SKOPJE, 8 November 2012 – The President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, met today with Taizo Nishikawa, Deputy to the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Nishikawa briefed President Ivanov on current UNIDO activities in Macedonia, and expressed UNIDO’s commitment to co-fund and develop a long-term plan that addresses a contaminated site at a state-owned company, called OHIS. A section of OHIS’s premises in Skopje has been dumped with lindane, an organochlorine chemical variant of hexachlorocyclohexane that has been used both as an agricultural insecticide and as a pharmaceutical treatment for lice and scabies, while another section contains an abandoned factory standing on grounds contaminated by mercury.
During their meeting, Nishikawa and President Ivanov acknowledged the associated risks of this site and agreed to unify efforts to tackle this issue.
The project will be co-financed by UNIDO and the Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. UNIDO will derive its funds from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which underwrites projects that phase out persistent organic pollutants listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, such as lindane. The details of the co-financing were discussed at a later meeting between Vice Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Vladimir Pesevski, and Nishikawa.
During his visit, Nishikawa also attended the Waste Forum, hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. Vice Minister, Stevo Temelkovski, opened the forum with the presentation of a pilot project on a technology to clean up the OHIS site. Nishikawa suggested possible UNIDO contributions.
Nishikawa also attended the opening ceremony for a UNIDO implemented, GEF-funded project “Phasing-out and elimination of PCBs and PCB-containing equipment”. PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyl, are banned under the Stockholm Convention. The project aims to assist the country in reducing the amount of PCBs released into the environment to comply with the Convention. UNIDO will assist the country in developing its legislation and institutional and technical capacities.
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