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Key decisions adopted at 2015 Triple COPs to promote the sustainable management of chemicals and waste

Significant steps towards the sustainable management of chemicals and waste were agreed upon during May by parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Running from 4-15 May 2015, featuring almost 1,200 participants from 171 countries, the biennial triple COPs were opened by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, who warned of a “Tsunami of electronic waste rolling across the globe”.

Parties adopted key decisions including nine technical guidelines for the management of waste under the Basel Convention, three new listings under the Stockholm Convention (polychlorinated napthalenes, hexachlorobutadiene, and pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters) and one under the Rotterdam Convention (methamidophos), and continued and strengthened synergies and implementation arrangements.

The UNEP Rapid Response Assessment report ‘Waste Crimes – Waste Risks’ was launched at a side event during the COPs and a three-day Science Fair underlined the importance of the science-policy interface for sustainable management.

BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet stressed the significance of the steps taken in noting that “our Conventions’ joint and mutually reinforcing objective is the protection of human health and the environment, and the Guidelines and additional listings decided upon by Parties during these two weeks continue to move us in this crucial direction”.

“We have to place the sustainable management of chemicals and waste in the context of peoples’ lives, especially the more than 1 billion people on our planet who continue to live in absolute poverty and who strive to better themselves in whatever ways they can,” Payet stressed. "We will never waver in our moral and political responsibilities towards the most vulnerable people in this world, and I believe strongly that the three conventions continue to offer the best framework for moving jointly towards a greener, more inclusive economy, and a safer tomorrow for all”.

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