The 'Global Framework on Chemicals – For a planet free of harm from chemicals and waste' was formally established at the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) in Bonn, Germany, held on September 25-29, 2023. The Bonn Declaration, a political statement developed through extensive informal consultations, was also adopted during ICCM5.

The negotiation process at ICCM5 was unique in that representatives from governments, the private sector, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, youth, and academia participated on an equal footing.

The Global Framework, presents a comprehensive plan with 5 strategic objectives and 28 targets to guide countries and stakeholders in jointly addressing the lifecycle of chemicals, including products and waste.

The Global Framework is multi-stakeholder and multisectoral in nature and it encompasses the involvement of relevant stakeholders across the life cycle of chemicals at the local, national, regional, and global levels. It emphasizes the collaboration of governments, international technical agencies, civil society, and the private sector in areas such as phasing out harmful chemicals, enhancing capacity building, and establishing better connections across various sectors like health, safety, trade, agriculture, energy, and transport.

The Global Framework advocates for preventing the illegal trade of chemicals and waste, implementing national legal frameworks, and discontinuing highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) in agriculture by 2035. It also encourages the transition to safer chemical alternatives, responsible management in sectors like industry, agriculture, and healthcare, and improved transparency and access to information about chemicals and associated risks.
ICCM5 introduced a Global Alliance on Highly Hazardous Pesticides and initiated a process to create implementation programs for the new Framework. These programs aim to establish sector-focused initiatives involving major users of chemicals, including the textile and construction sectors.

“Everyone on this planet should be able to live and work without fear of falling sick or dying from chemical exposure. … This … framework provides a vision for a planet free of harm from chemicals and waste, for a safe, healthy and sustainable future,” stressed UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, welcoming the Global Framework’s adoption, which, she said, elevated pollution and waste, so that they are recognized at the same level as the crises of climate change and nature and biodiversity loss, which already have frameworks in place.