United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

SAICM/CEE

Mr/Mme Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Delegates,
I would like to convey this brief intervention on behalf of the SAICM CEE Regional Focal Point and
also on behalf of the Countries of the CEE Region.
The CEE region firmly believes that the chemicals-related activities undertaken by the Commission on
Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management
(SAICM) are clearly related to each other and their mutual reinforcement may largely influence the
minds of the national policy makers and help to give an impetus to place the issue of chemicals high
on the national and international agenda.
The outcomes of the current CSD cycle should to a great extent contribute to achieving significant
progress in global chemicals management, enhance the overall SAICM implementation and
constitute an important step in building synergies towards the achievement of the objectives of
sound chemicals management by 2020. We believe that it is vital for all UN Regions, not only for the
CEE.
One of the issues that was stressed during the last CEE Regional Meeting held in Lodz, Poland, in
December 2009, was the importance of the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System for
Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). It was brought up in the context of the universal
mainstreaming of chemicals management into national development strategies. In our regions? view
the GHS is one of the main tools for handling chemicals safely and cooperation on chemicals issues at
the national or regional level should begin with standardization of classification and labeling.
Harmonized system also enhances trade between countries through provision of standardized hazard
communication for protection of end-users.
Moreover, we believe that GHS should be widely supported by the Ministries responsible for the
economic development and trade as well as by business and industry due to GHS potential to boost
international trade and create research and development opportunities.
The inclusion of the GHS as a future additional priority in the regional action plan was widely
supported. The meeting encouraged an increase in activities on this topic wherever possible. It had
been expected that the GHS would be introduced by 2008, but in many countries of our region it has
not been achieved.
We would like to underline that for the majority of CEE countries, and it is also true for other
regions, one of the major obstacles in GHS implementation is the lack of availability of its text in
national languages. We believe that this issue should be addressed in the development assistance
programmes.
Therefore Countries of the CEE Region sincerely believe that if the Commission expresses the need to
mainstream chemicals management, including GHS, in development strategies and assistance, it will
lead to the significant success in the implementation of the overall SAICM goal. Development and
implementation of relevant laws, policy, i.e. appropriate enforcement authorities, will make the
achievement of the objectives of sound chemicals management a reality.
Thank you for your attention.