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United Nations Environmental Programme
“International Management of Toxic Chemicals”

Committee History

The basic foundations of UNEP were first laid down in 1972 during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) in Stockholm, where representatives from over 113 nations and 400 inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations met to discuss new methods forapproaching environmental diplomacy and other concerns related to the global environment. The conference and the subsequent creation of the UNEP are considered to be the beginning of a definable modern political and societal awareness movement for the consideration of global environmental problems.

In essence; the UNEP, a lean, flexible, and quickly adaptable entity, was created to gather andtransmit information, catalyze action, and coordinate environmental activities in the context of international governance .

The importance of this topic is very clear, toxic chemicals and wastes are increasing everyday with no signs of diminishing. Countries as well as private industries with economies based on this market refuse to lower their levels on toxic chemicals, afraid thatit will affect the progress of either the country or industry. Our main goal in the UNEP is to get to an agreement where the environment, the society and the national economy gets benefited.
The management of toxic chemicals doesn’t just focus on decreasing the production of these, but also the right managing of the waste that these produce. As said in the Agenda 21, adopted in Rio de Janeiro,“chemical risks do not respect national boundaries” that is why strengthening the international cooperation and efforts are necessary to achieve a sound management of chemicals thus decreasing the effects of these hazardous and toxic materials.
The incorrect management of toxic chemicals is a frequent subject in the forums of the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) as well as in UNEP’s.However, the main focus in the UNDP is more related to Sustainable Development than to environmental damage.
UNEP’s principle goal in the matter is to increase risk assessment and scientific data on the proper management of toxic chemicals; with the purpose to notify the industrial units in which those chemicals are actually in use. In order to achieve this, the United Nations Environmental Programmecreated the “UNEP Chemical Branch”. This area tries to reflect the environmental priorities confirmed by each country’s government. The UNEP Chemical Branch works along with countries to build capacity for a clean production, use and disposal of the chemicals used in their industry. Moreover, it promotes information on risks and chemical safety.
Measurements Taken on the Issue
It is clear thatvarious organizations are involved in dealing with chemical safety issues at a global level. It is crucially important to make clear which issues are really of global concern and which organizations are responsible for leading such issues globally.
As industrialization continued to grow worldwide, the international community slowly realized the result of the unmanaged growth of all the heavyindustries was causing in the environment. After several environmental catastrophes (including but not limiting to; Chernobyl, countless oil spills, toxic wastes polluting potable water) provoked by the irresponsible management of chemical substances, the political leaders of the world convened at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in the so called “Earth Summit”. During this, the Agenda 21 was adopted. In whichthe protection of the environment was formally recognized as a duty of society. In chapter 19 of this agenda, involved “Environmentally Sound Management of Toxic Chemicals”. In it, the need for a co-operative government, industry and public actions to make further progress in this area is recognized.
Along with the Earth Summit, other measurements have been taken. A number of NGOs, as well as...
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