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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 52: UNEP: Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 2001


Commentary: The Stockholm Convention (UN Doc UNEP/POPS/CONF/2 (2001), entry into force 2004) aims to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs are chemicals which remain intact for long periods, are toxic to humans and wildlife and become widely distributed. In addition to the extracts below, Article 4 envisages a specific exemptions register open to the public. The process for listing chemicals in Annexes A, B and C through the POPs Review Committee under Article 8 contemplates soliciting technical comments from observers and taking these comments into account when completing risk profiles. Article 9 provides for information exchange including from NGOs subject to confidentiality but information on human health and safety or the environment is deemed non-confidential. Under Article 11, governments agree to support research, development and monitoring. Article 13(2) encourages voluntary financial contributions ‘from other sources’. Article 15 imposes reporting obligations, Article 16 lists mechanisms for evaluating effectiveness and Article 17 envisages a non-compliance mechanism. Annexes to the Convention pertain to chemicals for elimination (Annex A) and restriction (B), unintentional production (C), the screening criteria (D), risk profile (E) and socioeconomic information (F). See further, UNEP (1999), Guidelines for the identification of PCBs and materials containing PCBs; UNEP (2002), ‘Reducing and Eliminating the use of Persistent Organic Pesticides: Guidance on alternative strategies for sustainable pest and vector management’; UNEP (2002), ‘Ridding the world of POPs: A guide to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants’; UNEP (2003), ‘Standardized Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of...

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