Press Release

11 May 2013

Deputy Minister Fransman concludes visit to Switzerland following participation in the Ministerial Meeting on UN Chemicals and Wastes Conventions

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman concluded his visit to Geneva, Switzerland, where he led a South African delegation to the High-level Segment of the Simultaneous Extraordinary Meetings of the Conferences of States Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on 9-10 May 2013.

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at a global level and have for the first time jointly convened a back-to-back meeting of the parties to all three Conventions with the aim of creating synergy between them. The two-week meeting was held in Geneva from 28 April-10 May 2013.

Approximately 145 parties attended the meeting and over 70 Ministers and Deputy Ministers participated in the High-level Segment held on 9-10 May 2013.

The High-level or Ministerial Segment focused on the theme: "Synergies and the implementation of the chemicals and waste conventions at the national, regional and global levels."

The objectives of the High-level Segment included the elevation of the profile of chemicals and waste management as key components of sustainable development in national development agendas, as well as to provide an opportunity to share experiences, lessons learnt and best practices.

As a State Party to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, respectively, South Africa expressed support in adopting a sustainable synergistic approach to managing chemicals and wastes throughout their lifecycles. South Africa called for improved efficiency in delivering lifecycle management and technical assistance to parties.

Deputy Minister Fransman met with Mr Jose Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), on the margins of the High-level Segment. Issues raised during the bilateral meeting included the role of the FAO in agricultural and sustainable synergies through sustainable agriculture. The finalisation of the Host and Country Framework Agreements between South Africa and the FAO were also discussed.  In addition, it was agreed that the FAO would have closer cooperation at a more strategic level with South Africa to develop more  sustainable, resilient and integrated agricultural and food security strategies and programmes on the African continent.

Deputy Minister Fransman was supported by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudhafhasi.

Following his visit to Geneva, Switzerland, Deputy Minister Fransman will travel to Minsk, the Republic of Belarus, for Inter-Ministerial Political Consultations scheduled for 13 May 2013.

For further information, please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974


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