United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

29 June 1998


                                                  Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Item 97 of the preliminary list*
Environment and
  sustainable development

     * A/53/50.

Economic and Social Council
Substantive session of 1998
Agenda item 13 (a) of the
  provisional agenda**
Economic and environmental
  questions: sustainable development

     * E/1998/100.

             Products harmful to health and the environment

                     Report of the Secretary-General


                                                      Paragraphs   Page

  I.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1-3         3

 II.  Review of the Consolidated List. . . . . . . . .   4-18        3

      A.  Arrangements for the production of the List    4-5         3

      B.  Format, content and scope. . . . . . . . . .   6-10        3

      C.  Computer/Internet access . . . . . . . . . .    11         4

      D.  Periodicity and language versions. . . . . .  12-14        4

      E.  Dissemination and utilization. . . . . . . .  15-18        5

III.  Developments since the last triennial report . .  19-38        5

      A.  Follow-up to the United Nations Conference 
          on Environment and Development . . . . . . .  19-25        5

          1.  Inter-Organizational Programme for the 
              Sound Management of Chemicals. . . . . .  21-23        6

          2.  Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical 
              Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24-25        6

      B.  Prior informed consent . . . . . . . . . . .  26-28        6

      C.  Other developments . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29-31        7

      D.  Technical assistance/capacity-building . . .  32-38        7

 IV.  Future trends and emerging issues. . . . . . . .  39-45        8

  V.  Conclusions and recommendations. . . . . . . . .  46-53        9

        I.     Introduction

1.   The preparation of the Consolidated List of Products
Whose Consumption and/or Sale Have Been Banned,
Withdrawn, Severely Restricted or Not Approved by
Governments was initiated in response to General Assembly
resolution 37/137 of 17 December 1982, 1/ on the basis of the
work already being undertaken within the United Nations
system. The Assembly requested that the List be easy to
read and that it contain both generic/chemical and brand
names, as well as the names of all manufacturers, and a
short reference to the decisions taken by Governments that
had led to the banning, withdrawal or severe restriction of
the products.

2.   Two years later, in its resolution 39/229 of 18
December 1984, the Assembly decided, inter alia, that an
updated List should be issued annually, and that the data
should be made available to Governments and other users
in such a form as to permit direct computer access to it. The
Assembly also decided that the format of the List should be
kept under continuing review with a view to its
improvement in cooperation with the relevant organs,
organizations and bodies of the United Nations system,
taking into account its complementary nature, the
experience obtained and the views expressed by
Governments. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General 
to inform the General Assembly at its forty-first
session and every third year thereafter, through Economic
and Social Council on the implementation of the above

3.   The present report, which has been prepared for the
fifth triennial review of the List, provides an overview of
major developments since the issuance of the fourth review
in 1995 regarding harmful products and their effects on
human health and the environment, and makes proposals
regarding the possible impact of these developments on the
format, content and coverage of the List. The report also
discusses changes that may affect its production and

       II.     Review of the Consolidated List

    A.  Arrangements for the production of the List

4.   The arrangements for the production of the List have
remained essentially the same, apart from minor
adjustments, as those described in the first triennial review.
Since they have already been outlined in previous reports
of the Secretary-General (see A/41/329-E/1986/83;
A/44/276-E/1989/78; A/47/222-E/1992/57 and Corr.1; and
A/50/182-E/1995/66 and Corr.1), they are not reproduced
here again. Only the most recent adjustments are outlined.
In 1985, the United Nations Secretariat, in close
cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO)
and the United Nations Environment
Programme/International Register of Potentially Toxic
Chemicals (UNEP/IRPTC), carried out the first review of
the List, focusing on arrangements for the preparation of
future issues, the need for criteria for determining the
inclusion of products, the question of the legal and public
health context of regulatory actions that had not been
included in the first issue of the List, and the treatment of
commercial data. As a result of the review, a memorandum
of collaboration, outlining the division of responsibilities
between the United Nations, the World Health Organization
(WHO) and UNEP/IRPTC, was agreed upon and is still in

