United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Science & Technology

Scientific and Technological Community
Statement on Chemicals
Gisbert Glaser, International Council for Science (ICSU)
Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for CSD-19
New York, 1March 2011
Mr. Chair,
The Scientific and Technological Community considers as a priority for action
that implementation of the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals
Management (SAICAM), aimed at strengthening capacity for sound chemicals
management and a life cycle approach, must be enhanced and accelerated.
Sound management of chemicals must be addressed in all relevant sectors, not
the least in agriculture, with full involvement and education of farmers.
CSD-19 should address the challenges identified for developing countries,
particularly lack of sufficient scientific information and inadequate human
resources capacity for carrying out assessment of risks related to the use of
many chemicals. North-south scientific and technical cooperation in the area of
sound chemicals management should be enhanced substantially.
CSD-19 takes place in this International Year of Chemistry (2011). The
Commission?s negotiated outcome document of its session coming May (2011)
should incorporate recommendations and commitments on enhancing university
education and research in pure and applied chemistry, as well as on consumer
information and public awareness of potential risks that chemicals pose. We
recommend launching an international mechanism to support education and
capacity building in the implementation of the three Conventions of Rotterdam,
Stockholm and Basel.
The Scientific and Technological Community sees an urgent need of
strengthening national science-based regulation systems, in particular in
developing countries. Specific attention must be paid to strengthening national
agencies tasked with ensuring enforcement and compliance.
Last but not least, Mr. Chair, our Community calls on industry and governments
to increase significantly investments in ?green chemistry? research and
development. In fact, all stakeholders should demonstrate enhanced support for
the development and use of safe, environmentally benign substances in
replacement of more hazardous ones. Green chemistry needs to be supported
through economic incentives and favourable market conditions, and through
much enhanced international cooperation, including transfer of technology and
dedicated scientific and technological capacity building.
Thank you.