Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Rotterdam Convention in Danger! Handful of countries block listing of Chrysotile Asbestos

It is irresponsible and indefensible that a handful of countries under the control of the asbestos industry are blocking the right to prior informed consent, a basic right that is essential for the protection of public health. In so doing, they are undermining the viability of the whole Convention. This handful of countries is putting the interests of the asbestos industry ahead of global public health. The Convention cannot function, if a few countries hold the world hostage by rejecting the advice of the Convention’s scientific committee, which has repeatedly recommended, that chrysotile asbestos be listed under Annex III. The listing of chrysotile asbestos meets all the scientific criteria of the Convention. It is a demonstration of outrageous bad faith that these countries – Ukraine, Kygrysztan & Kazakhztan, India – have ratified the Convention and yet act in a way that undermines the ethos and functionality of the Convention. The Convention is intended to secure a fundamental right for all the countries of the world and this tiny group of countries appear determined to deny that right.

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