5.   Consultations are held periodically between the
United Nations Secretariat, WHO and UNEP/IRPTC to
review these arrangements and discuss issues of concern to
participating organizations. As a result of the discussions
at the last meeting, proposals were made to divide the List
into two parts, to be published in alternate years, one
focusing on pharmaceuticals and the other on chemicals.
Following the approval of these proposals by the General
Assembly as part of the triennial review of 1995, the sixth
issue of the List was published in 1997 under the new
arrangement, and contained information on pharmaceuticals
only; the seventh issue, which is currently under preparation
and scheduled for publication later in 1998, will contain
information on chemicals only.

        B.     Format, content and scope

6.   The format and content have been under continuous
review since its initial preparation, and periodic efforts have
been made to expand its coverage and scope. The List has
remained easy to read and understand, in line with General
Assembly resolution 37/137. There has been an increase in
the number of products listed and the number of
Governments reporting with each new edition of the
Consolidated List. The first issue covered less than 500
products regulated by 60 Governments; the fifth issue, the
last to deal with both pharmaceuticals and chemical
products, covered regulatory actions taken by 94
Governments on more than 700 products; the sixth issue,
dealing with pharmaceuticals only, contained information
on 366 products regulated by 77 Governments.

7.   With respect to the content of the List, it should be
noted that decisions taken by a limited number of
Governments on a specific product may not be
representative of the policy position of other Governments,
particularly in view of differing risk-benefit considerations.
It is also important to realize that all pharmaceutical and
chemical products are potentially harmful if not correctly
used. In addition, the fact that a given product is not listed
as regulated by a country does not necessarily mean that its
use is permitted in that country. Rather, it may mean that the
relevant regulatory decision to prohibit its use has not yet
been communicated to the United Nations, WHO or UNEP.
Alternatively, in the case of pharmaceuticals and pesticides,
which are frequently subject to compulsory registration
procedures, the product may not have been submitted for

8.   The application of criteria for the inclusion of
pharmaceutical and chemical products in the List has
significantly facilitated the screening of information to be
contained in the publication. It is expected that the variation
that continues between different Governments' application
of the criterion "severely restricted" will decrease as a result
of the implementation of the system of prior informed
consent (PIC) developed jointly by the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and
UNEP (see sect. III.B below).

9.   The scope of information contained in the List remains
the same as for previous issues.1 Part I, compiled by the
United Nations, WHO and UNEP/IRPTC, covers both
monocomponent and combination pharmaceutical products
and chemical products. Psychotropic and narcotic
substances have been included only in cases where a country
has notified WHO either that the substance is controlled
more rigorously than is provided for under the relevant
international conventions or that the substance has been
subjected to national control before being considered for
international scheduling. Part II of the List, compiled by the
United Nations Secretariat, presents commercial
information, including data on trade names and
manufacturers, relating to a large proportion of the products
included in part I of the List.

10.  WHO regularly provides explanatory comments on
pharmaceutical products to provide a context for certain
regulatory actions. These comments serve to clarify cases
in which Governments have taken conflicting regulatory
actions in the light of different national priorities. UNEP
and the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)
are not in a position to provide similar comments on
regulatory actions related to agricultural and industrial
chemicals, owing to the large number of products in which
these chemicals appear and the many applications of such
products. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to comment
on prohibitions or use restrictions for chemical products
since risk-benefit assessments and subsequent decisions may
differ considerably from country to country, depending on
different national or local conditions, which most of the
time may not be fully known to UNEP and/or IPCS.

        C.     Computer/Internet access

11.  In response to the request from the General Assembly
in its resolution 39/229 for direct computer access of the
List, the information contained in the List was first
transferred to diskettes in 1994 after it became possible to
download the information from the mainframe to personal
computers. The Secretariat is now studying the feasibility
of also making the diskettes available as a sales item or on
the Internet.

        D.     Periodicity and language versions

12.  In its resolutions 39/229 and 44/226, the General
Assembly stipulated the language requirements for
publishing the List. These requirements have been carefully
observed, although non-availability of the software required
to produce formatted text in French and Spanish has delayed
the final printing of the List in these two languages.

