Sumario: 8 June 2010, Geneva - Intervention by the European Union at the HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 14th Session (31 May - 18 June 2010), Interactive Panel Dialogue on Toxic Waste,
The European Union recognises the importance of the issue of the dumping of toxic waste. I am pleased that today we have a chance to discuss the impacts it can have on human rights. I would like to thank all of the Panellists for their contributions.
Let me focus first on waste in general, before moving on to ships. The Basel Convention, as the only global Convention on waste, is a vital instrument in controlling the movement of hazardous waste and other wastes, and improving their management globally. The Convention has recognised that certain waste streams are a priority for action. These include electronic waste (e-waste) and waste contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
The EU believes that the development of a new Basel Convention Strategic Framework for 2012-2021, and the enhanced cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, will make implementation of the Basel Convention more effective and coherent and thus improve the human rights situation as it is affected by toxic waste. The EU will play its full part in development of this Framework. We would be grateful for to hear more on the Special Rapporteur's work on other forms of waste, such as his visit to Kyrgyzstan last autumn.
In relation to ships, the EU reiterates the importance it attaches to ship recycling. We agree with the Special Rapporteur that it requires a global solution, which is why we believe the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships was an important step. The focus must now be on ratification and implementation. We urge countries to ratify this Convention at the earliest opportunity. The EU Strategy for Better Ship Dismantling includes proposals to implement the Hong Kong Convention as well as other measures. We would like to hear the Panellists' views on how implementation of the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention can be taken forward.
Finally let me take the opportunity to thank the Special Rapporteur for service he has provided to the Council on this topic, and wish him well in his future endeavours.