What happened at ICCM3

Joe DiGangi, IPEN

September 2012

The 3rd International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3) took place from 16 – 21 September in Nairobi, Kenya. ICCM3 met to assess progress on implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM); review and consider emerging policy issues; decide on a health sector strategy; and to make plans to reach its 2020 goal. NGOs were represented at the meeting by a team of approximately 50 NGOs from 31 countries. ICCM3 contained over 400 delegates, representing 122 governments, 19 international organizations, and 79 NGOs. 

Some principal results of ICCM3:

  • Consensus decision that endocrine disrupters are a global emerging policy issue and the need for measures that could contribute to reductions in exposures to or the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, in particular among vulnerable populations
  • Highly hazardous pesticides emerged as an issue at the meeting when Kenya along with 20 countries, IPEN, PAN, ITUC and others proposed a resolution calling for their elimination, substitution, and addition to the FAO Code of Conduct. More than 65 countries supported the resolution in plenary. Even though it was not passed, several key stakeholders urged intersessional work on the topic and concerns over HHPs will be documented in the meeting report.
  • A strengthened resolution on eliminating lead paint that includes promotion of national regulatory frameworks
  • Continuation of work on providing information on chemicals in products including activities that seek to raise consumer awareness
  • Addition of electronics to the Global Plan of Action and continued work including prioritizing reduction of exposure by eliminating or substituting the hazardous substances of concern. Note that many countries base their implementation of SAICM on activities contained in the Global Plan of Action so adding electronics (and nano) to the Plan helps elevate official work on the topic.
  • Addition of nano to the Global Plan of Action and continued work including approaches to protect workers, the public and the environment from potential harm.
  • Adopted a health sector strategy to increase the involvement of health professionals in chemical safety
  • Extended the Quick Start Programme to support activities to enable initial capacity-building and implementation, though no commitments were made for contributions at the meeting.

ICCM3 also expressed concern about the need to adequately fund the secretariat and the withdrawal of support by WHO for a staff person in the secretariat. The meeting called for voluntary contributions to support this WHO representative and confirmed the plan for an Open Ended Working Group meeting in 2014.

Our NGO team at ICCM3 participated actively in the meeting and made interventions on all major topics (available at the link below). NGO advocacy work with delegations on critical issues such as endocrine disrupters and highly hazardous pesticides helped change the positions and motivate some countries in the interest of human health and the environment.

 More details about the results of ICCM3 are described below.


IPEN ICCM3 website including interventions made at the Conference



Earth Negotiations Bulletin on ICCM3



The SAICM Secretariat web page on ICCM3:



SAICM text available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish is located here: