United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

UNEP

Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19)
New York, 1st March 2011
United Nations Environment Programme
Statement on policy options for the sustainable management of chemicals
Future policy options should focus on strengthening and facilitating the implementation and enforcement of
international instruments through further coordination and synergies between existing instruments and processes
for chemicals and waste management, in addition to multilateral environmental agreements generally. The joint
delivery of services at national level along these lines could be further explored.
This approach should be complemented by the systematic mainstreaming of sound management of chemicals into
MDG-based national development planning processes. Further, positioning chemical issues in the broader context
of sustainable development strategies remains essential to effectively raise awareness among key stakeholders.
UNEP?s current projects include the development of a global chemicals outlook which will examine policies and
trends in the production and use of hazardous chemicals and an economic cost of inaction, providing a coherent
framework for assessing and setting priorities for international attention
UNEP works with the United Nations Development Programme on a mainstreaming initiative to integrate the sound
management of chemicals into national development plans and with the World Health Organization on the linkages
between health and environment.
While SAICM has achieved progress on several specific issues, the task at hand remains enormous, and many, if not
most, of the issues identified as priorities in 1992 may remain outstanding in 2020
The GC of UNEP noted last week the objectives set at the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development in 1992 and confirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002
that by 2020 chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse
effects on human health and the environment, and the need to review the objectives in the context of the
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012,
Noting also that further action may be needed to strengthen the sound management of chemicals and wastes
globally up to 2020 and beyond,
The 19th session of the CSD and UNCSD in 2012 provide an opportunity to consider the wider international
governance structure for sound management of chemicals beyond the lifetime of the Strategic Approach.
This might include the possibility to develop a global structure for implementing global policy actions on chemicals
of concern and to promote a proactive approach to the management of chemicals in order to avoid potential effects
on human health and environment. UNEP?s experience in facilitating the development and implementation of
global frameworks for chemicals management would make it an important actor should this global structure take
form.