The fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) will take place in Geneva from 28 September to 2 October, 2015. ICCM is the governing body of UNEP’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), an Approach which covers all agricultural and industrial chemicals throughout their lifecycle, and reflects environmental, economic, social, health and labour aspects of chemical safety. SAICM brings together stakeholders and sectors that include agriculture, environment, health, industry, labour, economics, science and academia to catalyse achievement of the goal by 2020 “that chemicals are used and produced in ways that minimize adverse effects on human health and the environment.”
The post-2015 Development Agenda provides a historic opportunity to place sound management of chemicals and waste at the heart of sustainable development. ICCM4 will facilitate the exchange needed to promote sharing of resources and forging of partnerships. The high-level segment on 1-2 October will provide a platform for discussing ways that SAICM can contribute to implementing and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The segment also seeks to inspire wider stakeholder engagement and renewed commitment to implementing the Strategic Approach. Reflecting the inclusive nature of SAICM, the high-level segment will feature keynote speeches and panel participation from senior levels of global business and industry, government, NGOs, and donors.
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Adopted by the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) on 6 February 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to foster the sound management of chemicals.
SAICM was developed by a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral Preparatory Committee and supports the achievement of the goal agreed at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development of ensuring that, by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.
Progress in the implementation of SAICM was reviewed at the third session of the ICCM held from 17 to 21 September 2012.
Pharmaceutical Pollutants Under The Spotlight
A call for attention and action on environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants will be presented at the 4th International Conference on International Chemicals Management (ICCM4) in September.
Stakeholders of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) will consider a proposal to include environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants as an emerging policy issue at ICCM4 developed by the Governments of Peru and Uruguay together with the International Society of Doctors for the Environment. It identifies the need for greater awareness and policy engagement; enhanced coordination and collaboration amongst different initiatives and actors; and greater capacity to access and manage risks, at a global level, and particularly in developing countries.
The proposal lists seven activities that should be taken and notes that there are three main pathways that pharmaceutical products reach the environment.
Full text by Brenda Koekkoek 
 Disclaimer: The author is a staff member of the United Nations Environment Programme. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed in the article, and they do not necessarily represent the decisions or policies of the United Nations Environment Programme.