In the spotlight

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

In addition to having been the Seychelles’ Chief Negotiator for the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dr. Payet also established important multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and and co-chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative. He was Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and Fourth Assessments and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2007, in recognition of his contributions to marine research. He established the first university in Seychelles in 2009, and is its present ProChancellor. He also holds an associate professorship at the University of Linnaeus in Sweden.

Dr. Payet will take up his new duties in Geneva on 6 October 2014.

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Announcements

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

New Tool Goes Live for Finding Technical and Scientific Publications

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

Calendar of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

 

Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS).

Swiss visas application procedure

Swiss visas application procedure

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.

 

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions adopts standardized e-mail addresses

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions adopts 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 firstname.lastname@brsmeas.org. 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@unep.org and the FAO staff will continue using e-mail address in the FAO format firstname.lastname@fao.org.

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.

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination

The Annual joint meeting of Regional Centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions takes place in Geneva on 27-28 November 2014.

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination
The Annual joint meeting of Regional Centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions takes place in Geneva on 27-28 November 2014.
Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce it will stage a Science Fair, reflecting the COP Theme of “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow, from 7-9th May, 2015.

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce it will stage a Science Fair, reflecting the COP Theme of “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow, from  7-9th May, 2015.
Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs

At their joint meeting on 11-12 November, the bureaux successfully laid foundations for the forthcoming COPs. An advance version of the schedule is now available.

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs
At their joint meeting on 11-12 November, the bureaux successfully laid foundations for the forthcoming COPs. An advance version of the schedule is now available.
Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015
Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.
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Activities

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Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development
A summary of the United Nations Environment Assembly panel discussion held on 24 June 2014 in Nairobi.

Detoxifying Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying Development

FOCUS / BRIEF DESCRIPTION / MAJOR ISSUES DISCUSSED:

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.

Chemicals and waste management is traditionally considered an environmental issue. However, it also has significant benefits for the economic and social objectives of sustainable development. These benefits are demonstrated by a number of efforts and initiatives, e. g. the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paints, sound management of electrical and electronic waste, promotion of alternatives to highly hazardous pesticides, to name just a few.

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.

OUTCOME / WAY FORWARD:

  • Recognize that the sound management of chemicals and waste contributes to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
  • Promote efforts for the coordinated implementation of the existing global policy and legal regimes in the chemicals and waste management cluster.
  • Ensure that chemicals and waste management is properly reflected in the SDGs, including as targets under the SDGs on health, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, sustainable production and consumption, industrialization, water and sustainable cities.

CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS:

Effective implementation of the existing international, regional and national legal and policy regimes addressing chemicals and wastes supports sustainable development, and help realize the future sustainable development goals. By striving for policy coherence and efficiency at the national level, and through improved use of resources and greater coordination among the key stakeholders for the implementation of the national legal framework, we can make strides towards achieving sustainable development.

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.

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.
The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

The October issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.
Training Manual for Chairs released

The manual was developed for potential Chairs and Presidents of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions’ meetings.

Training Manual for Chairs released

Training Manual for Chairs released
 
A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes
Jim Willis guest article published in IISD Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice on 28 March 2014.

A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes

A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes
Jim Willis guest article published in IISD Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice on 28 March 2014.
First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes
17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

The Pilot training session on chairing meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions took place in Glion, Switzerland, from 3 to 5 March 2014. The training was conducted by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University in cooperation with the Secretariat. It brought together 17 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Cook Islands, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Poland, the Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, and Switzerland.

The participants benefited from experience of former chairs who led various BRS processes, including the conferences of the parties, meetings of subsidiary bodies, contact groups and informal consultations. Through the combination of lectures, case studies, videos and simulation exercises the participants learned firsthand how to effectively chair intergovernmental meetings and guide them toward consensual outcomes.

“The pilot raining extends the conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons, ensuring that we can call upon experienced chairs from all regions, while maintaining gender and regional diversity among them,” said Kerstin Stendahl, BRS Deputy Executive Secretary.

The training session was held through the generous support of the Government of Switzerland.
Gender mainstreaming initiative underway at the Secretariat
The BRS Gender Action Plan provides the blueprint for actions to promote gender mainstreaming.

Gender mainstreaming initiative underway at the Secretariat

Gender mainstreaming initiative underway at the Secretariat
The BRS Gender Action Plan provides the blueprint for actions to promote gender mainstreaming.
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Upcoming meetings

Regional workshop on enhancing national cooperation and coordination
Nairobi, Kenya, from 10 to 12 September 2013

Regional workshop on enhancing national cooperation and coordination

Nairobi, Kenya, from 10 to 12 September 2013


The decisions on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions by the three Conferences of the Parties (Basel COP9 decision IX/10, Rotterdam COP4 decision RC-4/11, Stockholm COP4 decision SC-4/34) recognized that the overarching goal of all three conventions is the protection of human health and the environment for the promotion of sustainable development and that the objective of enhanced coordination and cooperation among the three conventions is to contribute to the achievement of that goal.

For practical information about Nairobi (visa, safety, accommodation, health issues, etc.)

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Recent Meetings

November 2014
Annual joint meeting of Directors of the regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions
Geneva, Switzerland, 27 - 28 November 2014

Annual joint meeting of Directors of the regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions

Geneva, Switzerland, 27 - 28 November 2014


Venue: International Environment House-2 (IEH-2), Châtelaine, Geneva

Background: Decisions BC-11/12 (Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres), BC-11/13 (Process for evaluating the performance and sustainability of the Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres), and SC-6/16 (Regional and subregional centres for capacity-building and the transfer of technology), among others, are implemented through programme budget for Activity 19. Activity 19 includes convening of annual joint meetings to enhance cooperation and coordination between regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm conventions to promote and enhance synergies in delivery of technical assistance under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

Organizer(s): The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Working Language: English only

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Joint meeting of the bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockhol
Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 12 November 2014

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockhol

Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 12 November 2014


Venue: International Environment House 2 (IEH-2), Châtelaine-Geneva, Switzerland. The bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions will meet jointly on 11 and 12 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among other matters, the bureaux will agree on the organization of work of the ordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, taking place from 4 to 15 May 2015 in Geneva, and will discuss other organizational matters related to these back-to-back meetings.

Working Language: The working language of the meeting will be English.

Participants: By decisions BC-11/25 and SC-6/29, the conferences of the parties to the Basel and Stockholm conventions at their eleventh and sixth meetings respectively, decided that five members of their bureaux may participate in the joint meetings of the bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, having due regard to the principle of equitable geographical representation of the five regions of the United Nations.

A process and selection criteria to assist each Bureau with the selection of five members to participate in the joint bureaux meeting in November 2014 was agreed to by the bureaux.

The process included consideration of the following selection criteria: (1) Availability of members to participate (2) Regional balance in each Bureau and sub-regional balance among three bureaux and (3) Gender balance.

Following regional consultations in each Bureau, the Basel and Stockholm COP presidents, taking into account the process and criteria referred to above, agreed to the selection which was subsequently communicated to the bureaux.

List of participants

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