1 May 2013, Port au Prince, Haiti – Haiti held its national Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Planning and Inception Workshop from 23 to 24 April 2013 with the participation of UNITAR. The objectives of the workshop were to raise awareness about SAICM and to launch and plan the activities of the national project for the implementation of SAICM, entitled “Strengthening Capacities in the Republic of Haiti for National SAICM Implementation and Supporting GHS Capacity Building.” The project aims to increase national capacity to implement SAICM through the strengthening of national governance mechanisms for intersectoral cooperation and information exchange on chemicals management, the development of a SAICM national implementation plan, the development of a national policy for SAICM implementation, and the undertaking of enabling activities for the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Some 20 participants from public and private sectors, civil society, and academia were given presentations on SAICM and the international context for sound chemicals management, followed by presentations on key project activities. The workshop represented an opportunity to discuss about project activity implementation and specific roles and responsibilities to be played by the different stakeholders.

Based on the outcomes of this workshop, Haiti will formalize the National Project Coordinating Committee, strengthen the national governance structure through the development of a national inter-ministerial coordinating mechanism, information exchange mechanism, and stakeholder involvement policy, and develop a SAICM national implementation plan, including specific action plans for identified national priorities.

The National SAICM Planning and Inception Workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment of Haiti, with technical support provided by UNITAR and financial support provided by SAICM’s Quick Start Programme Trust Fund.