13.  With the separation of pharmaceuticals and chemicals
into two distinct issuances to be published in alternate years,
the policy of alternating sets of languages for each issuance
of the List with a limitation of no more than three languages
each year will become more difficult to implement on a
timely basis, particularly given the cost and availability of
database facilities in other languages.

14.  The various databases of WHO, UNEP and the United
Nations Secretariat are maintained in English, and the
updating and modification of the information in the
Consolidated List is also done in English. A copy of the List
in English could be made generally available, without any
delays, until such time as similar database facilities are
developed and/or acquired in other languages. Once that
stage is reached, it would be possible to accelerate the
translation process simply by adding translated entries
directly into the database. The periodicity and availability
of the List in the official languages should continue to be
addressed in tandem with the question of direct computer

        E.     Dissemination and utilization

15.  The List is the only document that presents, in a
unified manner, information on restrictive regulatory
decisions taken by Governments on a range of
pharmaceutical products and agricultural and industrial
chemicals. As such, it is a valuable source of information
for Governments in considering the scope for their eventual
regulatory actions. Apart from Governments, the other users
of the List are non-governmental organizations, academic
institutions and media organizations. Public interest and
consumer groups use the List to urge Governments and
manufacturers to remove hazardous products from the
marketplace, or to appraise citizens about the health-related
effects of using certain products.

16.  In section II of its resolution 44/226, the General
Assembly requested the Secretary-General to consider ways
and means of ensuring more effective involvement of non-governmental
organizations in promoting the dissemination
and utilization of the Consolidated List. The Department of
Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations
Secretariat responds positively to the many requests that it
receives from non-governmental organizations for copies
of the List. Each issue of the List is sent to major 
non-governmental organizations that are active in this area, such
as the Pesticide Action Network, which opposes the misuse
of pesticides and supports reliance on safe and sustainable
pest-control methods. Copies of the List are also sent, on
request, to consumer groups in developing countries,
particularly those who are primarily involved in
environmental activities and activities related to sustainable
development. Other organizations, such as the International
Organization of Consumers Unions and Greenpeace, use the
information contained in the List to monitor the use of
hazardous products, and distribute information to policy
makers, the media and consumers.

17.  In order to determine the use to which the List is being
put, a questionnaire has been included in the publication,
starting with the second issue. Information received from
the responses to the questionnaire is analysed to determine
the use of the List. The Department of Economic and Social
Affairs intends to conduct a full survey of the utilization of
the List in 1999 after the publication of the seventh issue;
now that the List is being published separately for
pharmaceuticals and chemicals, the seventh issue,
containing information on chemicals only, will complete a
full cycle under the new arrangement, which will be an
appropriate time to conduct such a survey of users about the
utilization of the List.

18.  Although no systematic analysis of the use of the
Consolidated List has been undertaken recently, some
observations can be made with respect to its utilization
based on previous experience and correspondence received
from both Governments and non-state actors. The List has
been instrumental in helping national authorities to
disseminate information about products on the List and take
actions ranging from the review of licensing provisions,
laws and regulations to the enforcement of new laws or
regulations. Often, the List is used to ascertain which
products are severely restricted or banned elsewhere when
they are still available in the country concerned.

      III.     Developments since the last
               triennial report

        A.     Follow-up to the United Nations
               Conference on Environment
               and Development

19.  The involvement of the United Nations system
organizations in activities related to the protection of human
health from chemical exposure and human environment
from chemical pollution predates the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
However, the adoption of Agenda 21, 2/ more specifically its
chapter 19, provided new impetus to the ongoing work that
was being carried out by the organizations of the United
Nations system, as well as other concerned
intergovernmental organizations, in the area of
environmentally sound management of chemicals.

