|List of conventions|
The ‘Prior Informed Consent’ procedures of the International Code of Conduct emerged in response to concerns about the dramatic growth in chemical production and trade during the last three decades and the associated risks posed by hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Countries lacking adequate infrastructure to monitor import and use of such substances were particularly vulnerable. These procedures, proposed by PAN UK for the Code, were adapted into a treaty in Rotterdam in September 1998, and enables parties to review basic health and environmental data on specified chemicals and to permit or refuse any incoming shipments of those chemicals. The objective of this convention is to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals and to contribute to their environmentally sound use through information exchange. The Rotterdam Convention entered into force in February 2004.
Adopted in May 2001, in Stockholm, Sweden, the POPs Convention calls for outright banning and destruction of some of the world’s most dangerous chemicals. The convention entered into force in May 2004 and has 100 parties to date. It seeks the elimination or restriction of production and use of all intentionally produced POPs. The convention targets pesticides, industrial chemicals and unintentionally produced POPs. Parties are required to submit National Implementation Plans (NIPs) within two years after joining the convention.
The Montreal Protocol, aimed at the control and elimination of ozone depleting substances (such as methyl bromide), has demonstrated useful lessons with regard to the design and implementation of country or sector level strategies which combine capacity building, regulatory and legislative development. The protocol came into force in January 1989.
The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides is the worldwide guidance document on pesticide management for all public and private entities engaged in, or associated with, the distribution and use of pesticides. It was first adopted in 1985 by the FAO Conference and revised most recently in 2002. The Code is designed to provide standards of conduct and to serve as a point of reference in relation to sound pesticide management practices, in particular for civil society, government authorities and the pesticide industry.
Concluded in Basel, Switzerland, in March 1989, this convention entered into force in May 1992. Now ratified by 165 countries including 43 of the 53 African countries, the focus of this convention is to control the movement of hazardous wastes, ensure their environmentally sound management and disposal, and prevent illegal waste trafficking. At a ministerial-level meeting held in Rabat, Morocco, in January 2001, African countries agreed the Rabat Programme of Action, to enhance the capacity of the region to
• strengthen existing logistical and financial approaches and pursue alternative and innovative approaches at the national, subregional, regional, and global levels to prevent and dispose of unwanted stocks of pesticides, PCBs, and used oils.
• protect human health and the environment from dangers posed by hazardous wastes by reducing their generation to a minimum;
• adopt precautionary measures and ensure proper disposal of hazardous wastes; and
• prevent hazardous waste dumping in Africa.
The Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention was agreed by the General Conference of the International Labour Organization in 2001. It aims to protect agricultural workers from harm resulting from their work. A specific section addresses the sound management of chemicals including use, regulation, and distribution.
Adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and ratified by 188 countries, the Convention on Biological Diversity has three main goals: the conservation of biodiversity; the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity; and sharing the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. Pesticides, particularly POPs pesticides, can severely affect plant life, wildlife, marine systems, domestic animals, and humans.
The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. SAICM’s objective is the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002)
• Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management: high-level political commitment to SAICM
• Overarching Policy Strategy: scope, objectives, and underlying principles of the five themes: risk reduction; knowledge and information; governance; capacity-building and technical cooperation; and illegal international traffic.
• Global Plan of Action: working tool and guidance document indicating activities to be implemented, as appropriate, by stakeholders