Brazil participated Monday, February 6, in the final day of the Special Session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss rules for the handling of chemical products. The topics included universal labeling standards, risk evaluation of chemical substances that cause diseases such as cancer, information exchanges between developed and developing countries, and the formulation of national plans for safe storage of chemical products.
The executive secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Cláudio Langone, who represented Brazil, reported in a telephone interview that the conference is ending in a huge impasse.
"All the proposals presented for negotiation failed to receive a minimal consensus on the part of the rich countries. They refused to reach any agreement on allocating resources for poor countries to develop the technological capacity to handle these products."
He explained that, "if we don’t get a consensus document now, the process is over, and we will have to begin the debate all over again practically from scratch."
He went on to say: "It would take us several more years to reach the point we hoped to reach through this conference: changes in the way chemical products are managed."
Langone also underscored the importance to inhabitants of poor countries of a strategically formulated international regulation for the handling of chemical products.
"Without safe places to deposit these products, they place the population in situations of extreme risk," he said.
In Langone’s view, "an international regulation governing the sale of prohibited products would considerably reduce the diseases caused by poisoning."