5-6 December 2013, Bogotá, Colombia – A National Planning and Inception Workshop to launch a project for the national implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) was held in Bogotá from 5 to 6 December 2013.

The two-day workshop was attended by some 30 representatives of government, industry, non-governmental organisations, and academia, as well as a UNITAR resource person. UNITAR provided substantive training on the GHS and provided examples of GHS implementation in various countries, while the National Project Coordinator gave an overview of the situation of chemicals labelling in the country and of the GHS project to be implemented. Subsequently, participants identified the key actors, benefits, existing infrastructure, and existing capacity for GHS implementation in Colombia.

The country will expand on these discussions and carry out a situation and gap analysis over the next few months. Based on this, a National GHS Implementation Strategy will be prepared. This document will contain action plans for the implementation of the GHS in key sectors such as the industrial workplace, agriculture, transport, and consumer products. In parallel to the development of the Strategy, Colombia will carry out awareness-raising and training activities for the different sectors.

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