While there are additional requirements for a Party to successfully implement the Convention at the national level (among others, coordination and communication between ministries and with stakeholders, information exchange with other Parties and the Secretariat), the Party must be able to conduct risk evaluations and implement risk management measures, as required, in a timely manner. Accordingly, the emphasis of any technical assistance programme should be on identifying and meeting the needs of Parties to improve their risk evaluation and risk management processes. In addition, emphasis should be laid on assisting Parties to tackle issues related to pesticide formulations that are posing problems under conditions of use in their territories.
At various national and subregional planning meetings, Parties identified a broad range of needs or activities necessary for them to benefit fully from the Convention. In many cases these needs reflect a lack of capacity to establish a sound framework for chemicals management. Some of the specific issues identified include:
- Lack of infrastructure to regulate or manage industrial chemicals;
- Need for assistance in managing information;
- Need for assistance in evaluating risks and taking regulatory decisions;
- Need to establish and strengthen the enforcement of integrated legal frameworks for chemicals management;
- Need for assistance in preparing and submitting notifications of final regulatory action;
- Need for assistance in developing an approach to and setting up pilot projects and a programme on monitoring and reporting severely hazardous pesticide formulations.
Most of these needs cannot be met effectively by simple workshops or meetings, but require more sustained forms of financial and technical assistance.
The proposed programme of work for 2012–2013 focuses on core activities relevant to the accomplishment of basic obligations under the Convention where the Secretariat is expected to play a lead role. It includes the principal elements of the programme of work for the previous triennium, in addition to activities requested by Parties at national and subregional planning meetings. These elements have been revised based on experience and in response to the needs and priorities identified by Parties during the period 2009–2011. The goal is to have activities that reflect the full range of Parties’ needs, including activities that are tailored to the specific needs of individual Parties or small groups of Parties, with a focus on those actions that are deemed necessary for Parties to implement the Convention fully. The objectives of the proposed programme of work for 2012–2013 are as follows:
To strengthen Parties’ ability to submit import responses: facilitate national dialogue between relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the Convention as a basis for identifying the key elements in a national action plan or strategy for such implementation, especially regarding the submission of import responses for all chemicals listed in Annex III to the Convention;
To strengthen Parties’ capacity to gather relevant information and to make proposals for severely hazardous pesticide formulations: establish appropriate links between designated national authorities and community health monitoring activities; develop a process for the preparation and submission of proposals for severely hazardous pesticide formulations under Article 6 of the Convention; and assist Parties in the relevant methods and processes for gathering information that describes cases of acute pesticide poisoning resulting from exposure to a pesticide used in agriculture under the normal conditions of use in the Party;
To strengthen Parties’ capacity to manage industrial chemicals: establish capacity among developing-country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to implement comprehensive life-cycle assessment approaches. Potential risks associated with chemicals would be identified to permit the design and implementation of appropriate risk management measures in the international trade and management of industrial chemicals;
To strengthen Parties’ capacity to manage industrial chemicals: establish capacity among developing-country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to implement comprehensive life cycle assessment approaches. Potential risks associated with chemicals would be identified to permit the design and implementation of appropriate risk management measures in the international trade and management of industrial chemicals;
Facilitate the exchange of information related to the implementation of the Convention between countries through trade-partner workshops: promote shared responsibility in the implementation and enforcement of the trade-related provisions of the Convention by facilitating a dialogue between exporting Parties and selected trade partners (importers).