20.  Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 contained six programme
areas which were designated by UNCED for increased
national and international efforts, including improved
coordination (for listing of the programme areas, see
A/50/182-E/1995/66, para. 38). In order to achieve some
of these key objectives of the programme areas, new
mechanisms for coordination at the international level were
established, and work in certain existing areas was expanded
and intensified. It is beyond the scope of the present report
to document all the activities that have been undertaken by
the United Nations system organizations under chapter 19
of Agenda 21 in the area of environmentally sound
management of chemicals. The present report is limited to
a description of some of those activities which are most
directly relevant to the Consolidated List, although it is
recognized that there are wider and important links with
other chapters of Agenda 21, such as hazardous waste,
freshwater, human health and atmosphere. Some of the
activities under these initiatives, which are relevant to the
present report, are described below.

        1.     Inter-Organizational Programme for the Sound
               Management of Chemicals

21.  Consultations between WHO, the International Labour
Organization (ILO), UNEP, FAO, the United Nations
Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) resulted in the establishment of the Inter-organizational 
Programme for the Sound Management of
Chemicals (IOMC). The United Nations Institute for
Training and Research (UNITAR) became the seventh
participating member of IOMC in January 1998.

22.  Specific coordinating mechanisms have been
established for some programme or subprogramme areas,
such as the harmonization of classification of chemicals,
information exchange on toxic chemicals and chemical
risks, pollutant release and transfer registers, and chemical
accident prevention, preparedness and response. These
mechanisms provide a regular forum for all interested
bodies working in their respective areas to consult with each
other on their programme plans and activities and discuss
ways to ensure that their activities are mutually supportive
of the overall objectives of the programme or

23.  The documentation published by IPCS as part of its
normative functions of providing authoritative scientific
sources that national authorities may use for the planning
and development of regulatory actions and control measures
includes environmental health criteria documents, the
concise international chemical assessment documents,
health and safety guides, international chemical safety
cards, pesticide data sheets, the Classification of Pesticides
by Hazard, guidelines to classification, poison information
monographs, the reports and toxicological monographs of
the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives,
and air and drinking water quality guidelines. The
information contained in these documents complements the
information provided in the Consolidated List.

        2.  Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety

24.  In response to a request from UNCED, an
international conference on chemical safety was convened
at Stockholm in 1994, and one of its main outcomes was the
establishment of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical
Safety (IFCS). At its first meeting, the Forum, a 
non-institutional arrangement for cooperation among
Governments, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental 
organizations for the promotion of chemical
risk assessment and environmentally sound management of
chemicals, adopted priorities for action for the effective
implementation of the programme areas of chapter 19 of
Agenda 21. The recommendations contained in the priorities
for action were essentially addressed to Governments, but
several of them were also aimed at guiding the work of
international bodies in developing tools for use by
Governments in meeting their national targets. In most
areas, specific deadlines and targets were outlined against
which progress could be measured for reporting to the
second meeting of the Forum, which was held in 1997, and
the third meeting of the Forum, scheduled to be held in the
year 2000. Between meetings, the activities of the Forum
are directed by an inter-sessional group, which met in 1995
and 1996 to discuss activities of the Forum and follow-up
action being taken on recommendations. The third meeting
of the inter-sessional group will be held in December 1998.

25.  The second meeting of the Forum was held in
February 1997 at Ottawa to review activities carried out
since the first meeting, and made recommendations to the
special session of the General Assembly to review progress
in the implementation of Agenda 21. It was reported at the
Forum that substantial progress had been made in achieving
the targets included in chapter 19 of Agenda 21, especially
in relation to identifying the risk to human health and the
environment posed by persistent organic pollutants;
accelerating the international assessment of the risks of
chemicals; implementing the voluntary procedures and
negotiating the legally binding instrument for prior
informed consent; developing pollutant release and transfer
registers; moving towards a globally harmonized system for
the classification and labelling of chemicals; the promotion
of alternatives that reduce the need for using of chemicals
(e.g., integrated pest management); and starting to deal with
the problem of stocks of obsolete chemicals. The Forum
also made a number of recommendations on the disposal of
obsolete chemicals, pesticide risk reduction, and pollution
release and transfer registers, and on emerging issues, such
as endocrine disrupting substances.

