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GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION TO IMPLEMENT UN-BACKED TREATY AGAINST ORGANIC POLLUTANTS

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    ... From: UN News Service To: Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 1:01 PM Subject: GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION TO
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "UN News Service" <UNNews@...>
      To: <news11@...>
      Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 1:01 PM
      Subject: GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION TO IMPLEMENT UN-BACKED TREATY
      AGAINST ORGANIC POLLUTANTS


      GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION TO IMPLEMENT UN-BACKED TREATY AGAINST
      ORGANIC POLLUTANTS
      New York, May 6 2005 4:00PM
      A meeting to review a United Nations-backed treaty banning a "dirty dozen"
      industrial chemicals wrapped up its work today in Uruguay, with participants
      pledging to move forward energetically to reduce and eliminate the 12 highly
      hazardous substances.

      The conference this week in Punta del Este focused on the UN-sponsored
      Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
      (<"http://www.chem.unep.ch/pops/">POPs), which entered into force last year.
      The treaty targets some of the most dangerous of all man-made products or
      wastes, which cause deaths, diseases and birth defects among humans and
      animals.

      A key outcome of the conference was the establishment of a POPs Review
      Committee that will be responsible for evaluating additional chemicals that
      could be added to the treaty's initial list of 12. The panel will hold its
      first meeting later this year in Geneva and its recommendations will be
      forwarded to future annual meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the
      Convention.

      The Committee starts its work with four candidates proposed before or during
      this week's Conference. Norway nominated the flame retardant
      pentabromodiphenyl ether. Mexico has nominated a group of chemicals known as
      hexachlorocyclohexanes, which include the pesticide lindane, and the
      European Union has proposed listing the pesticide chlordecone and the flame
      retardant hexabromobiphenyl.

      The meeting further agreed on how to evaluate the Convention's progress in
      reducing the levels of POPs in the environment. It established a system for
      requesting and registering temporary exemptions to the phase-out of certain
      chemicals.

      "This week's conference has provided an inspiring example of how countries
      can work together through the United Nations to find global solutions to
      global problems," said Executive Director Klaus Toepfer of the UN
      Environment Programme
      (<"http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=430&ArticleID=4786&l=en">UNEP),
      under whose auspices the Convention was adopted in 2001.

      One of the chemicals already targeted by the Convention is DDT. The meeting
      recognized, however, that some 25 countries will need to continue spraying
      controlled amounts of DDT on the inside walls of houses to combat
      malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The progress being made on developing safe,
      affordable and locally effective alternatives to DDT will be reviewed again
      in three years. Delegates agreed on the rules and documentation for
      collecting the information needed for conducting such reviews.

      The 12 initial POPs covered by the Stockholm Convention include nine
      pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor,
      hexachlorobenzene, mirex and toxaphene); two industrial chemicals (PCBs as
      well as hexachlorobenzene, also used as a pesticide); and unintentional
      by-products, most importantly dioxins and furans.
      2005-05-06 00:00:00.000

      ________________

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