« Trade body says focus of chemicals management should be action by national governments.
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) will oppose any resolution at next week’s UN summit that seeks to list potential endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Speaking to the press ahead of the fourth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), industry consultant and former Dow Chemical executive Greg Bond said any such a proposal would not have the trade body’s backing. It has been mooted by NGOs and some developing countries.
But the ICCA does support the EDCs workplan said Mr Bond. This was devised by:
• the UN Environment Programme (Unep);
• the World Health Organization; and
• the OECD.
The conference is being held to assess the progress of the UN’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (Saicm).
The programme’s goal is to ensure the sound management of chemicals across the globe by 2020.
Speaking on the same call, Greg Skelton, senior director for international affairs at the American Chemistry Council, said that the biggest contribution to improving global chemicals management would come from action by national governments. “Helping countries put capacity in place to manage chemicals will have the biggest impact,” he said.
Mr Skelton, who is also the industry representative on Saicm’s advisory body, said ICCA members are contributing to those efforts through:
• industry capacity building – notably through its voluntary Responsible Care programme and associated workshops; and
• contributing capacity building and best practice to its partnership with Unep. Examples, he said, include integrating the ICCA’s regulatory toolbox with Unep’s guidance on developing legislation and administrative structures (GBB September 2012) to help governments establish approaches to chemicals management, and cooperation between the two bodies on port and transportation chemicals safety projects in Kenya and Ghana. The ICCA and Unep will renew their memorandum of understanding, which expired in 2014, at ICCM4.
He said sound chemicals management is necessary to support sustainable growth in manufacturing, which is being sought by developing nations. He also voiced support for the continuation of Saicm beyond 2020.
ICCM4 will also discuss a proposal to set up a voluntary programme on chemicals in products. If adopted, the ICCA wants this to be governed by Saicm, rather than having a separate secretariat. »
ICCA ICCM4 webpage : http://www.iccaaticcm4.com/
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