        B.     Prior informed consent

26.  In 1989, the FAO Conference, while adopting
amendments to the International Code of Conduct on the
Distribution and Use of Pesticides, introduced the principle
of prior informed consent. At about the same time, the
Governing Council of UNEP adopted the PIC principle and
incorporated it into the London Guidelines for the Exchange
of Information on Chemicals in International Trade
(UNEP/GC.14/17, annex IV). Both UNEP and FAO have
elaborated guidelines for the principle of prior informed
consent on the basis of a 1992 memorandum of
understanding between the two organizations (for more
specific details, see A/50/182), and have continued their
collaboration in the operation of the PIC procedure. Since
the implementation of the voluntary PIC procedures in
1989, 154 countries are now participating in it, and 27
decision guidance documents have been prepared on 22
pesticides and five industrial chemicals.

27.  Following the identification by the Governing Council
of UNEP in 1991 and by UNCED in 1992 of the need for
developing a legally binding PIC convention, the FAO
Council in 1994 agreed to proceed with the preparation of
a draft PIC convention as a part of the current FAO/UNEP
programme on PIC, in cooperation with other concerned
international and non-governmental organizations. In 1995,
the UNEP Governing Council authorized UNEP to prepare
and convene, together with FAO, an intergovernmental
negotiating committee with a mandate to prepare an
international legally binding instrument for the application
of the PIC procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and
pesticides in international trade.

28.  After two years of negotiations, the Committee, at its
fifth session, held at Brussels in March 1998, unanimously
agreed on the text of a convention. It is envisaged that the
next step will be the convening of a diplomatic conference
for the purpose of adopting and signing the instrument. The
Government of the Netherlands has offered to host such a
conference at Rotterdam in September 1998.

        C.     Other developments

29.  At the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of
multilateral trade negotiations and the establishment of the
World Trade Organization (WTO), the issue of domestically
prohibited goods was incorporated into the work programme
of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment, and was
discussed at its meeting in 1995. It was recognized by most
of the WTO studies conducted on this issue that whereas
international instruments already addressed the export of
domestically prohibited goods -- mainly chemicals,
pharmaceuticals and hazardous waste -- there was no
instrument that addressed consumer products. It was also
argued that although other instruments did exist, a number
of them were voluntary in nature and were not therefore
considered appropriate for dealing with consumer products.
Accordingly, it was felt that the issue of domestically
prohibited goods should be dealt with within the framework
of WTO.

30.  In its report to a 1996 ministerial conference, the
Committee summarized the results of its work since its
establishment, and made a number of recommendations.
Recognizing the concerns expressed by developed and
developing countries, it recommended that WTO members
participate in the activities of other organizations that have
expertise to provide technical assistance in this field, and
that the WTO secretariat review all in-house information
on the subject for the next meeting of the Committee.

31.  At the 1997 meeting, it was proposed that the
domestically prohibited goods notification system that had
been in existence between 1982 and 1990 be revived,
particularly since the decision taken to establish it still
remained in force. However, no agreement was reached by
the Committee on this issue, and the WTO secretariat was
requested to prepare a study on the product coverage of the
domestically prohibited goods notification system if it were
to be revived, as well as on the possible format of
notifications. The issue is to be addressed at the next
meeting of the Committee on Trade and Environment,
scheduled to be held later in 1998.

        D.     Technical assistance/capacity-building

32.  Programme area E of chapter 19 of Agenda 21 deals
with national and regional capacity-building and
strengthening capabilities for the identification,
management and reduction of risks posed by chemicals to
human health and the environment. Although most
developed countries have at least some systems in place for
the environmentally sound management of chemicals, many
developing countries have only very limited facilities or
none at all. The development of adequate human resources
capability, including training for decision-making on
regulatory measures and improved access to information,
is essential.

33.  Concerned United Nations system organizations
coordinate their technical assistance activities in the area
of capacity-building for developing countries either
separately or jointly through IOMC. The establishment of
IOMC has strengthened the coordination of activities in
chemical assessment and management and reduced the
chances of duplication.

