HEJSupport at SAICM IP4 Meeting

HEJSupport at SAICM IP4 Meeting


In the week of August 29 and September 3, the IP4 Meeting of SAICM takes place in Bucharest, Romania. HEJSupport is present at the meeting and actively working to achieve an ambitious future instrument for the international management of chemicals and waste.

Interventions made by HEJSupport during the plenary.

Opening intervention

Thank you madame CoChair. I am speaking on behalf of Health and Environment Justice Support, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, groundwork/Friends of the Earth South Africa, the European Environmental Bureau and A Group of NGOs.

The presented Compilation of recommendations document is very helpful and includes a table of targets under the Strategic Objectives. We believe that the Beyond 2020 instrument should have measurable targets, indicators, and milestones, and provide clear connections to minimizing and eliminating harms associated with chemicals and wastes.  It should prioritize the assessment of the impact of toxic substances and waste on vulnerable populations and, based on this, develop and implement adequate measures to minimize harm. 

The Compilation of Recommendations document already includes a list of such targets as new targets proposed under all strategic objectives and included in the Appendix B. Many of these targets are focused on concrete risk reduction activities and highlight crucial aspects which should be prioritised by the Beyond 2020 instrument, including transparency of information on chemicals of global concern. These new targets need also be discussed and considered during the negotiations.

In addition, we believe that the Beyond 2020 instrument should recognize the cross-cutting character of chemicals and waste and their link to biodiversity loss, the climate crisis, and resource depletion. 

To reduce and eliminate risk from toxic chemicals and waste, the new instrument should primarily focus on the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the achievement of SDG targets by prioritizing both voluntary approaches  and binding measures as necessary. 

Furthermore, the new instrument should include strong support for gender equality and human rights, particularly the right to a healthy environment adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2022 and include the precautionary and the right to know principles.

Intervention on stakeholder engagement

We would like to echo the interventions from Canada and Health Care without Harm regarding the stakeholder engagement and note that the multistakeholder involvement in SAICM has always been based on transparency and equal participation in all related activities, including decision-making. This principle should be moved to the Beyond 2020 instrument to preserve the inclusive character of the new strategy and ensure effective sound management of chemicals and waste.

Specific attention should be made to engaging vulnerable populations and their unjust exposure to hazardous chemicals and waste. They should be part of decision-making related to sound chemicals and waste management at all stages of the chemical lifecycle, including the assessment of pollution sources, safety at the workplace, switching to alternatives and implementation of new initiatives.

Thank you very much.

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Written by Alexandra Caterbow