United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Switzerland

Switzerland
- Thanks for excellent and rich presentations;
- they have convincingly shown that to achieve our common
objective of zero waste and sound chemicals management, we
need
o a strategic vision,
o a coherent and synergetic political and technical
approach
o and the involvement of all relevant actors.
- Chemicals are an issue at the heart of sustainable
development. Chemicals improve our life standards and they are
crucial for our well-being. But they can also be a challenge for the
environment and human health. And, chemicals management is
directly interlinked with poverty: the poorest suffer most from
unsound management, and they strongly benefit from sound
chemicals and waste management.
It is therefore most appropriate that this issue is addressed as a
priority by this CSD-session.
Let me focus my intervention on your third question: What needs to
be done to improve management throughout their life cycle.
ð A couple of years ago, Switzerland was supporting and
organizing a series of regional and subregional workshops to
support the implementation of the then new Rotterdam and
Stockholm Conventions.
one clear message that came out from these workshops was the
need for better coordination. It is neither effective nor efficient to
implement one of the two conventions in isolation of the broader
chemicals policy.
ð We have to stop to look at chemicals at a specific moment of
their life,
chemicals need not only attention when they are POPs, when they
are moved across borders, or when they become waste. We need
to look at chemicals throughout their life cycle.
We need a strategic and comprehensive vision and approach of
chemicals.
We therefore need a coordinated, comprehensive and
synergetic political framework, both at the national and the
international level.
ð At the international level, the synergies process between
Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm is a crucial first step. We need to
deepen and enlarge this approach, namely:
o We have to deepen it by ensuring not only joint
administrative secretariat services, but also look at
coordinated decision making, support and implementation;
o We have to enlarge it by looking beyond the three
conventions to ensure also coordination with SAICM and
other relevant initiatives.
o And, we have to enlarged it by making sure that new
conventions and other approaches to address new
challenges will also be embedded in the current structure
ð Switzerland remains committed to contribute to the further
deepening and enlarging of the synergies process to make sure
that the policy response to the challenges of chemicals looks at
them throughout their life cycle. This is a crucial step to improve
assessment and management of chemicals throughout their life
cycle.
ð We hope that chemicals management will not only continue to
be beneficial for all of us,
but that chemicals management policy will also remain as dynamic
as it has been and that it continues to provide through its synergy
process a show-case example for a concrete approach to
strengthen international environmental governance
Finally, let me also address very briefly the issue of the Basel
Convention Ban Amendment, to which several interventions have
referred to and which is linked to your first question concerning a
better waste management. Columbia has already referred to it:
Switzerland, together with Indonesia, has launched at the last COP of
the Basel Convention a process to find a solution with regard to the
Ban Amendment, not only with regard to the emotional and overpoliticized
issue of the Ban Amendment as such, but also with regard
to the underlying issues and causes for the inacceptable situation that
today, still, hazardous wastes are transported to countries that don?t
want them and that can?t manage them in a sound manner. This
Country-Led Initiative of Indonesia and Switzerland has involved
key proponents and key proponents of the Ban Amendment, and it
has resulted in a concrete proposal that will be submitted to the next
COP in Cartagena. It not only addresses the entry into force of the
amendment, it also foresees concrete actions concerning sound
management standards, legal clarity, training, capacity building and
therefore using the Basel and Stockholm regional centers. We are
looking forward to discuss this proposal with all of you in Cartagena.
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