The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 7, 2002

Message to the Senate of the United States

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, with Annexes, done at Stockholm, May 22-23, 2001. The report of the Secretary of State is also enclosed for the information of the Senate.

The Convention, which was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program with the leadership and active participation of the United States, commits Parties to take significant steps, similar to those already taken by the United States, to eliminate or restrict the production, use, and/or release of 12 specified persistent organic pollutants (POPs). When I announced that the United States would sign the Convention, I noted that POPs chemicals, even when released abroad, can harm human health and the environment in the United States. The Convention obligates Parties to take measures to eliminate or restrict the production, use, and trade of intentionally produced POPs, to develop action plans to address the release of unintentionally produced POPs, and to use best available techniques to reduce emissions from certain new sources of unintentionally produced POPs. It also includes obligations on the treatment of POPs stockpiles and wastes, as well as a science-based procedure to add new chemicals that meet defined criteria.

The United States, with the assistance and cooperation of nongovernmental organizations and industry, plays an important international leadership role in the safe management of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. This Convention, which will bring over time, an end to the production and use of certain of these toxic chemicals beyond our borders, will positively affect the U.S. environment and public health. All relevant Federal agencies support early ratification of the Convention for these reasons, and we understand that affected industries and interest groups share this view.

I recommend that the Senate give prompt and favorable consideration to the Convention and give its advice and consent to ratification, subject to the understandings described in the accompanying report of the Secretary of State, at the earliest possible date.

May 6, 2002.

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