ICFM/26-99/PILD/16

 

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL

ON

“THE PROBLEM OF DUMPING OF DANGEROUS NUCLEAR AND TOXIC WASTES”

TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS

OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999

 

The problem of safe disposal of industrial waste especially of toxic substances is a matter of international concern. The impact of the industrial waste on the ecology and environment has already prompted the industrialized countries to devote special attention to this serious problem in terms of evolving appropriate technologies so as to reduce the threat to human life and environment.

  1. Reports about dumping of hazardous and toxic wastes by some developed States in developing States particularly in Africa, has also given rise to serious concern.
  2. The Eighteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers by its resolution N°. 29/18-P, condemned all multinational corporations, real and fictitious alike, which engage in this shameful practice of dumping toxic wastes on the territory of peaceful people whose sole ambition is to be entitled to live in full harmony with nature. The Conference took several decisions, including :

    • Mandating the OIC Secretary General to follow the negotiations in progress in the framework of the United Nations Environment Program and other fora.
    • Requesting the OIC Secretary General to seek the kind collaboration of the director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for the elaboration of a convention on the control of trans-border movement of toxic and other dangerous waste.

  1. The following measures were taken to implement the above resolution :

a) The General Secretariat circulated the Resolution to Member States and invited them to implement its provisions and advise the General Secretariat of progress in this respect.

b) The General Secretariat established close working relations with the U.N. Environment Programme, and an agreement was reached on the text of memorandum of understanding to govern cooperation between the two organizations in the field of the protection of the environment in the Islamic world. The memorandum of understanding, was signed at the General Secretariat of the OIC on 28 May 1990.

c) The subject of the protection of the environment in the Islamic countries, was included as one of the fields of cooperation between the two organizations which was held in Geneva in September 1989 recommended that the United Nations System should, within the realm of its existing constraints, make a meaningful contribution OIC by assisting in its efforts to protect the environment in such areas as the prevention of pollution of water, land and air, land degradation, deforestation and desertification.

  1. The International Agreement on the Cross-border Transportation of dangerous waste was signed in Basel (Switzerland) on 22 March 1989. The agreement came into force as soon as it was signed by 35 States, half of which are developing countries.
  2. The agreement comprises 29 Articles providing inter alia for the prohibition of the shipment of dangerous waste from any State signatory to the Agreement to another signatory State, and for the prevention of exportation of such matter to non-signatory States The Agreement further provides for the right of all States to accept or reject shipments of dangerous waste and for the exporting countries to have compulsory prior written authorization from recipient countries.
  3. Several Members States took part in the negotiations for the preparation of the above mentioned Agreement which they signed as soon as it was adopted.
  4. The Secretary General drew the attention of the Member-States to the above mentioned resolution. The OIC-UN coordination in this field is also being intensified.
  5. Within the United Nations framework both the conference on Disarmament and the International Atomic Energy Agency have been seized with the various aspects of the problem.
  6. The IAEA established a code of practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste in 1990. The U.N. General Assembly by its resolution 47/52-D adopted on 9 December 1992 interalia expressed the hope that the effective
  7. implementation of the IAEA Code of practice on Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste will enhance the protection of all States from the dumping of Radioactive waste will enhance the protection of all States from the dumping of radioactive wastes on their territories. It also requested the IAEA to keep the subject under active review, including the desirability of concluding a legally binding instrument in this field.

  8. In the same resolution the General Assembly expressed grave concern at the recently reported efforts to dump, harmful wastes in Somalia. The General Assembly called upon all States to take appropriate measures with a view to preventing any dumping of nuclear or radioactive wastes that would infringe upon the sovereignty of States. It also requested the conference on Disarmament to take into account, the ongoing negotiations for a convention on the prohibition of radiological weapons, radioactive wastes as part o of the scope of such a convention.
  9. The OAU has continued to follow up this issue in the context of Bamako Convention on the Ban on the Import of Hazourdous Wastes into Africa an don the control of their trans-boundary Movements within Africa.
  10. The UN General Assembly adopted on 16 December 1993 Resolution 48/75-D on the prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes by which it interalia expressed grave concern regarding any use of nuclear wastes that would constitute radiological warfare and have grave implications for the national security of all States to take appropriate measures with a view to preventing any dumping of nuclear or radioactive wastes that would infringue upon the sovereignty of States. It also requested the Conference on Disarmament to take into account, in the negotiations on the prohibition of radiological weapons, radioactive wastes as part of the scope of such a convention.
  11. The Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Teheran in December 1997 reiterated all relevant Islamic resolutions. It considered such practices to be a heinous crime against the people of members States and the entire humanity. It condemned all governmental and non governmental entities which engage in the shameful practice of dumping toxic wastes in the territories and water of peace loving people thus seriously endangering life and environment on the planet. It considered that such behavior constitutes an odious crime against the rights of the people in Member States and against humanity as a whole. The Conference also urged Member States to ban all the illegal transbroder movements of dangerous toxic wastes, transported without the necessary safeguards and the prior consent of the importing country. It requested the Member States to intensify their efforts within the framework of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency to conclude a legally binding instrument on the absolute and comprehensive prohibition of any dumping of toxic wastes.
  12. In implementation of resolutions 24/8-P(IS) and 27/25-P, Member States held a meeting on nuclear and toxic wastes, from 9 to 10 March 1999 at the Organization of the Islamic Conference Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The recommendations of this meeting are annexed to the present report.
  13. The Secretary General submits this report on the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for consideration and appropriate decision