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VERTIC presents on the international legal framework for chemicals and their wastes in Laos

On 2 and 3 July 2019, the NIM Programme’s Legal Officer Leanna Burnard presented and conducted a workshop on the international legal framework for chemicals and chemical wastes in Vientiane, Laos.

The mission was part of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) Project 61, on the management of chemicals and chemical wastes in South-East Asia. The conference was attended by government representatives from across South-East Asia, and was conducted in collaboration with consortium partners, Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions (SCJS) and Public Health England (PHE).

The presentation focused on the international legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, Rotterdam Convention, Stockholm Convention, Basel Convention and the Minamata Convention, as well as international standards including the UN Model Regulations on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods, the UN Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, and the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). It further considered European standards such as the SEVESO III Directive and the EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Further information about these instruments can be found in Trust and Verify Issue no. 164, p12.

Following the presentations, participants from Project 61’s partner countries (including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam) were asked to reflect upon and discuss the status of implementation of these international instruments in their own domestic laws, and what strategies they could employ to facilitate the implementation process. The workshop also focused on the need for regional collaboration, particularly in areas such as regional security, trade, and responses to chemical incidents and emergencies that have a transboundary effect. Participants engaged with representatives from other countries to discuss opportunities for the sharing of expertise and resources.

The presentation and workshop aimed to strengthen participants’ knowledge on the international legal framework for the management of chemicals and chemical wastes, which can be cascaded through national teams, and facilitate stronger collaboration on these issues in the South-East Asian region.

More details on EU CBRN CoE Project 61 can be found here: