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1 Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) A unique, multi-sector mechanism to identify priorities, develop strategies, build partnerships and.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) A unique, multi-sector mechanism to identify priorities, develop strategies, build partnerships and."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) A unique, multi-sector mechanism to identify priorities, develop strategies, build partnerships and monitor progress for chemical safety

2 2 Presentation Outline 1.Brief introduction to chemical safety: the chemical sector, benefits and risks of chemicals, international chemicals management 2.What is IFCS? 3.Why an IFCS? 4.How does the IFCS work? 5.IFCS recommendations 6.IFCS achievements

3 3 The Chemical Sector Estimated 100,000 manufactured chemicals Diverse sector, includes: –Basic chemicals (e.g. fuels and polymers) –Specialty chemicals (e.g. adhesives, coatings, additives) –Products derived from life sciences (e.g. pharmaceuticals) –Agricultural chemicals (e.g. pesticides, fertilizers) –Consumer care products (detergent, bleach, cosmetics) Accounts for 7% of global income and 9% of international trade (OECD, 2001)

4 4 Outlook for the Chemical Sector According to the OECD Environmental Outlook for the Chemicals Industry (2001) the future of the industry looks very different than today…it is estimated that, in 2020: global production will be 85% higher than in 1995 output in OECD countries will primarily be in specialty and life sciences chemicals non-OECD countries will lead in the production of high-volume basic (commodity) chemicals

5 5 Benefits of Chemicals The use of chemicals is critical in many aspects of daily life, such as health care delivery, construction, transportation, and communications Examples include: – Medical equipment – Vaccinations and medication – Water disinfection – Agricultural production and crop protection

6 6 Risks of Chemicals When not properly managed, chemicals may present risks Examples include: –Exposure to certain toxic substances contributes to chronic disease (e.g. cancer and chronic respiratory disease, World Bank, 2002) –Occupational exposure to hazardous substances estimated to cause some 340,000 deaths per year globally (ILO, 2002) –Pesticide poisoning causes an annual worldwide incidence of 3 million cases of acute, severe poisoning, with some 220,000 deaths (WHO, 2002)

7 7 Examples of chemical exposure…

8 8 International Chemicals Management direction provided by the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in "Agenda 21"

9 9 Establishment of IFCS established in response to request of governments at UNCED UN General Assembly endorsed the concept of a Forum on Chemical Safety 1 st International Conference on Chemical Safety (Sweden, 1994) formally created the IFCS

10 10 What is the IFCS? facilitates collaboration and partnerships develops policy guidance, strategies, and recommendations sets priorities for action in an inclusive manner monitors and reports on progress sets agenda for and stimulates research fosters understanding of chemical safety issues includes participation from all sectors relevant to chemical safety

11 11 Why an IFCS? IFCS responds to the need for: – a multi-sector forum dedicated specifically to chemical safety –increased coordination and cooperation – an open and inclusive venue for discussion and consensus-building – a mechanism for countries and organizations to directly express their needs and concerns

12 12 How Does the IFCS Work? Officers President Vice-Presidents (5) Forum Standing Committee (FSC) IGOs (non-voting) National Goverments (voting rights) NGOs (non-voting) Enviromental & Public Interest, Industry, Labour, Scientific Regional Groups Secretariat + *WHO administering organisation Ad Hoc Working groups National Focal Points FORUM SESSIONS Participants

13 13 How does the IFCS work? Forum sessions open to national governments, IGOs and NGOs purpose: –discuss and develop guidance on chemical safety issues –agree on priorities for research and action –monitor progress

14 14 How does the IFCS work? Forum Standing Committee 25 participants representing all regions, NGOs, and IOMC organizations advise on preparations for Forum meetings monitor progress on Forum recommendations serve as conduit for constituent views

15 15 How does the IFCS work? IFCS President promotes the IFCS and its recommendations globally chairs IFCS and Forum Standing Committee meetings guides Forum activities between sessions

16 16 How does the IFCS work? Vice Presidents and Regional Groups Vice-Presidents: promote IFCS, convene regional meetings, and facilitate regional input to Forum regional groups: develop regional plans, recommendations, and monitor progress

17 17 How does the IFCS work? National Focal Points each government should have a single National Focal Point responsible for: – promoting IFCS activities – providing national input into IFCS recommendations – reporting on national progress

18 18 How does the IFCS work? Ad Hoc working groups: established by the Forum or Forum Standing Committee to undertake specific tasks, e.g. preparation of documents for forum sessions open to all IFCS participants

19 19 IFCS Recommendations Bahia Declaration: developed at Forum III, held in 2000, in Brazil participants statement to reaffirm commitment to the goals for chemical safety set in Agenda 21

20 20 IFCS Recommendations IFCS "Priorities for Action Beyond 2000": international assessment of chemical risks harmonizing classification and labelling of chemicals exchanging information on toxic chemicals and chemical risks establishing risk reduction programs strengthening national capabilities and capacities for the management of chemicals preventing illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products * Forum recommendations are not obligatory, but they are taken as authoritative commitments by governments and organizations

21 21 IFCS Recommendations Forum IV – Chemical Safety in a Vulnerable World Forum participants called on governments and organizations to: take action on children's health and chemical safety improve measures to protect workers and consumers from chemical risks make available practical information on hazardous chemicals

22 22 IFCS Recommendations FIV recommendations also address: – acutely toxic pesticides – addressing the "widening gap" – integrating chemical safety issues into the development agenda – illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products For detailed information regarding IFCS recommendations, please visit:

23 23 Forum V agreed action items and recommendations Resolution on the Future of the IFCS Topics for the future Forum of IFCS Applying Precaution in the Context of Chemical Safety Heavy Metals: need for further global action? The Budapest Statement on Mercury, Lead and Cadmium Toys and Chemical Safety

24 24 Key IFCS Achievements Since 1994, the IFCS has: developed a coherent approach to chemicals management strengthened regional and inter-sector cooperation enabled constructive dialogue between governments, industry, NGOs, and IGOs heightened awareness about chemical safety issues facilitated the development and implementation of key chemical safety agreements built a process for monitoring progress, ensuring a level of accountability

25 25 Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS)

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