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Lithuania leads financing issues for chemicals and wastes on EU level in Bangkok


The meeting on the financing of the Chemicals and Wastes sector hosted by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) starts Tuesday in Bangkok (Thailand). Lithuania, which now holds presidency of the EU Council, coordinates participation of all EU Member States in this event.

The meeting in Bangkok is arranged under the decision of UNEP’s Executive Office that met early this year on the handling and financing of chemicals and wastes. The decision had invited national governments to set up a special programme to provide support in building national administrative institutional capacity to ensure adequate global compliance with the Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions on chemicals, the Basel Convention on international carriage of hazardous waste, the new Minamata Convention on mercury and the International Chemicals Management Strategy.

The meeting in Bangkok aims to draft technical conditions for the Special Programme on Institutional Strengthening of the Chemicals Sector. The participating countries must agree on the definition of institution-building, duration of the special programme, its administrating authority, the criteria for states applying for support, as well as practical tools and mechanisms to ensure efficient functioning of the programme. The meeting is attended by representatives from more than sixty developed and developing countries, international organisations such as UNEP, UNDP and GEF (Global Environmental Fund), the World Bank, international public organisations and public stakeholders.

As EU Council’s presiding state, Lithuania coordinates participation of all EU Member States in the event, where our representatives will draft, align and present the common position of the EU, host coordinating meetings of the EU Member States and meet other influential non-EU states (e.g. USA, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and China). Lithuania will seek agreement on the technical conditions of the special programme that are acceptable to all the states concerned – the donor states (that distribute finances/contributions to the programme’s fund) as well as the beneficiary states.

Consultations on financing opportunities for chemicals and wastes were started four years ago at the initiative of UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. They have aimed to draw attention to the growing need for balanced, predictable, adequate and accessible funding of activities in the chemicals sector, and to reinforce political focus on safe handling of chemicals.

The results of the meeting in Bangkok will be presented at the diplomatic conference of the Minamata Convention on mercury scheduled for this October in Japan, the UNEP General Assembly next summer, meetings of the member countries to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in 2005 and the 4th International Conference on Chemicals.

Public information division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas