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World Health Assembly Resolution WHA69.4

The 69th World Health Assembly (WHA) met in May 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland, during which Resolution WHA69.4 was approved: The role of the health sector in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management towards the 2020 goal and beyond.

The Resolution requests the WHO Secretariat to prepare and submit a roadmap for the 70th World Health Assembly. This roadmap will define concrete measures to promote health sector collaboration in order to fulfill which target set for 2020, as well as the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Resolution also urges the WHO Secretariat to develop a report on the consultation methods and priorities reflected in the roadmap; continue to exercise a leadership role in the strategic approach to promote the sound management of chemicals; support the strengthening of capacity to produce and analyze quality, accessible, timely and appropriately disaggregated data and; continue activities to further integrate the health sector with chemical substance management.

PAHO/WHO will implement a consultation in order to identify the priorities of Member States in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. This consultation will ensure that Member States' priorities are included in the roadmap.

Resolution Summary

The World Health Assembly Resolution on "The Role of the health sector in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management towards the 2020 goal and beyond" held in Geneva, May 2016.

Preamble of the Resolution

About 22.7% of total deaths and 21.8% of the total burden of disease per year are linked to environmental modifiable factors, in particular due to exposure to chemicals. Furthermore, the adverse effects caused by exposure acute, chronic and mixed chemicals are high interest, especially in groups of populations at higher risk of vulnerability. Stressing the need to tackle the social, economic and environmental determinants; with an emphasis on health protection and the reduction of health inequities.

The adoption of this Resolution previously reviewed the Report of the Secretariat A69/19 of 2016 on "The role of the health sector in sound chemicals management", it considers the Resolution WHA59.15 of 2006, which contains the "Strategic Approach of Chemicals", and also reaffirms the commitment to the final document of the Conference Rio + 20 "The future we want"

Similarly, the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development incorporates in its statement the target 3.9 "Reduce considerably, by 2030, the number of deaths and illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals and pollution and air, water and soil pollution " and the goal 12.4 "achieve, by 2020, the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all waste throughout their period of activity, in accordance with agreed international frameworks".

Furthermore of all the efforts undertaken, there is a need to strengthen: actions to decrease the differences in the reduction of the adverse health effects caused by chemicals and waste; cooperation aimed at strengthening the capacities of countries in the development of sound management of chemicals and hazardous wastes; adoption of multisectoral strategies in which the health sector plays an essential role in achieving the goal set for 2020; the immediate entry into force of the Minamata Convention on mercury; responsibility of industry to make available to stakeholders, data and information on the effect of chemical products that manufacture on health and the environment; the approach to funding of the "Sound management of chemicals and wastes produced" by UNEP and; adequate training of health personnel to facilitate the effective contribution to the sound management of chemicals and waste sector health.

For purposes of implementation, the resolution urges the Member States and, where applicable, regional economic integration organizations:

1. Participate taking initiatives, in particular by strengthening the role of the health sector, measures in favor of the management rational chemicals and waste, to minimize the risk of adverse effects on health.

2. Develop and consolidate multisectoral cooperation at different levels to prevent and minimize the adverse effects that may result in chemical products and waste.

3. Take into account the general orientation and guidelines of the Strategic Approach for the achievement of the goal set for 2020, including priorities and strategies to strengthen the participation of health sector.

4. Encourage stakeholders to participate in the Strategic Approach and establish appropriate linkages with national and regional tie-up, and participate in the preparation of reports on the progress made to implement the Strategic Approach.

5. Strengthen the capacities of individual, institutional and networking at different levels, in order to ensure the successful implementation of the Strategic Approach.

6. Encouraging the participation of the health sector in the process — between sessions established by the International Conference on chemicals management — to prepare recommendations on the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and wastes after 2020.

7. Maintain and increase the support (financial or in species, scientific and logistic) to the regional and global activities of the WHO Secretariat in safety of chemical substances and waste management.

8. Tackle additional initiatives aimed at mobilizing national and international resources, also for the health sector, for the sound management of chemicals and wastes.

9. Strengthen international cooperation to deal with the health impact of chemicals and wastes (through transfer of expertise and exchange of best practices, technologies, scientific data) to implement the strategic approach.

Live web stream of entire Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly (WHA69), (specific cast of the Resolution choose: Commission A. Afternoon session, Friday, 27 May, 2016)


The Conference made a number of significant health-related decisions including the adoption of a formal strategy to strengthen the engagement of the health sector in implementation of SAICM. WHO received an award at the Conference in recognition of its outstanding contribution to SAICM to date. Progress in implementing the health sector strategy will be reviewed at SAICM regional meetings held in the coming intersessional period and at the fourth session of the Conference to be held in 2015.