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Press Release 97/46

NEW ROUND OF NEGOTIATIONS ON CONVENTION ON HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS


Rome, 16 October - Negotiations on a new convention on international trade in extremely hazardous chemicals and pesticides will take place in Rome from 20-24 October, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.

More than 250 delegates from about 100 countries are expected to attend the intergovernmental meeting, according to the two UN agencies.

The legally binding convention should help to manage more safely and ultimately contain the trade of chemicals and pesticides such as DDT, PCBs, Aldrin, Lindane, Dieldrin and others which are highly harmful to human health and the environment.

The trade of extremely hazardous pesticides is currently monitored through the voluntary Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC) in which 154 countries are participating. According to this system, 22 harmful pesticides and five industrial chemicals, which have been banned or severely restricted in a number of countries, should not be exported without the acceptance of the importing country. PIC is jointly administered by FAO and UNEP.

Many developing countries have reported acute poisoning and even fatalities among farmers because pesticides cannot be handled safely, FAO said. Protective gear is too expensive and in many cases cannot be used due to the climate in these countries.

According to UNEP, the PIC convention will provide the world with a vital first line of defense in managing extremely dangerous chemicals and pesticides.

* * * * *

For further information please contact: Erwin Northoff of FAO in Rome at 0039-6-570 53105, or e-mail: Erwin.Northoff@FAO.Org or Michael Williams of UNEP in Geneva at 022-979-9242 or e-mail: mwilliams@unep.ch

Official documents and other information can be found on the Internet: http://www.fao.org/waicent/FaoInfo/Agricult/AGP/AGPP/Pesticid/PIC/

 


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