At the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), representatives from governments, private companies, academia, the non-profit sectors and youth delegates endorsed a new Global Framework for Chemicals. Its primary vision is “a planet free from the harm caused by chemicals and waste for a safe, healthy and sustainable future”.
“The framework has been almost eight years in progress and different interests and priorities clashed during its negotiation. The acceptance of the framework is a great success, which crowned the often difficult negotiations,” said David Surý, Senior Director of the Environmental Protection Section, who led the Czech delegation. “I am happy about this success also because the Czech Republic, during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2022, made a significant contribution to restarting the negotiation process after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Chemicals, including those with hazardous properties for health and the environment, are used in production processes, are part of many preparations and products and become part of waste. The aim of the framework is therefore to prevent their negative impact on the environment and human health worldwide, for example, by seeking and introducing safer alternatives, limiting their use to necessary cases, using them in a safe way, and introducing basic legislation and controls. The new framework thus sets objectives and priorities, establishes procedures for identifying problems and solutions and opens the way for developing countries to finance them.
By adopting a high-level declaration, the so-called Bonn Declaration, the Czech Republic joined the effort to address the problem of pollution globally. Although the Czech Republic and the European Union are ahead of many countries in reducing pollution, this framework will help significantly on a global scale, especially because chemical pollution and environmental contamination do not stay at borders but have high global impacts. The common framework will also definitely contribute to more effectively tackling the other two environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.