International Day of Action
May 23, 2002
One year has now passed since the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was adopted and opened for signature. Over one hundred twenty governments have signed, but still, only a handful of countries have ratified. This important new treaty, which is urgently needed to protect the public’s health and the environment from dangerous toxic chemical pollutants, will enter into force and become legally binding on the ninetieth day after ratification by fifty or more governments.
The International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) – a worldwide network of over 300 participating organizations from all regions of the world – calls on governments to ratify Stockholm by September 1, 2002, before the conclusion of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa. This can happen, and it will mean that the historic Stockholm Convention on POPs will enter force and become international law on the New Year, 2003.
Governments have already had a full year to consider this treaty, and to evaluate how it can be integrated into their country’s laws and practices. Many have already begun a process to develop the National Implementation Plans required of all Parties to the Convention. Multilateral and bilateral aid to developing countries and countries in transition has started to become available to provide assistance to countries that wish to prepare themselves to implement this treaty’s measures and obligations. Momentum is building, but it must be maintained or it could be lost. Ratification of the Stockholm Convention before the conclusion of WSSD assures that the momentum that has been building can be sustained though to success.
IPEN and its participating organizations recognize the serious and long lasting injury to ecosystems and human health that POPs and other persistent toxic substances can cause. We work for a world in which POPs and other persistent toxic chemical substances no longer pollute our local and global environments, nor contaminate our food, our bodies, and the bodies of our children and future generations.
Governments of the world have taken a first step toward achieving these goals by adopting the Stockholm Convention on POPs. IPEN and its Participating Organizations now call upon all governments to take the next step and ratify Stockholm before the conclusion of WSSD.
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002