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Global Framework

ICCM5 adopts new framework

The Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) concluded on 30 September in Bonn, Germany, by adopting “a comprehensive global framework that sets concrete targets and guidelines for key sectors across the entire lifecycle of chemicals”.

The new Global Framework on Chemicals is based around 28 targets and outlines a roadmap for countries and stakeholders to address the lifecycle of chemicals, including products and waste, collaboratively. It calls, among other things, for the:

* Prevention of the illegal trade and trafficking of chemicals and waste

* Implementation of national legal frameworks

* Phase-out by 2035 of highly hazardous pesticides in agriculture

* Transition to safer and more sustainable chemical alternatives

* Responsible management of chemicals in various sectors, including industry, agriculture and healthcare

* Enhancement of transparency and access to information regarding chemicals and their associated risks

Participants also adopted the Bonn Declaration. Under this, they committed to “prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, and phase out the most harmful ones, where appropriate, and enhance the safe management of such chemicals where they are needed”.

One participant, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), which represents over 90% of global chemical sales, subsequently announced the launch of three “high-level ambitions” on chemicals and waste management. By 2030, it said, the global chemical industry will strive to:

* Provide access to available data on the safety and sustainability of its products, so as to avoid unnecessary duplication of work

* Support 30 countries in implementing chemical management systems

* Guide product portfolios, including processes, toward sustainable solutions

The ICCA added that it is “ready to engage in a voluntary, innovative and inclusive financial mechanism” linked to the strategic objectives of the Global Framework and the Bonn Declaration. “With adequate governance in place involving the private sector, industry offers to also participate in the new innovative funding mechanism, with the aim to provide the necessary capacity to countries to establish fee-based regulatory systems.”

ICCM5, which was postponed from 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, was the latest in a series of congresses that began as an inter-sessional process in Bucharest in September 2022 and are closely associated with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. Those present in Bonn included representatives from governments, the private sector, NGOs, intergovernmental organisations, youth and academia.

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