United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Women

The Women?s Major Group would like to focus your attention on the issue of obsolete pesticide
storage and the remediation of contaminated areas which is a big problem for developing countries
and economies in transition. Pesticide overconsumption has resulted in huge amounts of obsolete
and banned pesticides stored in different countries. In Russia alone, this toxic legacy amounts to
more than 40 000 tons of obsolete and banned pesticides. Yet while these pesticides are no longer
useful for agriculture, they continue to contaminate soil and water, while the structures built to
contain them are literally collapsing. Stocks of obsolete and banned pesticides, especially under poor
storage conditions, therefore represent a major global environmental and health threat.
The overwhelming majority of women living nearby pesticide storage facilities and dumps report
reproductive disorders, while the environmental pollution problems from obsolete pesticide
stockpiles are well known.
A few weeks ago a real environmental tragedy happened in Armenia when a pesticide burial site was
significantly damaged and obsolete pesticides were spread on the soil surface. Non-governmental
organizations, mainly women organizations, were the first to raise the alarm.
Civil society groups often play the leading role in addressing the problem of hazardous waste, such
as obsolete pesticides. We call upon all governments to eliminate this toxic legacy, using the
appropriate technologies which do not lead to the emissions and releases of new toxic chemicals.