International Programme on Chemical Safety

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM): Health Sector Focus

Second session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management

The second session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) concluded on 15 May 2009. A high-level round table on public health, the environment and chemicals management formed a part of the high-level segment of the Conference in which Ministers presented official statements and commitments regarding implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Panel members from left to right: Dr Jadamba Tsolmon, Vice Minister of Health, Mongolia; Dr Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and Environment, WHO; Dr Rob Visser, Deputy Director, Environment Directorate, OECD; Professor David Mwakyusa, Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Tanzania; Mrs Elisabet Falemo, State Secretary, Environment Ministry, Sweden; Mr Ben van Beurden, Executive Vice President, Shell Chemicals; Dr Peter Orris, World Federation of Public Health Associations. The session was moderated by Mr Paul Hohnen.

Health-aspects of the Strategic Approach

Over 700 delegates from Governments, non-governmental, intergovernmental organizations and industry met during the second session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management to review progress with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). A resolution on the health-aspects of the sound management of chemicals was moved by the Governments of Belarus, Morocco, Panama, Suriname, Thailand and Zambia together with Physicians for Social Responsibility and the World Federation of Public Health Associations. The resolution, endorsed by the Conference as a whole:

  • emphasizes the need to fully engage the health sector in national, regional and international SAICM fora; the essential cross-sectoral responsibilities of national focal points; and the importance of regional health and environmental interministerial processes as a springboard for effective intersectoral actions;
  • encourages the health sector to take full advantage of SAICM institutional arrangements;
  • underlines the need for all stakeholders to assist in the development of resources to permit a greater degree of sectoral balance in representation in SAICM fora and in implementation activities;
  • calls on the health sector to actively participate in actions to implement ICCM decisions with respect to identified priority issues and calls on the WHO to intensify its activities in the sound management of chemicals in support of SAICM;
  • decides to develop a strategy for strengthening the engagement of the health sector in SAICM’s implementation for the intersessional period and to evaluate it at ICCM3; and
  • requests that the outcomes of the Conference regarding human health be considered by the World Health Assembly (WHA).

RELATED LINKS