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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Montenegro and Slovenia

Division for the Support to the National Council for Sustainable Development
Date: 6 – 10 January 2014
Sustainable Consumption and Production, including Chemicals and Waste
MNE–SI speaking points for 7th meeting of OWG SDGs
· With the increasing pressure of population and economic growth, we are all witnesses that
many of the current environmental challenges as well as economic and social imbalances
result from unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Continuous pressure on
ecosystems, inefficient and inequitable use of resources and uneven distribution of negative
effects of pollution and environmental degradation directly influence and undermine
development efforts in many countries.
· Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) has universal relevance for all countries,
irrespective of their level of development. In addition to environmental benefits, stimulating
SCP practices is set to bring great economic benefits especially in increasing the amount of
natural, physical and human capital available, creating decent jobs and economic
opportunities and contributing to poverty eradication. One of the key effects of SCP policies
is the increased efficiency and stimulation of innovation, which can act as an engine for
overall development.
· However, as with all other topics we have discussed so far in OWG, in this area as well, we
need to be particularly careful to bear in mind that a uniform approach in our attempts to
alter the existing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production would not result in
the best possible outcomes. As we face different challenges to sustainable development and
SCP in different parts of the world, one-size-fits-all approach is not sufficient to achieve
progress in promoting SCP.
· In designing the future SDG agenda, our focus needs to be on decoupling economic growth
from resource use and environmental degradation through technological innovation, ecoefficiency,
and advances in information and communications technology, especially with
regards to addressing increasing air and water pollution, waste generation and the use and
disposal of harmful chemical substances. At the same time, we must foster behavioural
change in consumption patterns, which will be essential for moving towards a circular
economy and encouraging wider populations to make more sustainable lifestyle choices.
· We are aware that mainstreaming SCP in decision making at all levels and designing
integrated policies and legal frameworks is a precondition for the implementation of SCP in
practice. Equally important will be the support for the engagement of all stakeholders in this
process with actions ranging from consumer education and awareness raising on issues such
as resource scarcity, waste utilisation (from end of pipe approach to cradle to cradle
approach and 3R) to the strengthening of the existing capacities of producers and building
partnerships with businesses through education and enabling access to environmentally
sound technologies.
· We believe that our attention should remain on the promotion of efficient, responsible and
clean production systems and, in this regard, we attach great importance to the cooperation
among countries in exchanging the examples of best case practices. We strongly support the
existing global commitments made to the SCP related actions, including the 10YFP and the
establishment of networks such as UNIDO/UNEP supported Resource Efficient and Cleaner
Production (especially establishment of national Cleaner Production centres).
· Designing and implementing SCP policies is a complex challenge, however, we remain
convinced that this should not be a reason for inaction. Reiterating the need for a strong
focus on science and evidence-based approach in building and monitoring of the future SDG
agenda, we remain convinced that sustainable consumption and production will remain one
of important mechanisms for the overall achievement of sustainability agenda.
· On the issue of chemicals we would like to point out that minimization of significant adverse
effects of chemicals on human health and the environment is of paramount importance in
sustainable development endeavours. Attention should also be given to new concerns (e.g.
endocrine disrupters, nanomaterials), as well as vulnerable groups.
· Reduction of dangerous chemicals production and use, replacement of dangerous chemicals
with less dangerous alternative materials or technologies, with emphasis on reducing
differences is of great importance. In determining and reducing chemicals impact, a whole
life-cycle and cross-sectorial influences should be taken into account and fair share of
benefits and burden between all countries needs to be achieved. Product stewardship
initiatives should be promoted and encouraged. 3R (reduce, recycle, reuse) principle should
become the guiding principle not only on a large-scale and industrial level, but on an
individual level, thus directly and indirectly reducing the needs for materials and chemicals
used in their production. New economic practices need to be developed, enabling people in
developing countries to secure their existence by means other than having their natural
resources and their habitats to be over-exploited. Allow me to point out our position that
SDGs should be formulated through human rights based approach. As we have stressed
already at previous sessions, that respect for human rights is an important prerequisite for
achieving sustainable development.
· Before I conclude, I would like to recall our general position towards the elaboration of SDGs
that should be evidence-based and have measurable qualitative and quantitative indicators
that will help to ensure full implementation of the visions we are certain we will create
together in this process.