34.  In the context of strengthening national capabilities
and capacities, IFCS proposed that all countries develop,
through intersectoral cooperation, a national profile on
national infrastructures for the sound management of
chemicals. Such profiles would be examined in a national
workshop, at which needs would be identified and actions
proposed to strengthen and/or set up the required structures
and generate longer-term technical cooperation support to
the country. Many developing countries and countries with
economies in transition that are currently being assisted in
the preparation of their national profiles through the
UNITAR/IOMC national profile support programme have
made significant progress towards the preparation of
comprehensive assessments of their chemicals management

35.  Over 40 countries have so far prepared first official
versions of their profile, and building on these profiles,
several of them have organized national follow-up
workshops to identify priority areas of chemical
management and develop national action programmes, with
the assistance of UNITAR. In addition, four countries have
initiated national action programmes with assistance from
UNITAR/IOMC under the pilot programme to assist
countries in implementing national action programmes for
integrated chemicals management.

36.  In order to ensure effective implementation of the PIC
procedure, FAO and UNEP, in cooperation with UNITAR,
continue to provide technical assistance to developing
countries and countries with economies in transition in the
form of workshops and meetings, through the joint
programme for the operation of PIC, in order to provide
government officials with training with a view to
strengthening both the decision-making and regulatory
capabilities of the respective countries. With the expected
transition from the voluntary PIC procedure to a legally
binding instrument later in 1998, there will be a need to
expand technical assistance activities in this area.

37.  UNEP has been developing legislative guidance
documents on chemical management. International policies
and standards regarding the safety of chemicals at work are
formulated by the ILO. The ILO also provides specific
safety training to labour inspectorates, and assists
developing countries in establishing or strengthening their
administrative and legal framework so that they will
eventually be equipped to undertake the process of ratifying
ILO instruments. UNIDO continues to pay particular
attention to training in the safe formulation and application
of pesticides, and has published safety guidelines in this
area, and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) is
cooperating with OECD to extend to ECE countries with
economies in transition systems and practices for the safe
handling of chemicals established by OECD.

38.  The first edition of the IOMC inventory of activities
summary report, listing in an abbreviated format activities
that directly support the programme areas of chapter 19 of
Agenda 21 by all participating organizations and UNITAR,
was published in December 1996. The second edition of the
inventory will be published for distribution at the third
meeting of the inter-sessional group of IFCS, to be held at
Yokohama, Japan, from 1 to 4 December 1998.

       IV.     Future trends and emerging issues

39.  Over the past several years, the risks associated with
persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have become of
increasing concern to many countries, and have resulted in
regional and global action, in addition to national
programmes. For example, the development of a POPs
protocol under the ECE Convention on Long Range
Transboundary Air Pollution will probably be completed
in 1998.

40.  Globally, work on POPs has been undertaken in a
number of forums, including IFCS and UNEP, culminating
in the decision of the UNEP Governing Council in 1997 that
international action is required to reduce the risk to human
health and the environment arising from the 12 POPs 3/ that
were subject to an international assessment completed by

41.  This decision of UNEP calls for the preparation,
together with WHO and other relevant international
organizations, of an intergovernmental negotiating
committee with the objective of preparing an international
legally binding instrument to implement international action
on these 12 POPs. Meanwhile, UNEP and IFCS are jointly
conducting POPs awareness-raising workshops in different
regions to facilitate immediate national action to address
POPs and to help prepare Governments for upcoming
negotiations on a POPs convention. The first POPs INC
session is scheduled for 29 June to 3 July 1998.

42.  Another emerging issue of concern is the impact of
endocrine disrupting substances on human health and the
ecosystem. An increasing number of scientific studies are
rapidly accumulating new information which indicates that
these substances have the potential to interfere with the
normal functions of the body governed by endocrine. A
number of countries have expressed concern about these
findings, and IFCS has requested IOMC organizations to
address the issue of endocrine disruptors through a number
of activities, such as promoting coordinated research
strategies, identifying research priorities and gaps,
delineating testing methods, harmonizing guidelines,
maintaining an inventory of research activities and
facilitating information exchange.

