May 10, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Cambodia has reaffirmed its commitment to joining the international community to protect the environment and public health.
The pledge came as the Ministry of Environment addressed the 16th meeting of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions – multilateral agreements aimed at protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.
The conferences – held in Geneva, Switzerland, under the theme “Accelerating action: Targets for the sound management of chemicals and waste” – bring together 1,400 participants from 182 countries and international organisations as observers.
Ministry secretary of state Sabo Ojano, who is leading the Cambodian delegation, said the May 1-12 conferences aim to review the progress and challenges in the implementation of the three conventions (Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm), and find solutions to hurdles faced by the countries who are signatories.
According to the ministry, the participants had discussed and adopted resolutions and requested adjustment to some articles that had been drawn up by a technical team. The participants also requested that all parties to the conventions improve the efficiency of their implementation. They must respond to the goals that have been set as well as examine and discuss the preparing of action plans and budgets for 2024-2027.
“The Cambodian delegation discussed their work with the conventions’ Secretariat. They reiterated Cambodia’s commitment to joining the international community in protecting the environment and public health,” Ojano was quoted as saying.
“This commitment was made by ratifying and fulfilling the obligations set out in the multilateral environmental agreements, including preparations of relevant legal documents, building the capacity of officials and programmes to disseminate and raise public awareness of toxic and hazardous substances,” he added.
Ojano requested that the Secretariat continue to provide Cambodia with aid and funds to strengthen and improve the capacity of government institutions to fulfil their obligations under the conventions.
Rolph Payet, executive secretary of the conventions’ Secretariat, thanked Cambodia for taking an active part in fulfilling its obligations under the agreements, and for providing reports and preparing legal documents associated with toxic and hazardous substance management. He said he would accept the requests made by Cambodia to enhance the capacity of its institutions.
The participants also held a number of key meetings, including a meeting on controlling the transboundary movement of hazardous waste, and prior informed consent for certain hazardous waste and pesticides in international trade.