The Compliance Committees of the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions meet back-to-back and hold a landmark joint session

The Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee held a landmark joint session with the Rotterdam Convention Compliance Committee, and successfully completed its fifteenth meeting on 18 November 2022, having helped eight Parties make progress with the resolution of their implementation and compliance difficulties, and brought to the Basel Conference of the Parties a range of recommendations on how to improve compliance with key obligations under the Convention.

Over a four-day marathon meeting, the Committee engaged with eight Parties facing implementation and compliance difficulties with key obligations under the Convention, to transmit national reports and to develop adequate legislation. Rich discussions, which took place with representatives of Central African Republic, Cook Islands, Mauritania, Syrian Arab Republic and Togo, concluded in the resolution of long-lasting compliance difficulties to transmit national reports faced by Liberia.

Expressing his satisfaction with the progress achieved, the Chair of the Committee, Mr. Florisvindo Furtado (Cabo Verde) said that “It is because of such concrete outcomes that I call the Basel Convention the ‘Beautiful Convention’, successful in its efforts to make the world a better place, where people and the environment are free from waste pollution. "

The Committee also tackled head-on compliance challenges with a series of core obligations under the Convention. It continued its meticulous work of classifying Parties compliance performance with their national reporting obligation, and preliminarily concluded that, for the first time ever, Parties have reached the target set by the Basel Conference of the Parties for transmitting reports complete and on time. The Committee also considered the outcome of the self-review of their legislation undertaken by 49 Parties, as well as how to help 23 Parties that have not provided information on whether they have legislation to implement the Convention, or indicated that they do not have such legislation in place. Preventing and combating illegal traffic was also central to the work of the Committee, with the identification of lessons from its second report on scoping the extent of illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes.

“I am particularly heartened by the commitment of the Committee to engage with United Nations Resident Coordinators and country teams towards embedding the implementation of the Convention in the broader context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, noted the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Mr Rolph Payet. He went on to underscore the importance of the work carried out by the Committee, noting that the implementation of the Basel Convention cannot and should not take place in a silo, as the scope of the wastes covered by the Convention and the extent of the obligations embedded therein require the engagement of a vast number of sectors and stakeholders at the national level.

The outcomes of the Committee will be considered by the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1 to 12 May 2023.

Participating in the meeting as an Observer on behalf of the Netherlands, Mr. Reginald Hernaus, who is also President of the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, expressed his appreciation for the progress achieved, saying “I was impressed by the work carried out by the Committee and it was indeed an eye-opener for me to see all Members in action”. Referring to the landmark joint session with the first meeting of the Compliance Committee of the Rotterdam Convention, he added: “I am very pleased to see that, by working together, the Committees can enrich each others’ experiences and strengthen their respective contributions to the successful implementation of the Conventions.”

The work of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee benefits from generous financial support provided by Japan, Norway and Switzerland.


The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environment treaty on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 189 Parties. With an overarching objective of protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, its scope covers a wide range of wastes defined as hazardous based on their origin and/or composition and characteristics, as well as three types of waste defined as “other wastes”, namely household waste, residues arising from the incineration of household wastes ash and certain plastic wastes requiring special consideration.

The Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee is mandated to assist Parties to comply with their obligations under the Convention and to facilitate, promote, monitor and aim to secure the implementation of and compliance with the obligations under the Convention.

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade is jointly administered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The 165 Parties to this legally-binding Convention share responsibility and cooperate to safely manage chemicals in international trade. To date, 56 hazardous chemicals and pesticides are listed in its Annex III, making their international trade subject to a prior informed consent (PIC) procedure.

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste management, in order to protect human health and the environment.

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