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In 2014, Resolution 1/5 of the United Nations Environment Assembly at its First session recognizes the significant risks to human health and the environment arising from releases of lead and cadmium into the environment, requests the United Nations Environment Programme, in coordination with the World Health Organization, to continue to build capacity on lead paint through possible regional workshops; and looks forward to the compilation of information on techniques for emission abatement and on the possibility of replacing lead and cadmium with less hazardous substances or techniques.

In 2013, Decision 27/12 of the Governing Council at its First Universal 27th session emphasized that further actions are needed to address the challenges posed by lead and cadmium and urged governments to continue participating in and contributing to the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles and the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint.

In 2011, Decision 26/3 of the Governing Council at its 26th regular session sets out a way forward in a number in a number of important areas hat include lead and cadmium. Through this decision, it was noted that there remains a need for a continued focus to reducing the risks posed by lead and cadmium.

In 2009, Decision 25/5 II of the Governing Council at its 25th regular session requests the Executive Director to finalize the scientific review taking into account the latest available information in line with decisions 24/3 of 9 February 2007 and 23/9 of 25 February 2005 and to report to the Governing Council at its 26th session with a view to informing discussions on the need for global action in relation to lead and cadmium.

In 2007, Decision 24/3 III of the Governing Council at its 24th regular session encouraged efforts by Governments and others to reduce risks to human health and the environment of lead and cadmium throughout the whole life cycle of those substances. It also requested UNEP to provide available information on lead and cadmium to address the data and information gaps identified in the Interim Reviews, and to compile an inventory of existing risk management measures, with a further report back to the next GC.

In 2005, GC decision 23/9 III of the UNEP Governing Council at its 23rd session reaffirmed its decision GC 22/4 III on lead and requested UNEP to undertake a review of scientific information on lead and cadmium, focusing especially on long-range environmental transport, to inform future discussions on the need for global action in relation to lead and cadmium.  

In 2003, the Governing Council at its 22nd session further adopted GC decision 22/4 III, again calling upon Governments that had not yet done so to act urgently to eliminate the use of lead in gasoline and to act urgently on the commitment of the World Summit on Sustainable Development to phase out lead-based paint and lead in other sources of human exposure, to prevent exposure to lead, in particular children’s exposure to lead, and to strengthen both the monitoring and surveillance and the treatment of lead poisoning. Also it appealed to Governments, intergovernmental organizations, including UNEP, non-governmental organizations and civil society for active participation in assisting Governments, through information exchange, technical assistance, capacity-building and funding to developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their efforts.

In 2001, the UNEP Governing Council during its 21st session, emphasizing the importance of accelerating the process of eliminating the unsafe uses of lead, adopted GC decision 21/6 that called upon Governments who had not yet done so to eliminate the use of lead in gasoline.

Governing Council Decisions and United Nations Environment Assembly Resolutions

GC decision
UNEA Resolutions

Date Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish
UNEA 1/5
23-27 June 2014
GC27 (27/17) 18-22 Feb 2013
GC26 (26/3 I) 21-24 Feb 2011
GC25 (25/5 II) 16-20 Feb 2009
GC24 (24/3 III) 5-9 Feb 2007
GC23 (23/9 III) 21-25 Feb 2005

GC22 (22/4 III) 3-7 Feb 2003
GC21 (21/6)

5-9 Feb 2001