By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Department of State (State Department) will hold a joint meeting from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on September 22, 2022, to discuss United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) Resolution 5/8 and the related upcoming first session of the ad hoc open-ended working group (OEWG) on a science-policy panel (SPP) to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste. In Resolution 5/8, UNEA states that an SPP should be established to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. UNEA further decided to convene, subject to the availability of resources, an OEWG to prepare proposals for the SPP, to begin work in 2022 with the ambition of completing it by the end of 2024. According to the resolution, the principal functions of the SPP should include:
- Undertaking “horizon scanning” to identify issues of relevance to policymakers and, where possible, proposing evidence-based options to address them;
- Conducting assessments of current issues and identifying potential evidence-based options to address, where possible, those issues, in particular those relevant to developing countries;
- Providing up-to-date and relevant information, identifying key gaps in scientific research, encouraging and supporting communication between scientists and policymakers, explaining and disseminating findings for different audiences, and raising public awareness; and
- Facilitating information sharing with countries, in particular developing countries seeking relevant scientific information.
The first session of the OEWG will be held in two parts, with the first part taking place on October 6, 2022, in a hybrid format, while the second part will be held in person in Bangkok early in the first quarter of 2023.