NAIROBI, Kenya, September 25, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Amnesty International and Greenpeace Africa are urging UNEP to ensure states protect people and the environment and to hold companies accountable, following the launch of a major report into a multinational company’s dumping of Toxic waste in Cote d’Ivoire in 2006.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is officially receiving a joint report from the two NGOs, The Toxic Truth, from Greenpeace Africa Campaign Director, Olivia Langhoff and Amnesty International Kenya Director Justus Nyangaya.
In response to the report, Mr. Steiner said: “We will study this very detailed report into a human tragedy that occurred in a fragile country that should never have happened and must never be repeated – in Cote d’Ivoire or elsewhere.
“The toxic waste dumping in Abidjan underlines many remaining challenges including the urgency of strengthening the UN treaties covering shipping and hazardous wastes, specifically MARPOL and UNEP-administered Basel convention. This should include clarification of the respective scope of application of these treaties.
“There are clearly other actions needed too. Carrying out a full on-the-ground assessment of contamination is one. Another would be for UN member states to show solidarity with vulnerable peoples everywhere by bringing into force the Basel Convention Ban Amendment finally prohibiting the export of toxic wastes from developed countries into vulnerable developing ones,” said Mr Steiner.
The Basel Ban Amendment was adopted in 1995 but is still awaiting sufficient ratifications for it to enter into force.