World Alliance for
|Public Health | Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants|
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The Parties to this Convention,
Recognizing that persistent organic pollutants possess toxic properties, resist degradation, bioaccumulate and are transported, through air, water and migratory species, across international boundaries and deposited far from their place of release, where they accumulate in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems,
Aware of the health concerns, especially in developing countries, resulting from local exposure to persistent organic pollutants, in particular impacts upon women and, through them, upon future generations,
Acknowledging that the Arctic ecosystems and indigenous communities are particularly at risk because of the biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants and that contamination of their traditional foods is a public health issue,
Conscious of the need for global action on persistent organic pollutants,
Mindful of decision 19/13 C of 7 February 1997 of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme to initiate international action to protect human health and the environment through measures which will reduce and/or eliminate emissions and discharges of persistent organic pollutants,
Recalling the pertinent provisions of the relevant international environmental conventions, especially the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal including the regional agreements developed within the framework of its Article 11,
Recalling also the pertinent provisions of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21,
Acknowledging that precaution underlies the concerns of all the Parties and is embedded within this Convention,
Recognizing that this Convention and other international agreements in the field of trade and the environment are mutually supportive,
Reaffirming that States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction,
Taking into account the circumstances and particular requirements of developing countries, in particular the least developed among them, and countries with economies in transition, especially the need to strengthen their national capabilities for the management of chemicals, including through the transfer of technology, the provision of financial and technical assistance and the promotion of cooperation among the Parties,
Taking full account of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, adopted in Barbados on 6 May 1994,
Noting the respective capabilities of developed and developing countries, as well as the common but differentiated responsibilities of States as set forth in Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,
Recognizing the important contribution that the private sector and non-governmental organizations can make to achieving the reduction and/or elimination of emissions and discharges of persistent organic pollutants,
Underlining the importance of manufacturers of persistent organic pollutants taking responsibility for reducing adverse effects caused by their products and for providing information to users, Governments and the public on the hazardous properties of those chemicals,
Conscious of the need to take measures to prevent adverse effects caused by persistent organic pollutants at all stages of their life cycle,
Reaffirming Principle 16 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development which states that national authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment,
Encouraging Parties not having regulatory and assessment schemes for pesticides and industrial chemicals to develop such schemes,
Recognizing the importance of developing and using environmentally sound alternative processes and chemicals,
Determined to protect human health and the environment from the harmful impacts of persistent organic pollutants,
Have agreed as follows:
Mindful of the precautionary approach as set forth in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.
Each Party shall facilitate or undertake the exchange of information relevant to:
The reduction or elimination of the production, use and release of persistent organic pollutants; and
Alternatives to persistent organic pollutants, including information relating to their risks as well as to their economic and social costs.
The Parties shall exchange the information referred to in paragraph 1 directly
or through the Secretariat.
Each Party shall designate a national focal point for the exchange of such information.
The Secretariat shall serve as a clearing-house mechanism for information
on persistent organic pollutants, including information provided by Parties,
intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations.
For the purposes of this Convention, information on health and safety of humans and the environment shall not be regarded as confidential. Parties that exchange other information pursuant to this Convention shall protect any confidential information as mutually agreed.
Public information, awareness and education
Each Party shall, within its capabilities, promote and facilitate:
Awareness among its policy and decision makers with regard to persistent organic pollutants;
Provision to the public of all available information on persistent organic pollutants, taking into account paragraph 5 of Article 9;
Development and implementation, especially for women, children and the least educated, of educational and public awareness programmes on persistent organic pollutants, as well as on their health and environmental effects and on their alternatives;
Public participation in addressing persistent organic pollutants and their health and environmental effects and in developing adequate responses, including opportunities for providing input at the national level regarding implementation of this Convention;
Training of workers, scientists, educators and technical and managerial personnel;
Development and exchange of educational and public awareness materials at the national and international levels; and
Development and implementation of education and training programmes at the national and international levels.
Each Party shall, within its capabilities, ensure that the public has access to the
public information referred to in paragraph 1 and that the information is kept
Each Party shall, within its capabilities, encourage industry and professional
users to promote and facilitate the provision of the information referred to in
paragraph 1 at the national level and, as appropriate, subregional, regional
and global levels.
In providing information on persistent organic pollutants and their alternatives,
Parties may use safety data sheets, reports, mass media and other means of communication, and may
establish information centres at national and regional levels.
Each Party shall give sympathetic consideration to developing mechanisms, such as pollutant release and transfer registers, for the collection and dissemination of information on estimates of the annual quantities of the chemicals listed in Annex A, B or C that are released or disposed of.
Research, development and monitoring
The Parties shall, within their capabilities, at the national and international levels, encourage and/or undertake appropriate research, development, monitoring and cooperation pertaining to persistent organic pollutants and, where relevant, to their alternatives and to candidate persistent organic pollutants, including on their:
Sources and releases into the environment;
Presence, levels and trends in humans and the environment;
Environmental transport, fate and transformation;
Effects on human health and the environment;
Socio-economic and cultural impacts;
Release reduction and/or elimination; and
Harmonized methodologies for making inventories of generating sources and analytical techniques for the measurement of releases.
In undertaking action under paragraph 1, the Parties shall, within their capabilities:
Support and further develop, as appropriate, international programmes, networks and organizations aimed at defining, conducting, assessing and financing research, data collection and monitoring, taking into account the need to minimize duplication of effort;
Support national and international efforts to strengthen national scientific and technical research capabilities, particularly in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and to promote access to, and the exchange of, data and analyses;
Take into account the concerns and needs, particularly in the field of financial and technical resources, of developing countries and countries with economies in transition and cooperate in improving their capability to participate in the efforts referred to in subparagraphs (a) and (b);
Undertake research work geared towards alleviating the effects of persistent organic pollutants on reproductive health;
Make the results of their research, development and monitoring activities referred to in this paragraph accessible to the public on a timely and regular basis; and
Encourage and/or undertake cooperation with regard to storage and maintenance of information generated from research, development and monitoring.