Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
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  • Date submitted: 29 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: United Nations & Other IGOs
  • Name: Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Civil society (1 hits),

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Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Compilation Document Input from the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals

The Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) was established in 1995 as an output of the first Rio Conference on Environment and Development to strengthen cooperation and increase coordination among the intergovernmental organizations in the field of chemical safety.

The eight Participating Organizations (POs) of the IOMC are FAO, ILO, UNEP, UNIDO, UNITAR, WHO, World Bank, OECD, and UNDP as an observer.

The sound management of chemicals is essential for the protection of human health and the environment and sustainable development. It is consequently important for the achievementof the Millennium Development Goals and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Johannesburg Plan of Implementation goal that by 2020 chemicals are used andproduced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human healthand the environment. The Participating Organizations of IOMC have been working intensively with member countries and other stakeholders to achieve these objectives.

We recognize that progress has been made towards the 2020 goal;however, we are concerned that the 2020 target will not be achievedwithout additional and sustained efforts.

Chemicals are ubiquitous in our rapidly developing world, and their sound management is increasingly seen as important by all governments and in all sectors where chemicals are used or have an impact. The cross cutting nature of chemicals uses and impacts includes their influence on climate change, biodiversity, water and air quality, waste, food safety and more. It has been noted, for example, that reduction of key air, water and chemical pollution risks can prevent up to a quarter of the total burden of diseases and a large proportion of childhood deaths.

IOMC notes that the precautionary management of chemicals and wastes represents the most cost-effective approach to the protection of human health and the environment from the risks they pose. The lack of action in relation to chemicals and waste management results in significant but usually hidden losses to economies, societies and the environment (termed the ?costs of inaction?). The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which was proposed by the WSSD in 2002 and established in 2006, provides a policy framework with strategic priorities that need to be delivered to ensure sound chemicals management. This is intended to be achieved through multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder efforts and therefore requires the participation of government, the private sector, organized labour and Civil society, and strengthened engagement of the range of sectors concerned with chemicals management such as agriculture, health, industry and labour in addition to the environment sector.

We, the Participating Organizations cooperatingin the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC), affirmour commitment to work together to strengthen the sound management of chemicals and tocontribute to the achievement of SAICM within our mandates and in accordance with decisionsof our governing bodies. Together, we renew our commitment to promote coordination ofpolicies and activities, pursued jointly or separately, in order to achieve the sound managementof chemicals. We will cooperate to ensure the most effective use of our human, technical andfinancial resources and will further exploit the synergies between our organizations and otherorganizations.

The Participating Organizations of IOMC are committed to strengthening the capacity of countries, in particular developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to strengthen their capacity for sound chemicals management. To this end we, together with other multilateral, regional and bilateral agencies, and within the resources at our disposal, will undertake and/or support technical assistance and investment activities to assist countries in the establishment and implementation of appropriate programmes for the sound management of chemicals. We will support country efforts at national, regional and international levels as appropriate.

Countries, for their part, should also give recognition to the importance of sound chemicals management for the long term, and collaborate with each other, IOMC organizations and other stakeholders to prioritize capacity development and effective implementation of sustainable and sound chemicals management.
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