NGO Submissions on the draft High Level DeclarationBlog
A group of NGOs coordinated by HEJSupport, SSNC, and PAN International prepared comments to the first draft of the High Level Declaration (HLD). The Declaration is planned to be adopted at the fifth meeting of the International Conference on Chemicals Management in 2021.
NGOs inter alai note that in general, at the beginning of the HLD it should be clearly stated that chemicals and waste is a crosscutting issue that impacts the biodiversity loss, resource depletion, and climate change. This will send a strong and clear message to the world leaders that the topic of chemicals and waste must be significantly raised on the policy agenda at all levels – from local to global.
In the commitments/actions NGOs suggest to stress the responsibility of industry to make data and information on health and environmental effects of chemicals available to stakeholders. They also highlight the need to act for global harmonization of the highest standards for health and environment for chemicals of global concern that are not covered by existing multi-lateral agreements. This will help to strengthen protection of human health and the environment, as well as facilitate international trade in the globalized economy.
NGOs believe that the ambition of the HLD needs to be elevated. For example, the HLD should clearly state that information on chemicals relating to the health and safety of humans and the environment should not be regarded as confidential, fully implementing the right to know. It should emphasize the need to ensure public access to information and knowledge on chemicals throughout their life cycle, including the risks that they pose to human health and the environment.
The High Level Declaration should call on the entire United Nations system to make this Beyond 2020 framework central to their policies and programmes wherever it involves chemicals and/or waste.