|United Nations System-Wide
SECOND REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY PROCESSES ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
BASEL CONVENTION ON THE CONTROL OF TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENTS OF HAZARDOUS WASTES AND THEIR DISPOSAL
Secretariat of the Basel Convention (SBC)
The Technical Working Group is a subsidiary body of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Basel Convention. Its mandate is to prepare technical guidelines for the environmentally-sound management of hazardous wastes and for disposal options. More generally, it provides technical advice and guidance on the implementation of the Convention.
Organization and Dynamics
Membership: The April 2000 meeting of the Technical Working Group was attended by 175 experts designated by 135 parties, signatories and observers to the Basel Convention including many intergovernmental organisations, environmental NGOs and industrial associations and bodies. There was relatively an equal balance between representation between industrialised, developing and newly-developing economies.
Work and Outputs
Meetings: Meetings are usually held twice yearly; depending on the issues to be discussed. In addition, joint meetings with the Legal Working Group are also held. During its sixteenth session in April 2000, the TWG was concerned mainly with defining and prioritizing in detail its work programme for the period 2000-2001 as mandated by the COP-5, including: the classification and hazard classification of wastes in Annexes VIII or IX of the Convention; consideration of the preparation of the draft technical guidelines on the environmentally-sound management of biomedical and health-care wastes, plastic wastes and their disposal, and lead battery wastes (preliminary); considering the preparation of scoping papers on the hazard characteristics H6.2, H10, H11, H12, and H13; the preparation on Technical Guidelines on the dismantling of ships; and, implementing the Basel Declaration on Environmentally-Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes.
The TWG has also decided that the Secretariat should proceed with Phase II study of the implication of amendment to Annex VII as soon as possible.
Means of Conveying Information to Policymakers: Reports of the TWG are submitted to the Implementation Committee as well as to the COP for their consideration.
Responses, Feedback and Interaction with Policymakers: Under the instruction of the TWG, the SBC is required to transmit requests for comments and feedback from parties, signatories, etc. of drafts of documents on a regular basis. These comments are incorporated in the improved drafts for further consideration by the TWG before their final adoption.
On Cooperation with UNEP Chemicals and
relevant organizations regarding prior informed consent (Convention on
PIC), for hazardous chemicals (Rotterdam Convention) and persistent organic
pollutants (POPs convention under negotiation), the TWG:
On the harmonization of lists of wastes and related procedures concerning trans-boundary movements of wastes and hazardous wastes at the global level, the Technical Working Group provides guidance to the SBC on technical implications and modalities required to aim at achieving compatibility among the different international and regional systems dealing with the control of transboundary movements of wastes and hazardous wastes. The SBC cooperates closely with OECD on this matter.
The SBC also works closely with the OECD on harmonization of lists of wastes under the OECD control system and under the Basel control system. In addition, consultations with the European Commission, IMO, WTO, etc. on matters of mutual interests are also ongoing.
On the Harmonized Commodity Description Coding System (HS) of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Technical Working Group will initiate work, through the SBC. As well, the Working Group will propose a framework for action to ensure proper reflection of the wastes covered by the Basel Convention in the Coding System.
The SBC has been invited by the WCO to
submit proposals with respect to the amendment of the Third Harmonized
System Review Cycle. (For more detail, see UNEP/CHW/TWG/16/2/Add.2)
UN System-wide Earthwatch