Geneva, Switzerland

28 September 2015

Secretary-General's message to Fourth Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), 28 September - 2 October

It is a pleasure to convey my best wishes to the International Conference on Chemicals Management.

At home and at play, in business and on our farms, more than 100,000 chemical substances are on the market or found in products that we use nearly every day. Many
of these substances are critical for our livelihoods, for our health or for our survival.

We are also too well aware of the dangers that unsound management of chemicals can pose to our health, environment and economies. The infant death rate from environmental causes overall is 12 times higher in developing than in developed countries, reflecting the human health gain that could be achieved by supporting healthy environments.

Businesses that use safer alternatives in product manufacturing benefit from steady or increased sales, and deliver a better and more credible brand. The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) framework brings together all stakeholders and sectors to minimize the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment..

As chemical production and use increases worldwide -- and at a faster rate in developing countries than anywhere else -- I will look to you for continued leadership in addressing the risks and building capacity for governance, information-sharing, and risk reduction..

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasizes the importance of sound management of chemicals and waste. Our challenge is strengthen our efforts to achieve that objective. The United Nations looks forward to working with you towards our shared:  human well-being, clean food, air and water, and thriving ecosystems. The world counts on you to make every effort to achieve a chemical-safe future by 2020 and beyond.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful conference.