Officials at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992 in Brazil (Rio Earth Summit) adopted Chapter 19 of Agenda 21, which called for the adoption of a legally binding instrument on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure by the year 2000. Consequently, the FAO Council in 1994 and the UNEP Governing Council in 1995 mandated their executive heads to launch negotiations.
After a series of seven meetings of the Inter-Governmental Negotiation Committee, the text of the Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals in International Trade was finalized in March 1998. The Convention was adopted and opened for signature at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rotterdam on 10 September 1998 and entered into force on 24 February 2004.
The first Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP I) was held in September 2004 resulting in the addition of 14 chemicals to Annex III of the Convention based on reviews at meetings of the Interim Chemical Review Committee that was established to consider chemicals highlighted from the Interim PIC procedure.