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UN Adopts Chemicals Risk Reduction Plan

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United Nations marking a significant step towards managing the adverse effects of chemical exposure. The Global Framework on Chemicals, a pivotal development endorsed by governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations, emerged from the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management, hosted in Bonn, Germany, and orchestrated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). This comprehensive plan outlines 28 tangible targets and guidelines spanning various sectors, encompassing the entire life cycle of chemicals, from their production to disposal.

The framework encompasses an array of measures, including the prevention of illegal trafficking in chemicals and waste, the enactment of national legislation, and the phasing out of highly hazardous pesticides in agriculture by 2035. It further underscores the importance of transitioning to more sustainable chemical alternatives, the responsible management of chemicals across sectors such as industry, agriculture, and healthcare, and improved access to information regarding the risks associated with different chemicals.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, emphasized the imperative of creating an environment where individuals can live and work without the fear of falling ill or succumbing to chemical exposure. She called upon governments, the chemicals industry, and all stakeholders to exceed the agreed-upon commitments and safeguard both people and the planet upon which everyone relies.

Germany has demonstrated its commitment to this cause by pledging 20 million euros towards the implementation of the framework, which will be administered by UNEP. In addition to endorsing the Global Framework on Chemicals, participants at the conference also embraced the Bonn Declaration, signifying their dedication to “prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, and phase out the most harmful ones, where appropriate, and enhance the safe management of such chemicals where they are needed.”

This momentous development underscores the international community’s unwavering commitment to addressing the adverse effects of chemicals on the environment and human health. By establishing a concrete roadmap, the Global Framework on Chemicals sets the stage for proactive measures to mitigate chemical risks, ensure responsible chemical management, and protect the well-being of both present and future generations.

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