UNEP Chemicals Branch is a branch of the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that works to protect humans and the environment from adverse effects caused by chemicals and by hazardous waste. UNEP Chemicals is the focal point of UNEP activities on chemicals issues and the main catalytic force in the UN system for concerted global action on the environmentally sound management of hazardous chemicals. As such, its programme of work reflects global priorities identified by governments.
UNEP Chemicals Branch works directly with countries to build national capacity for the clean production, use and disposal of chemicals, and promotes and disseminates state-of-the-art information on chemical safety. In response to mandates from the UNEP Governing Council, it facilitates global action, including the development of international policy frameworks, guidelines and programs, to reduce and/or eliminate risks from chemicals.
In delivering policy and technical assistance for the sound management of chemicals, UNEP Chemicals builds and strengthens partnerships with governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
It also works closely with agencies within the UN family, including WHO, FAO, UNIDO, ILO, UNITAR, UNDP and the World Bank, and with the the secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions and the Minamata Convention.
The World Health Organization (WHO) hosts a number of bodies specializing in hazardous chemicals and waste activities, including
WHO joins UNEP in providing the secretariat for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) undertakes activities on chemicals through its Energy and Environment Programme
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has activities in the field of pesticides, a major chemicals sector including many hazardous chemicals
The United Nations for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides support to governments and stakeholders through its chemicals and wastes management programme
The International Labour Office (ILO) contains references to the safe use of chemicals in the workplace and prevention of major chemicals accidents
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) helps countries to improve their chemicals management and attain the The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing MDG Support Services through its chemicals and waste management programme
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCDE) holds a wealth of information on the topic of Chemical safety and biosafety