Issues of concern

VII. Issues of concern

A.    Definition
47.    An issue of concern is an issue involving any phase in the life cycle of chemicals that has not yet been generally recognized, is insufficiently addressed, or arises as a potential concern from the current level of scientific information, and that may have adverse effects on human health and/or the environment that would benefit from international action.

B.    Nomination, selection and adoption of issues
48.    To nominate an issue, the nominating stakeholder should submit the information specified in part 1 of annex I to the Framework.
49.    In accordance with part II of annex I, nominations will be reviewed by the secretariat and circulated to all stakeholders.
50.    Nominations will be considered by the International Conference at its regular meetings.
51.    The International Conference should:
(a)    Select and adopt issues of concern by a resolution of the International Conference. If several issues are nominated, the International Conference, when considering nominations, may choose to prioritize the issues that are most important for protecting human health and the environment, and regarding which the most progress can be made under the Framework, taking into account the precautionary approach, as appropriate;
(b)    Establish an ad hoc multi-stakeholder working group for each issue, unless the International Conference decides otherwise. The International Conference should consider whether specific sectoral engagement should be encouraged and whether organizations should be identified from among the participating organizations of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals, national Governments, other organizations, and/or contributing stakeholders to lead the work (see annex I, part I, para. 1 (i)); 
(c)    Identify, where possible, specific activities or actions and related timelines for each issue adopted that the International Conference believes likely to contribute to the success of the work in relation to the issue and the Framework, based on the information submitted, and recommend consideration of such activities or actions and related timelines to the ad hoc multi-stakeholder working group; 
(d)    Carefully consider, when identifying a proposed timeline, the information provided in the submission of information, in particular in any proposed workplan (see annex I, part I, para. 1 (h)).
52.    The ad hoc multi-stakeholder working groups are to:
(a)    Develop a workplan, if one is not already available, for achieving the proposed timelines for action agreed to by the International Conference. Such a workplan should include targets and indicators specific to each issue in order to allow results to be assessed. If the submitted information includes a workplan, the ad hoc multi-stakeholder working groups may, as needed, further refine the workplan; 
(b)    Encourage effective implementation of the workplan by stakeholders;
(c)    Coordinate, as appropriate, with other relevant bodies to maximize efforts to achieve the proposed timelines for action established by the International Conference and to avoid duplication of work;
(d)    Report on progress to the International Conference at regular intervals, taking into account any targets or indicators included in the workplan; 
(e)    Make recommendations, as needed, for further consideration by the International Conference.

C.    Mechanisms for implementation
53.    Workplans to guide implementation of issues of concern are addressed in part III of annex I.
54.    The ad hoc multi-stakeholder working groups should, with support from the secretariat, oversee monitoring and reporting back from stakeholders and encourage implementation of the workplan through regular progress reports to meetings of the International Conference and periodic reviews during intersessional periods, as specified in the workplan or as requested by the International Conference.
55.    The International Conference may determine the need for further work on an issue on the basis of a full explanation of the rationale and recommendations on a way forward, including options on how to reach the defined targets for the issue of concern, provided by the ad hoc multi-stakeholder working group, with support from the secretariat, following the evaluation of progress with the activities carried out in accordance with the workplan for the issue of concern.
56.    The International Conference may decide to conclude work on a particular issue.