Signing of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmental treaty that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as "chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment".
Following this, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) and the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) prepared an assessment of the 12 worst offenders, known as the dirty dozen.
The negotiations for the Convention were completed on 23 May 2001 in Stockholm. The convention entered into force on 17 May 2004 with ratification by an initial 128 parties and 151 signatories. Co-signatories agree to outlaw nine of the dirty dozen chemicals, limit the use of DDT to malaria control, and curtail inadvertent production of dioxins and furans.
Parties to the convention have agreed to a process by which persistent toxic compounds can be reviewed and added to the convention, if they meet certain criteria for persistence and transboundary threat. The first set of new chemicals to be added to the Convention were agreed at a conference in Geneva on 8 May 2009.
As of December 2008, there are 168 parties to the Convention.
The Convention was adopted on 22 May 2001 at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Stockholm, 22-23 May 2001.
In accordance with its article 24, the Convention will be open for signature at Stockholm by all States and by regional economic integration organizations on 23 May 2001 at the Stockholm City Conference Centre/Folkets Hus, and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 24 May 2001 to 22 May 2002.