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Environmentally safe management of chemicals, in particular those that are banned and severely restricted in international trade (decision 14/27)

107. At the 14th meeting of the session, on 17 June, the Council had before it a draft decision on this subject submitted by the Committee of the Whole (UNEP/GC.14/L.37 – F). The Committee had approved a draft text submitted by the representatives of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Mauritania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and the Union of Soviet socialist Republics.

108. The draft decision was adopted by consensus

109. While stressing the need to provide adequate safeguards to avoid risks to human health and the environment from international trade, in particular harmful chemicals, the representative of the United Kingdom expressed doubts about the practicality of establishing a satisfactory system of prior informed consent. The Government of the United Kingdom, she stated, would have preferred to assess the experience of implementing the London Guidelines before agreeing to the new work proposed by the decision.

110. The representative of the United States stated that the sixth prembular paragraph of the text, as well as sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 3, appeared to prejudge the outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working group with evaluation of the implementation of the London Guidelines.