Integrated National Programmes
In 2004, UNITAR and its international partners supported Armenia, Chad, Jamaica, and Jordan to develop and sustain an Integrated National Programme for Sound Chemicals and Waste Management. The country-based pilot projects were funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), with the participation of Armenia made possible through a financial contribution from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).
Important elements of the programme included: development of a National Programme for Chemicals and Waste Management; implementation of two specific action plans for subject areas which would benefit from an integrated approach covering both chemicals and wastes; preparation (or updating) of a National Profile; establishment of an Interministerial Coordinating Mechanism (including coordination of national participation in relevant international meetings and negotiations); and development of a National Information Exchange Mechanism and Website.
The experience of the pilot countries developing national programmes made a valuable contribution to the process to develop a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The projects built upon experience gained and lessons learned through earlier projects on integrated chemicals management which have been implemented in seven countries since 1996 (see below). At the international level, the project was implemented though collaboration of UNITAR with Participating Organizations of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals, and the Secretariats of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety and Basel Convention.
The UNITAR/IOMC framework guidance document, entitled “Developing and Sustaining an Integrated National Programme for Sound Chemicals Management” was revised early in 2004 ( Download). Additional guidance and training was also made available to partner countries in the areas of linking waste management to a national chemicals management programme, Action Plan Development, Strengthening Inter-ministerial Coordination, Strengthening Information Exchange, and Financial Resource Mobilisation.
The UNITAR/IOMC Programme to Assist Countries in Developing and Sustaining Integrated National Programmes for the Sound Management of Chemicals assisted interested countries with the establishment of a formalised national platform through which integrated and coordinated action related to the safe chemicals management can be ensured. Important elements of the programme includes: providing support to countries for updating/amending a National Profile; setting chemicals management priorities; and developing National Action Plans.
Important elements of this Phase included training and guidance to assist with establishing national interministerial and multi-stakeholder mechanisms and in developing a financial resource mobilisation strategy designed to increase the level of national, as well as external, financial resources which are made available for the sound chemicals management. The Programme was designed in a flexible manner to allow emphasis in areas which countries consider to be of particular importance to their national situation.
A guidance document entitled Developing and Sustaining an Integrated National Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals was developed in cooperation with all IOMC POs and serves as an overall framework document for the Programme. With financial assistance provided by the Government of Switzerland, three countries - Ecuador, Senegal and Sri Lanka - obtained support from UNITAR for a period of 18 months, commencing April 2001. This Programme built upon the experience gained and lessons learned through a 3 year pilot programme in which Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, and Slovenia participated and which was successfully completed and evaluated in 1999.
Initial Pilot Phase (1996-99)
The UNITAR/IOMC Programme to Assist Countries in Implementing National Action Programmes for Integrated Chemicals Management supported countries in implementing a formal national process to systematically address priority issues of national chemicals management, building on the results of the National Profile process and the outcomes of a National Priority Setting Workshop. Technical Task Forces were set up to address the identified priority areas and a policy-level National Coordinating Team was established to oversee the National Action Programme and to ensure coordination among the various task force activities.
To test this approach, which was developed with input of the Montézillon Expert Meeting (August 1996), UNITAR, in collaboration with the Participating Organizations of the IOMC, initiated a pilot programme in 1997 in partnership with Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia and Slovenia. The UNITAR/IOMC guidance document entitled Planning and Implementing a National Action Programme for Integrated Chemicals Management: A Guidance Document (1997) served as the key reference for the pilot countries. In addition to country grants, UNITAR and its IOMC partners supported the pilot countries by providing information and on-site expertise, and by facilitating linkages with other multi-lateral and bilateral organizations.
At the international level, a Programme Task Force comprised of representatives of all IOMC organizations and the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC) was been established to guide pilot programme planning and implementation. Financial support for the programme was provided by the Government of Switzerland.
The pilot phase generated promising results. A further phase consisting of 3 project countries was completed in 2001-3. A phase addressing chemicals and wastes issues commenced in 2004.