1211 GENEVA 19


Resolution adopted without a vote by the 91st Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(Paris, 26 March 1994)

The 91st Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Motivated by concern for present and future generations, and accepting that every country, and the international community as a whole, have an overriding responsibility to ensure that each generation bequeaths a healthier environment to its successors,

Reaffirming the international agreements on environment, including the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Agenda 21 and the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED),

Reaffirming also the Brasilia Plan of Action: Recommendations for Parliamentary Follow-up Action and Evaluation, adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Environment and Development held in Brasilia from 23 to 27 November 1992,

Urging all States to sign, ratify, implement and enforce the principles contained in all conventions relating to environment,

Also urging all parliaments and governments to enhance and enforce the "polluter pays" principle,

Concerned that the volume of wastes is increasing and has become a serious threat to the environment,

Alarmed at the growing amounts of hazardous, chemical and toxic wastes and the extreme danger they represent,

Considering that the entire world community has a duty to create and maintain a healthy environment, and that the industrialized countries, as the main producers of wastes, have a special responsibility for solving waste problems, inter alia by minimizing the generation of hazardous wastes and eliminating dangerous dumping practices,

Considering that parliaments and governments should work together to enhance public awareness of the waste problem so that consumers and producers abandon their throw-away attitudes and favour more durable products and goods,

Stressing the principle that the producers of waste are responsible for the public dissemination of all information relevant to that waste, its management and methods for its safe disposal,

Recognizing that necessary technologies for waste management are not fully available in certain countries, particularly those which are at the developing stage,

Underlining the importance of transferring environmentally friendly technology for waste management to developing countries,

Urging, in accordance with Agenda 21, all parliaments and all governments to work towards the prevention and minimization of wastes, the sustainable management of resources and the adoption of environmentally responsible lifestyles,

Recognizing the importance of peace, in view of the devastating effects of conflicts on the environment,

1. Recommends that all parliaments encourage effective measures to ensure environmentally sound waste management in accordance with Agenda 21, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and the recommendations of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Environment and Development, as being of paramount importance for human health, protection of the environment, natural resources management and sustainable development;

2. Requests co-operation in the exchange of information and harmonization of standards, codes and guidelines on waste disposal and recycling methods as well as in strategies, management systems, comprehensive planning and measures to establish co-operation between neighbouring States and regional blocs, in co-ordination with the competent regional and international organizations;

3. Considers that, according to the recommendations of Agenda 21 relating to the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes, the following aims are of importance:

  • Minimization of generation of wastes and substitution of hazardous materials by non-toxic ones whenever possible,
  • Maximization of environmentally and economically sound recycling, reuse and recovery of wastes,
  • Promotion of environmentally sound disposal and treatment of wastes and more services for waste collection and disposal,

4. Calls on States to strengthen legislation and policies regarding hazardous waste management, and in particular to:

(a) Promote initiatives to reduce the generation of hazardous wastes to a minimum;

(b) Ensure that, as far as is practicable, hazardous wastes are disposed of in the country of their generation;

(c) Improve controls on exports and imports of hazardous wastes;

(d) Prohibit shipments of hazardous wastes to countries lacking the legal, administrative and technical capacity to manage and dispose of them in an environmentally sound manner;

5. Urges parliamentarians to initiate discussion about the responsibilities of producers for products which becomes wastes, wherever they are located;

6. Calls on the developed countries to assist developing countries by transferring all information, research and training in the areas of waste control, clean production and waste minimization, and by setting up a system for exchanging information on recycling, reuse and recovery, including green labelling practices;

7. Urges the United Nations and other organizations to provide greater technical and financial assistance for the transfer of technologies to countries facing difficulties in the management of wastes, and appeals to all nations with access to such technologies to enable and facilitate their transfer to developing countries;

8. Urges all States to adopt policies and enforce measures to ensure safe transportation of wastes and hazardous substances in order to safeguard both the environment and human health;

9. Insists that the environment not be exploited or destroyed for political or military purposes;

10. Urges all States to co-operate in repairing the environmental damage caused by disasters or accidents, co-ordinate their resources for this purpose, and recognize that the "polluter pays" principle involves special responsibilities;

11. Underlines the important contribution of parliamentarians, all social groups, especially women and children, education systems and the media in the promotion of waste management for a healthy environment.

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