the provision of better services for waste disposal and treatment, the promotion of environmental education and effective and efficient waste management actions.
Most importantly, however, the developing countries needs a greater investment, additional financial resources ,capacity-building, know-how and technology transfer in implanting the 3Rs (reducing, reuse, recycle) in order to ensure a better quality of life for the population. Improvements in infrastructure are urgently needed to combat the high cost of health services and thereby eradication of poverty and reduce rural-urban migration.
The Group believes that a specific assistance is needed in developing countries, including Africa, SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs, 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, including at sea and in the oceans.
The G77 and China is deeply concerned about the dumping of potentially toxic electronic waste. The expanding of illegal trade in hazardous waste from developed to developing countries, is poisoning people and environment. The Group is in view that the 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.
Chairperson,
The Group believes that 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.
The international community should implement the relevant international agreements/conventions on waste management (particularly the Bamako, Basel 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).

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.
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.
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.
Assistance is also required for awareness and cultural exchange programmes for integrated waste management.
I thank you Chairperson.
Stakeholders