The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions <br/>present at the 18th Session of the UN Commission <br/>on Sustainable Development (CSD-18)

New York, USA, 3-14 May 2010

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions were actively involved in the work of the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development which took place in New York on 3-14 May 2010. At this session the Commission focused on reviewing progress and identifying policy actions in implementing Chapters 19 and 20 of Agenda 21.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 to ensure effective follow-up to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), is responsible for reviewing the progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development as well as providing policy guidance to follow up the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) at the local, national, regional and international levels.

In its 2010-2011 cycle, the CSD is considering the issues of chemicals, waste management, transportation, mining and sustainable consumption & production patterns. The cycle commences with the review of thematic issues (18th session of the CSD in 2010; CSD-18) and concludes with the adoption of policy recommendations (19th session of the CSD in 2011; CSD-19). In the area of chemicals, the work of the Commission specifically focus on reviewing progress and identifying policy actions in achieving the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2020 goal on sound management of chemicals.

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions took an active role in CSD-18 discussions, including through information sharing on the opportunities offered under the Conventions to achieve sound management of chemicals and wastes to protect human health and the environment from hazardous substances.

Statements by the Executive Secretary to the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18)

CSD-18 website
CSD-18 daily coverage by IISD-ENB
See also the CSD-18 coverage by the United Nations Webcast service.

Practices in the Sound Management of Chemicals

The publication "Practices in the Sound Management of Chemicals" was officially launched during the 18th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18) in May 2010. The publication aims at facilitating the work of the Commission in reviewing progress made towards the implementation of Agenda 21, in particular Chapter 19 related to Chemicals.

By outlining current trends, emerging issues and priority areas in the field of chemicals management, the publication allows for a better understanding on how the sound management of chemicals is central to sustainable development and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The publication also makes the case for scaling up the experiences and good practices presented in more than 15 case studies from countries, NGOs and private sector associations to realize a larger scale impact and achieve the 2020 goal that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The publication, which was developed by the Division for Sustainable Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention on POPs, and UNEP Chemicals, is available for download (PDF document). Please feel free to request a hard copy by sending an email to ssc@pops.int.

Activities of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions at CSD-18

Opening of the 18th session of the Commission on <br/>Sustainable Development

Monday, 3 May 2010, from 10 am to 1 pm, Room 1, North Lawn Building (NLB)

Report on the inter-sessional meeting to develop the publication on "Practices in the Sound Management of Chemicals"; a joint-collaboration between UN/DESA, UNEP Chemicals and the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention.

Opening Remarks to Report on Intersessional Work by Donald Cooper, Executive Secretary, Stockholm Convention (PDF document)

Human Milk Monitoring - Panel Discussion

Wednesday, 5 May 2010, from 6:15 to 7:45 pm, Room D, NLB

This panel, which was sponsored by International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), Commonweal, and the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, described the UNEP/WHO milk monitoring program and discussed the significance of POPs and other industrial chemicals in human milk. It also described how monitoring results can be communicated in ways that ultimately lower the levels of POPs chemicals in all our bodies while supporting breastfeeding.

UN Champions Body Burden Forum

Thursday, 6 May 2010, from 1 pm to 3 pm, EcoSoc Conference Room, NLB

Safe Planet: the United Nations Campaign for Responsibility on Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes invite high-profile personages and international experts to engage in a dialogue on how human biomonitoring information can support the Millennium Development Goals and World Summit on Sustainable Development 2020 target to achieve sound management of chemicals and wastes. Selected public figures volunteer to have their bodies tested and pledge to make their personal chemical "body burdens" public, to raise global awareness of the need for action on the threats posed by hazardous chemicals and wastes. The Forum will provide a sneak preview of Stefan Jarl's new film, "Submission: The defence of the unborn" (Sweden, 2010).

The UN Champions Body Burden Forum will gather major public figures involved in biomonitoring projects and information campaigns, including:

  • Ms. Stine Lise Hattestad Bratsberg, Honorary Co-Chair of Safe Planet; 1994 Olympic gold medalist, Freestyle Skiing, Pure CSR Consulting, Oslo, Norway;
  • Mr. Ed Begley, Jr., actor, playwright and eco-activist, Los Angeles USA;
  • Professor Ake Bergman, University of Stockholm, Sweden, scientific advisor and co-star of Stefan Jarl's new film on chemical body burden, "Submission: The defence of the unborn" (2010);
  • Ms. Sharyle Patton, director of the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center, Bolinas USA

See also:

Safe Planet: the United Nations Campaign for Responsibility on Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes - Background Statement (PDF document).

UN Radio interview (7 May 2010): Safe Planet campaign tests "body burden" of celebrities to expose risk of chemicals

American Premiere of the film "Submission: The defence of the unborn"

Learning Centre on Greening the Waste Economy

Thursday, 6 May 2010, from 3 pm to 6 pm, Conference Room D, NLB

The learning session, which was organised by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, aimed at presenting and interacting with participants on the life-cycle approach to hazardous waste management. The session offered the opportunity to share models and good practices of coordination mechanisms that strengthen the implementation of the Basel Convention, in particular through capacity-building, partnerships, and public outreach activities.

Side-event leaflet (PDF document)

Learning Centre on the Nine New POPs

Friday, 7 May 2010, from 10 am to 1 pm, Conference Room D, NLB

The learning session, which was organised by the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, aimed at presenting and interacting with participants on the opportunities offered by the Stockholm Convention to protect human health and the environment from the harmful impacts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). A specific emphasis was put on the challenges of managing industrial chemicals contained in products or used during manufacturing processes, which was illustrated by the cases of the newly listed chemicals under the Stockholm Convention.

Side-event leaflet (PDF document)

Art Exhibition “Substantial Form of the Blended Body”

8 to 14 May 2010, Bohemian National Hall, Czech Center, New York

The Synergies Exhibition of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions with the support of the Czech Government featured art works by leading American, Colombian, Czech and Pakistani artists, including Anila Quayyum Agha, Barbara Benish, Santiago Cardenas, Brian Collier, Christopher Edgar, Chris Jordan, Floyd Newsum, Milos Sejn and Sharon Sprung. 

The exhibition was presented at the Czech Center New York (321 E 73rd St.).

High-level Launching Event for the Publication on <br/>“Practices in the Sound Management of Chemicals”

Wednesday, 12 May 2010, from 6:15 pm to 7:45 pm, Conference Room 6, NLB

The event, which is organized by the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development (DSD/DESA), the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, and the UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch, officially launches the publication on "Practices in the sound management of chemicals" which aims at supporting the work of the Commission in its current cycle in assessing the present trends, emerging issues and priority areas towards the achievement of the 2020 sound management of chemicals.