Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

In February, 2006, the International Conference on Chemicals Management endorsed the Strategic Approach setting the stage for continued assistance to countries to meet the SAICM's 2020 goal of sound chemicals management. UNITAR has adapted its services to countries in order to fully address the outcomes of ICCM.

One of the key outcomes from ICCM is a focus on "enabling" activities to assist countries with SAICM implementation. SAICM’s Overarching Policy Strategy states that: Implementation of the Strategic Approach could begin with an enabling phase to build necessary capacity, as appropriate, to develop, with relevant stakeholder participation, a national Strategic Approach implementation plan, taking into consideration, as appropriate, existing elements such as legislation, national profiles, action plans, stakeholder initiatives and gaps, priorities, needs and circumstances.

UNITAR offers assistance to countries for a variety of identified enabling activities for SAICM, including, inter alia:

Seventy-nine Projects Funded by SAICM Quick Start Programme Trust Fund Undertaking SAICM Enabling Activities with UNITAR Technical Support

To-date, UNITAR is the international executing agency for 79 projects (Rounds 1-12) under the SAICM Quick Start Programme Trust Fund (QSPTF). Projects comprise various activities, such as developing National Profiles, national SAICM priority-setting, national chemicals management databases, SAICM implementation plans, national policies for SAICM implementation, PRTRs, and enabling activities for implementation of the GHS.

Countries Undertaking UNITAR-Supported SAICM Quick Start Programme Projects

National Profile Programme Supports SAICM Implementation

To date, over 120 countries, including several OECD Member States, have completed and in many cases National Chemicals Management Profiles as a foundational

basic tool to assist with achieving sound chemicals management.

Assessing and diagnosing the existing infrastructure for the sound management of chemicals is an important step towards building national capacity in a systematic way. Through its National Profile Support Programme, UNITAR provides guidance, training, and technical support to assist countries in assessing their relevant legal, institutional, administrative, and technical infrastructure. At the country level, all ministries concerned with chemicals management, as well as industry and public interest groups, should be involved in the National Profile preparation process.

A second edition of the guidance document was issued in 2012. This new edition takes into account developments that have taken place since the first edition (1996) and lessons learned in countries as they have developed National Profiles; more comprehensively covers the entire life cycle of chemicals management; and integrates the most effective parts of the 2007 IOMC National SAICM Capacity Assessment methodology into this revised National Profile guidance ( Download).

At the international level, National Profiles provide others with a better understanding of the existing capabilities of countries, as well as their needs.

Integrated National Programmes

The importance of developing an integrated and coordinated approach to national chemicals management is one of the key messages of SAICM. This can be achieved, as the SAICM outcomes suggest, through the development of a national programme for the sound management of chemicals and chemical waste. Such a programme can facilitate, inter alia, interministerial coordination, access to and exchange of information, stakeholder participation, coordinated priority setting, and integration of chemicals management activities into national development planning processes.

UNITAR supports specific activities and human resource development in partner countries, which have the potential to contribute significantly towards the development of an integrated national programme.

UNITAR Board of Trustees Endorses SAICM

In April, 2006, UNITAR's Board of Trustees officially endorsed SAICM. This will assist with ensuring UNITAR's continued involvement as a partner in the implementation phase of SAICM.  Download