ASEAN Regulatory Co-operation Project (ARCP) Webinar 2023 – SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management) and Beyond 2020 Instrument

In the continued industry capacity and capability efforts by ARCP to build knowledge on chemical management for the ASEAN community, the ARCP Organising Committee conducted a webinar session for the government and industry delegates among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to learn more about SAICM initiatives and the path towards Beyond 2020 Instrument on 27 July 2023.

SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management) is an initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It operates as a voluntary program that provides a comprehensive policy framework for the sound management of chemicals and wastes throughout their life cycle. By employing a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach, countries leverage SAICM to help them enhance the holistic implementation of chemical management regulations that are relevant and effective at the national level.

The agenda of the webinar covered the following sharing by various speakers with Q&A session dedicated to each topic of sharing:

  • A background to SAICM initiatives including its goals and objectives by Mr Olivier Baldan, UNEP Secretariat
  • Sharing on METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)’s Approach on SAICM by Ms. Kumiko Takeuchi, Assistant Director, Chemical Management Policy Division Manufacturing Industry Bureau of METI, Japan.
  • Ms Raleigh Davis of American Chemistry Council (ACC) shared some industry’s perspective on SAICM implementation - Industry and the Beyond 2020 Instrument
  • Round table sharing by regulators on their thoughts and perspectives on SAICM based on their involvement in SACIM initiatives:
    • Malaysia – by Ms. Hazlina YON, Director of Chemicals Management Division, Department of Occupational Safety and Health
    • Philippines - by Mr. Jose Joel D. Maleon, Senior Environmental Management Specialist, Environmental Management Bureau, Chemical Management Section
    • Indonesia - by Danny Rahdiansyah, Deputy Permanent Representative for UNEP and UNHabitat, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Nairobi

Following the sharing presentations, there were breakout discussion sessions where many government and industry delegates from the ASEAN Member States (AMS) expressed their interest in actively participating in future SAICM activities. Their enthusiasm highlights the value they see in engaging with SAICM initiatives and underscores their commitment to furthering chemical management efforts in the region. Government representatives who have attended were from the standards bodies, environmental agencies, trade ministries and workplace safety.

The active engagement from all stakeholders is important in SAICM negotiations. SAICM will serve as the relevant framework in addressing global challenges and issues related to chemicals and waste management. It is through active participation that we can then leverage resources to bridge the gap between developed and developing nations in the field of sustainable management of chemicals and waste.

The ARCP Organising Committee extends its gratitude to all the speakers for their valuable contributions and to all the delegates for their active participation. We encourage everyone to stay updated as the committee plans to organize more awareness-sharing events and provide relevant updates on the latest negotiation outcomes following the ICCM-5 (International Conference on Chemicals Management) meeting in September 2023.