United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Switzerland

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INTERGOVERNMENTAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE NINETEENTH SESSION OF
THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Intervention on chemicals management by Switzerland
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
For Switzerland, the sustainable management of chemicals and hazardous waste
is an important priority, not only at the national level, but also internationally. As
host of many important international institutions in the area of chemicals and
waste and also as host to an important industrial sector in this area, Switzerland
considers having a specific responsibility. Therefore, Switzerland is a prime
supporter of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management
SAICM.
Chemicals offer tremendous opportunities and benefits. Today?s well-being would
not be possible without chemicals. In order to use the benefits but as well to
address the challenges and risks of chemicals the whole life-cycle of these
substances has to be taken into consideration.
Four key elements for further policy action can be indentified to ensure the
environmental sound management of chemicals:
1) Further enhancing coordination and cooperation within the chemicals
and waste cluster:
CSD should give a clear message that there is a strong need to deepen and
broaden the synergies within the chemicals and waste cluster at the
international level.
At the UNEP Governing Council last week in Nairobi the international
community underlined the need for an approach to the sound management
of chemicals and wastes at all levels that responds to new and emerging
issues and challenges in an effective, efficient, coherent and coordinated
manner.
The CSD should therefore welcome the decision of the UNEP Governing
Council to launch a consultative process on the challenges to and options for
further enhancing cooperation and coordination in the chemicals and wastes
cluster in the long term.
2) Enhancing the implementation of the international chemicals and waste
policy
Making better use of the synergies amongst international chemicals and
waste instruments will also improve efficiency and effectiveness of
implementation at the national level.
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Other essentials means for further enhancing implementation are to integrate
sound chemicals and waste management into national development plans
and to foster cooperation with industry and the private sector through private
public partnerships.
3) The responsiveness to new and emerging issues
There is a strong need for a long term strategy to ensure that the chemicals
and waste regime is responsive in an effective, efficient, coherent and
coordinated manner to new and emerging issues and challenges.
An example for such a new emerging issue is nanotechnology. Switzerland is
of the opinion that the SAICM is the right forum for examining the risks
associated with nanotechnologies and nanomaterials and for sharing
respective information. This will be the basis for determining whether and
what kind of further action is needed to address these risks.
4) Financing and compliance
Sustainable financing and effective and efficient compliance are cross cutting
issues for the sustainable management of chemicals and wastes.
The CSD should recognise the importance of these issues and their
interlinkage. It should also identify the opportunities for addressing these two
cross cutting issues in a coherent, coordinated, effective and efficient manner
such as the ongoing UNEP led process on financing chemicals and waste
and the further development of the synergies process amongst the chemicals
and waste conventions.
Mr. Chairman, chemicals and waste are two challenges that are addressed in a
joint manner at international but often as well at regional and national levels. For
example, the initial synergies process takes place amongst the three conventions
that deal with chemicals and waste issues. Also the SAICM provides a
framework for both chemicals and waste policy related issues.
This linkage is also reflected in the documents for this meeting. It needs to be
reflected in our further organization of work so that chemicals and waste issues
can be discussed jointly. Furthermore, the omnibus decision of CSD 19 should
deal with chemicals and waste in a joint subsection.
We are looking forward to a Chair?s Draft Negotiating Text based on the
Resource Paper that takes these issues into account.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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