U.N. Environmental Convention is being killed by political and industrial interference
Kathleen, Peggy, Pauline and Becky for RightOnCanada.ca
GLOBAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
TO SAVE THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION
U.N. Environmental Convention is being killed by political
and industry interference, say groups
2008 is the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Rotterdam
Convention, whose purpose is to protect human health and the
environment by controlling international trade in hazardous chemicals
But instead of celebrating, a number of environmental, labour and
health groups are sounding the alarm.
Industry interference and political sabotage by a handful of countries,
led by Canada, are strangling the Rotterdam Convention, say the groups
from Asia, Africa, South and North America, and Europe.
Because of this interference, action to implement the Convention has
been obstructed and the groups are concerned that progress at meetings
planned for this year will likewise be blocked.
Under the Convention, an expert body, called the Chemical Review
Committee, recommends whether a hazardous product has met the criteria
of the Convention and should be placed on a special list which requires
countries to obtain Prior Informed Consent before they can export the
product to another country.
The Convention, which has been ratified by 120 countries, came into effect in February 2004.
At its last meeting in 2006, over one hundred countries approved the
recommendation made by the Chemical Review Committee that chrysotile
asbestos be listed for Prior Informed Consent. But Canada, together
with Kyrgyzstan, India, Iran, Peru and Ukraine, simply refused to let
the Convention’s process work and blocked action on the recommendation.
They were supported by Zimbabwe, Russia and Indonesia, who have not
ratified the Convention.