VIENNA, 31 March 2011 – The challenge to manage rapidly increasing quantities of domestic electrical and electronic waste, as well as handling the growing influx of end-of-life products from developing countries were among the main topics discussed during a workshop on hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products, which wrapped up in Vienna today.
The three-day workshop contributed to national and international efforts aimed at reducing the hazardous chemicals content of electrical and electronic products and reducing their impact during the life cycle along the supply chain, on human health and the environment, while seizing opportunities to create decent employment, alleviate poverty, stimulate green chemistry and promote entrepreneurship potentials.
UNIDO Managing Director, Dmitri Piskounov, thanked the Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) for their cooperation in preparing the workshop. The event also looked at sustainable ways to develop and apply effective policies and methodologies, build appropriate infrastructure and national capacity for managing electrical and electronic waste.
“The answer lies in growing our economies in a more sensible and sustainable manner,” said Piskounov. “We need a fundamental change in how we produce, consume and exchange goods. This is what UNIDO is trying to achieve through its Green Industry initiative.”
Professor Oladele Osibanjo, the Chair of the Steering Committee, expressed hope that “the workshop would provide a road map for an enduring and holistic global solution to the global problem of e-waste and sustainable development”.
Katherina Kummer-Peiry, the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, added that was “an excellent opportunity to address the ‘missing link’ and could provide an important input into Basel Convention COP10 theme of ‘Prevention, minimization and recovery of waste’”.
The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention and UNIDO with financial support from the governments of Japan and Sweden, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and UNIDO.
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