We, African Ministers of the Environment,
Having met in Bamako, Mali at the First Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa,
Welcoming the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012,
Bearing in mind the Resolution 1153 of the Organization of African Union Council of Ministers Resolution on Dumping Nuclear and Industrial Waste in Africa (May 1998),
Recalling the Libreville Declaration (2008) on Health and Environment in Africa reaffirming our commitment to implement all conventions and declarations that bear on health and environment linkages,
Further recalling the Luanda Commitment (2010) on the implementation of the Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment in Africa, in which ministers of health and the environment identified chemicals management as one of the top continental health and environment priorities to be addressed to accelerate the implementation of the Libreville Declaration,
Bearing in mind the Call for Action on E-waste in Africa, which sets out a list of priority actions to support the development of a regional approach for transboundary movements and Environmental Sound Management of e-wastes, as adopted by the Pan-African Forum organized in Nairobi in March 2012,
Concerned about the adverse effects on human health and the environment from the use, disposal of and exposure to hazardous chemicals and wastes which pose a major challenge for many African governments;
Further concerned about the recurrent cases of illegal dumping of hazardous wastes in Africa,
Stressing the need for Africa to seize the opportunities available to achieve its sustainable development ambitions as a result of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development,
Determined to address Africa serious environmental challenges from illegal trade and traffic of hazardous chemicals, and other industrial wastes as evidenced by many dramatic cases of dumping of hazardous waste in Africa, such as in Koko, Nigeria and in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and many other cases,
Determined to resolve current health and environmental challenges through the effective implementation of both the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the chemicals-related international conventions, which requires that the policies of the health and environment sectors be aligned with each other, and the strengthening of institutional mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and the greater integration of the sound management of chemicals into the sustainable development agenda,
Noting with appreciation the support provided by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, regional economic communities, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Global Environment Facility and other partners for the implementation of environmental programmes in Africa,
Concerned with the limited progress in the implementation of the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa,
Taking note of the synergy processes underway between three chemicals Multilateral Environmental Agreements, namely the Basel, the Rotterdam and the Stockholm Convention,
1. We are determined to prevent Africa to become a dumping ground for toxic wastes through an effective implementation of the Bamako Convention that states that the import of hazardous waste into Africa is a crime against humanity and we strongly reaffirm the Cairo Guidelines and Principles for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes (1988);
2. We are resolved to prompt action to overcome barriers to effective management and minimization of waste in Africa through increased knowledge on waste scenarios in order to prevent harm to health and environment.
3. We request the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with Governments and partners, to support, with financial and technical assistance, through multilateral, North-South and South-South cooperation, the implementation of the internationally agreed goals relevant to chemicals and wastes;
4. We proclaim our ambition to protect vulnerable groups including children and poor communities from negative impacts resulting from unsafe chemical use and unsound waste disposal;
5. We request the United Nations Environment Programme, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and regional economic communities to support and facilitate the mobilization of resources for operationalization of the Bamako Convention;
6. We commit ourselves to continuously fulfil our financial obligations toward the Convention by providing funds for the full operationalization of this Convention;
7. We urge African States that have not done so to take the necessary measures to ratify and implement the Bamako Convention.
8. We greatly appreciate the support received from the United Nations Environment Programme and, invite the Executive Director to explore, facilitate and extend the synergy to the Bamako Convention as a mean to foster the national and regional implementation of the Process, and,
9. We invite the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and the Stockholm Conventions to explore joint programmatic activities aiming at strengthening the implementation of the multilateral environmental agreements at the national and regional levels.