United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset of my intervention let me acknowledge many successful aspects of last week?s discussions on the thematic issues of transport, chemicals, waste management, mining and a 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production which are subject to review during this session.
Poland fully associates itself with the statement of the European Union.
Mr. Chairman,
Poland recognizes the importance of collective action in the area of chemicals and waste management, as well as the necessity to increase public awareness. The process of international cooperation should contribute to the effective and transparent regulations with the purpose of protecting human health and environment from risk caused by chemical substances and waste and, at the same time, create conditions for sustainable development and enterprises competitiveness.
Poland, as a part of the European Union Market, has gone through an intense period of establishing and implementing the new EU chemicals system into national law. A lot of work still needs to be done as the REACH system covers not only registration, evaluation, authorization, restriction of chemicals but also moves the responsibility for substances placed on the market to manufactures, importers and downstream users.
We recognize the importance of implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) approved at the United Nation?s level in 2002. The GHS is one of the main tools for handling chemicals safely and it could accelerate efforts to boost international trade and economic development.
Poland welcomes progress already achieved in the worldwide implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM). We would like to underline that Poland is active in the regional cooperation within Strategic Approach and,
as a current SAICM Regional Focal Point for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), organized the CEE regional meeting in December 2009.
Poland is also the Contracting Party to the regional conventions e.g. Helsinki Convention. The Convention covers the whole of the Baltic Sea area, including inland waters as well as the water of the sea itself and the sea-bed. Measures are also taken in the whole catchment area of the Baltic Sea to reduce land-based pollution. This is why pollution caused by waste is another important issue which Poland is facing nowadays.
Mr. Chairman,
The waste management should be considered broadly, as a cross-cutting issue strictly connected to economic and social activity. There is a need to focus on the management of waste already generated and on the prevention of its generation as well. Therefore, the necessity of actions during the production and consumption process should be taken into account.
Poland, as a member of the European Union, recognizes the need of acting in compliance with the waste hierarchy, which gives a priority for prevention, before the re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal. Poland introduced, into national legal system, environmentally friendly waste management measures concerning inter alia waste batteries and accumulators, end-of-life vehicles or waste electrical and electronic equipment.
We recognize the importance of the problem of municipal waste management. In order to improve the municipal waste management system, Poland is trying to change the current situation, where most of the municipal waste is being disposed on landfills. The appropriate legal measures, currently under preparation, should create the conditions to build modern and eco-innovative installations.
Mr. Chairman,
Poland believes that the above changes, in the issue of waste management, would have a positive impact on the society by creating the green jobs and changing the behavior of the population. We believe that Poland is one of the countries that is effectively mainstreaming chemicals and waste management in national development policies.
Thank you for your attention.