Adopted at the first session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in June 2014, the Special Programme aims to support institutional strengthening at the national level for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata convention and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). Through the Special Programme, support can be provided to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to enhance their sustainable institutional capacity to develop, adopt, monitor and enforce policy, legislation and regulation and to gain access to financial and other resources for effective frameworks for the implementation of the legally binding chemicals and waste conventions and SAICM. Further details can be found in the terms of reference of the Special Programme.
The Special Programme intends to support country-driven institutional strengthening at the national level, in the context of an integrated approach to address the financing of sound management of chemicals and wastes, taking into account:
- National development strategies, plans and priorities of each country; and
- Increase sustainable public institutional capacity for the sound management of chemicals and wastes throughout their life cycle
- The secretariat of the Special Programme is hosted within UNEP’s Chemicals and Waste Branch in DTIE and became operational in 2015.
- The Trust Fund for the Special Programme is established at United Nations Headquarters and is open to receive funds since September 2015. Significant contributions have been pledged to the Special Programme from the European Union, the Government of Finland, the Government of Sweden, the Government of USA, the Government of Germany, and the Government of Austria.
- The Executive Board of the Special Programme has been established. The representatives from recipient countries are as follows: Kenya representing Africa, Brazil and Argentina representing Latin America and the Caribbean (noting that these countries will share the two-year term) , Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia representing Central and Eastern Europe, and Yemen representing least developed countries and small island developing States. The country to represent Asia and the Pacific is still to be decided. The donor representatives on the Executive Board are the European Union, Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the USA.
- The first meeting of the Executive Board was held from 2 – 3 February 2016 and significant progress was made with agreement reached ad interim on the Rules of Procedure for the operations of the Executive Board of the Special Programme, the application guidelines and related application forms and next steps. It is expected that final approval of the documents will be reached on 3 March 2016.
For more information on the proposed calendar of implementation, click here.