Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS).
On 11 October 2011 the Schengen member states introduced the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is used to store the biometric data (10 fingerprints and the facial image) of the Schengen visa applicant. All Swiss embassies and consulates are gradually being connected to the VIS system.
A document in several languages explaining the implementation of the VIS system, registration of biometric data and the rollout timetable for Swiss embassies/consulates connected to the VIS system is available by clicking on the following web link: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/en/home/themen/einreise/einfuehrung_vis.html
The time needed to obtain a visa depends greatly on local circumstances. Please allow sufficient time for processing of the visa application as per the instructions in the following website: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/en/home/themen/einreise/merkblatt_einreise.html
If Switzerland does not have a consular office in your country you might be required to travel to a neighboring country to process your visa. It is therefore highly recommended to enquire directly with a Swiss embassy/consulate in the applicant’s country of residence or in a neighboring country or to check the appropriate website.
Switzerland has implemented necessary measures to facilitate the issuance of visas for official delegates invited to take part in conferences and international meetings with organizations having concluded a headquarters agreement as well as other persons invited in the framework of good offices.
We would like to remind you that it is the responsibility of each participant to obtain the required entry visa to Switzerland. Please note that at the moment of this writing a Schengen visa is required even for transiting through Schengen zone European Countries. More information on visa is available on the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs at the following link: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps.htm
In some exceptional circumstances Switzerland may issue visas with limited territorial validity (LTV). Please check the following website for details on this procedure and the conditions and limitations for a holder of LTV visas: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/topics/intorg/un/unge/gepri/manvis/manvi2.html
Staff members of the Secretariat have new standardized e-mail addresses.
As of 15 April 2013, each of our staff members have been assigned a new e-mail address in the standard format email@example.com. This new format applies to all members of the Secretariat, independently of whether staff are hosted by UNEP or FAO.
In addition to this standardized address, the UNEP staff will continue using e-mail addresses in the format firstname.lastname@example.org and the FAO staff will continue using e-mail address in the FAO format email@example.com.
The e-mail addresses in the pic.int and pops.int formats will continue to be functional for six months, to facilitate the transition to the new addresses. Rest assured that messages sent to our former addresses will still be delivered.
Mr. Clayton Campanhola, new Director of FAO’s Plant Protection and Production Division, takes over the role as Executive Secretary for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention.
Mr. Clayton Campanhola, former Director of the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI), graduated in Agronomic Engineering, Clayton Campanhola is a Master in Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, and Doctor in Entomology, by the Texas A&M University – USA. He carried out his postdoctoral training at Universidade de Campinas (Unicamp), in the area of Economical Development and Environment.
As a researcher, Campanhola was the scientific coordinator of the Animal Biology Division, in the Biology Institute of São Paulo. He had also been a professor at Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT) and has published eight books and more than 80 articles and summaries in scientific publications.
In the Brazilian Enterprise of Research in Agriculture (EMBRAPA), Campanhola had been a researcher in Rural Development and was nominated president of that institution in 2003.
Mr. Clayton Campanhola took up office in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 2 November 2012.
The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.
A summary of the United Nations Environment Assembly panel discussion held on 24 June 2014 in Nairobi.
While chemicals contribute significantly to our well‐being, they can also pose a threat to human health and the environment if they are not managed well. Their potentially adverse impacts, combined with the limited capacity in many countries to deal with these impacts, make the sound management of chemicals and waste a key issue that cuts across many areas of our lives. In Johannesburg in 2002 governments agreed that, by 2020, chemicals should be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. The 2020 target was further recognized in the Rio+20 outcome “The Future We Want”. The 2006 Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management
(SAICM) also reaffirmed the Johannesburg 2020 goal.
Sound management of chemicals and wastes has the potential of supporting progress in a wide range of thematic areas: poverty eradication, health, agriculture, water, industrial growth, and employment. It therefore has a catalyzing potential to support relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) currently under development.
This can be done through the full and effective implementation of the existing agreed frameworks in the chemicals and waste cluster, including legally binding and voluntary instruments, efforts and initiatives, such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and SAICM – all contributing to sustainable development and the protection of human health and the environment. SDGs need to reflect the importance of international commitments, including those made in multilateral environmental agreements and to stress the need of the Post‐2015 framework to be consistent with and build on these commitments.
In order to positively contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, it is important to enable and require the effective coordination of local, national, regional and global environmental policy and legal frameworks for effective implementation and enforcement of their provisions. These coordinating efforts are expected to strengthen institutional frameworks and policy coherence. At the national level, implementation can be strengthened by enhanced cooperation and coordination among relevant stakeholders. For example, Nigeria established a national committee on chemicals management which engages relevant ministries and key NGOs. Mainstreaming of chemicals and wastes into the national development agenda is another opportunity for linking it to the sustainable development process.
In addition to actions taking place at the international and national levels, regional efforts have a catalyzing role to play for implementation of existing MEAs and promotion of coherent chemicals and waste management.
UNEA should send a signal to the decision‐makers engaged in New York in the negotiations of the SDGs about the crucial potential that can be brought by the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the achievement of SDGs. At the moment, the integration of sound management of chemicals and waste into SDGs is an opportunity for the international community which should not be missed.
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.
A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.
The manual was developed for potential Chairs and Presidents of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions’ meetings.
Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons
Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons
The United Nations today released details of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2012 in the 5th annual edition of the publication - Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN.
The report provides details on the emissions from 64 UN system organizations, covering more than 220,000 staff and hundreds of locations worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions totaled 1.71 million tonnes CO2eq across the UN system in 2012.
As in previous years, over 50 percent of emissions are from air travel (0.87 million tonnes CO2eq), meaning this remains the biggest challenge to the organization in achieving climate neutrality.
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) is pleased to report on its CO2 emissions for 2012:
Significant efforts have been made over the last years towards improving BRS sustainability performance, and reducing BRS CO2 emissions. The following achievements should be highlighted:
In a milestone of the synergies process between multilateral environmental agreements, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions held their first ever jointly held ordinary meetings of the parties in April and May 2013 to foster cooperation and collaboration between the conventions.
The conferences of the parties of the three conventions worked in joint contact groups to promote implementation and strengthen the management of harmful substances throughout their life-cycle. The COPs took more than 50 substantive decisions to fortify protection to health and environment offered by the conventions.
The Parties to the Stockholm Convention agreed to list hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in buildings. HBCD is set to become the 23rd persistent organic pollutant to be listed under the Stockholm Convention. The Parties to the Basel Convention adopted a framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and agreed to develop technical guidelines on transboundary movements of electronic and electrical wastes, or e-waste, the fastest growing hazardous waste stream globally.
On 9 May 2013, over 80 ministers and vice-ministers met in a high level segment to consider the theme “Synergies and the implementation of the chemicals and wastes conventions at the national, regional and global levels” and to share their national experiences. Participants noted that the synergies process was not a time-finite event but a continuing process: synergies meant cost savings and those savings should be channeled into improving implementation at the national level.
Ministers called for the development of an international panel on chemicals integrating scientific expertise from industry, the private sector and academic institutions, similar to the International Panel on Climate Change, which could form the basis for a stronger science-policy interface. Existing models for monitoring networks could be expanded globally.
The decisions of the joint COPs provide a solid foundation for the next two years of implementation of the three leading global chemicals and wastes instruments.
The first joint meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee and the Stockholm Convention Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee took place in Rome on 20 October 2013, to promote synergies between the conventions by strengthening their science-policy interface.
Under the Basel Convention, the newly established Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE) was launched in 2013 to prevent and combat illegal traffic in hazardous and other wastes through better implementation and enforcement of national legislation.