43.  The issue of the effects of environmental regulations
on trade in general and of a legally binding instrument for
PIC procedure on trade in hazardous chemicals in particular
is a very complex one that needs careful further examination
in appropriate forums in order to induce compliance with
multilateral environmental agreements.

44.  Progress is being made with technical work based on
major existing systems to harmonize classification and
labelling of chemicals, but an international framework is
required to translate the results of the technical work into
a legally binding instrument. At the same time, much more
work needs to be done at the national level to bring existing
systems and legislation in line with any agreed international

45.  As part of a longer-term objective, appropriate United
Nations bodies should encourage efforts to find substitutes
for harmful chemicals, use of safer technologies and
processes, and the implementation of effective preventive
and protective measures.

        V.     Conclusions and recommendations

46.  The importance and usefulness of the Consolidated
List for the dissemination of information on hazardous
products has long been recognized by Governments,
intergovernmental bodies, such as the Commission on
Sustainable Development, non-governmental organizations
and grass-roots consumer groups, and it should continue to
refer to and draw upon all the technical work being
accomplished within the system, with references to relevant
complementary publications and conventions.

47.  Considerable progress has been achieved in the
development of the Consolidated List, and the recent
decision to focus exclusively on pharmaceuticals and
chemicals in alternate issues, along with computerized
maintenance and production, should make the List more
user-friendly. The results of the intended survey of the
recipients of the List, to be carried out after the issuance of
the seventh edition, when integrated into the preparatory
arrangements for future issuances of the List, should also
help to make the List more useful for its intended users.
However, the problems relating to issuing the List in
alternating sets of languages will need to be addressed.

          Recommendation 1

48.  [BOLD] The List could be prepared and published
regularly every year in English, with other languages
lagging behind temporarily until similar database and
formatting facilities are available in all languages;
alternatively, it could be issued in other languages at the
same time as English, as a text file without comparable
formatting [unbold] (see paras. 12-14 above).

49.  Treaties on chemicals, such as the Vienna Convention
for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Basel
Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements
of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, including recently
concluded negotiations on legally binding instrument on
PIC procedure and the proposal to start similar negotiations
on POPs, indicate that increased international efforts are
under way to protect human health and the environment
from the noxious effects of hazardous chemicals. The
Consolidated List already reports on regulatory actions
relating to most of the chemicals and chemical compounds
relevant to these agreements, but there is a need to increase
its coverage of reporting countries, and to expand the
number and scope of the products covered.

          Recommendation 2

50.  [BOLD] An important means of widening the coverage of
reporting countries is to increase the scale of assistance
to countries, particularly in the area of capacity-building. [unbold] 
This should help to make an even larger number
of countries more conscious of the need to regulate the use
of products that are harmful to health and the environment,
and strengthen their national capabilities for taking the
necessary action.

          Recommendation 3

51.  [BOLD] There is a need to have a legally binding PIC
procedure adopted at the diplomatic conference at
Rotterdam, and to have it signed and ratified without
undue delay. [unbold] 

          Recommendation 4

52.  [BOLD] It is important that the domestically prohibited
goods notification system be revived, and the WTO
Committee on Trade and Environment could be invited
to take speedy action in this regard. [unbold] 

          Recommendation 5

53.  [BOLD] In the area of risk assessment, although most
technical work is continuing elsewhere to produce
quality data on which to base chemical risk assessments,
United Nations system organizations should continue to
encourage efforts towards better understanding of the
potential risks from exposure to chemicals. [unbold] 


          1/   For previous issues of the Consolidated List, see United
               Nations publications, Sales Nos. E.85.IV.8, E.87.IV.1,
               E.91.IV.4, E.94.IV.3 and E.97.IV.2.

          2/   Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
               Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I,
               Resolutions Adopted by the Conference (United Nations
               publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and Corrigendum),
               resolution 1, annex II.

          3/   Aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex,
               toxaphene, hexachlorobenzene, PCBs, dioxins and furans.


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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
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