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Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP-5)

02/05/2011The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties will take place from 20 to 24 June 2011, in Geneva. More then 350 delegates and observers will participate in this meeting to be chaired by Ms. N. Gwayi from South Africa. The majority of Government delegates come from Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and Health.

The Rotterdam Convention goes back to a need to protect developing countries from certain hazardous chemicals that are exported by more industrialised countries. In recent years the pattern of global production and trade has changed and emerging economies have significantly raised the production of hazardous chemicals in their territories. Nevertheless, in both instances, less advantaged countries lack the means to manage hazardous chemicals safely throughout the chemical’s life cycle and a lot of work in this direction remains to be done.

The Meeting will address both policy and operational aspects of the Convention. Among the main topics to be discussed are progress made toward implementation of the Convention by all Parties, synergies between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions of sound management of chemicals, inclusion of four new hazardous chemicals in the Convention’s “watch list”, technical assistance activities and the programme of work for 2012–2013.

Exposure to chemicals and the right to know about dangers is the leading theme for side events. This theme was chosen based on the key aspects of the implementation of the Convention at global and national level, which are sharing information on hazardous chemicals, capacity to make informed decisions at national level and availability of field data related to exposure to risks of vulnerable groups.

Two side events in particular will address the Organizational Result 3 (Pesticide Risk Reduction) of FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP). On Wednesday, 22 June, a side event on hazardous work in agriculture with a particular focus on Child Labour will take place with participation of FAO’s Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division (ESW). On Thursday, 23 June, a side event related to the severely hazardous pesticide formulations programme of the Convention, with participation of the Pesticide group of FAO’s AGP Division, will take place.

For further information please refer to Rotterdam Convention website www.pic.int.

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