Three-Day Event Holds Promise of Strengthening Country’s Commitment to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (April 26, 2018) – A diverse group of industry, government and international experts have convened in the city of Buenos Aires to support strengthening the sound management of chemicals and waste in Argentina. The meeting, hosted by the Argentine Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme and the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), aimed to strengthen cooperation between government authorities, industry, the United Nations and other stakeholders in order to improve chemicals and waste management at the national level in Argentina.
“The UN Environment Programme promotes and supports governments and stakeholders in the sound management of chemicals and waste. This ambitious cooperation between all partners will ensure we reach our goal of safeguarding the health of the environment and the people,” said Jacob Duer, Chief, Chemicals and Health Branch, UN Environment Progamme. “To this end, we are proud to contribute together with ICCA and the Argentinian government to enhance sound management of chemicals and waste in Argentina.”
Over the past three decades, production and trade of chemicals have grown significantly in the South American country. Recognizing the need to correctly manage these products and minimize adverse impacts on human health and the environment, participants discussed how to enhance regulatory frameworks on chemicals and waste and how to enhance Argentina’s Responsible Care® Program, which is the global chemical industry’s voluntary commitment to drive continuous improvement and achieve excellence in environmental, health and safety, and security performance. In addition to enhancing Responsible Care® implementation and awareness, the event also highlighted a project financed by the UN Environment Programme in Argentina, which aims to support institutional strengthening at the national level to promote the mainstreaming of the sound management of chemicals and waste. Topics such as implementing the Globally Harmonized System for Classification & Labeling (GHS) and establishing a chemical control framework also were addressed.
“UN Environment and ICCA have established a long-standing partnership and are currently engaged in a range of joint activities,” said Marco Mensink, Council Secretary of ICCA. “This first kick-off meeting shows our combined capacity building efforts to support national efforts to enhance Responsible Care® institutional strengthening and chemical control regulations. ICCA also welcomes the close cooperation with the national chemicals association CIQyP and government representatives to advance sound chemicals and waste management.”
Industry’s voluntary programs, like Responsible Care®, demonstrate companies’ commitments to SAICM and high standards for protecting human health and the environment, often going above and beyond government regulatory requirements. Enhancing product stewardship practices around the world, such as through the Responsible Care® Global Product Strategy, fosters innovation and economic growth, while maintaining high levels of protection.
The chemical industry is pioneering the development of leading-edge technologies that provide solutions, improved functionality, reduced costs, and greater productivity to address today’s sustainable development challenges. Sound chemicals and waste management is at the core of the solution to the pollution challenges of today and the future.
“This collaborative event demonstrates how increasing regulatory cooperation, fostering innovation and supporting a voluntary multi-stakeholder approach through the SAICM process will continue to pay dividends as new issues emerge and work continues in Argentina,” said Dr. Mike Witt, Corporate Director of EH&S and Sustainability of The Dow Chemical Company. “There has been significant progress made towards the SAICM goal of achieving sound chemicals management on a global scale. Our goal is to ensure chemicals continue to be produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment not just in Argentina, but around the world.”
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is an association of innovators, visionaries, solutions providers and product stewardship pioneers. Through ongoing innovation in chemistry and the constant improvement of safe chemicals management, the global chemical industry makes a significant contribution to a sustainable society: improving human health, protecting the environment, and delivering prosperity worldwide. Learn more about ICCA at www.icca-chem.org.