This press release is brought to you by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Parties agreed to begin the process of aligning the Convention with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), which was revised in 2010 to include new hazard categories for chemically unstable gases and non-flammable aerosols. The meeting tasked the Working Group on Development with the revision of annex I to the Convention over the next two years to align it with GHS. The amended annex I should be agreed on at the eighth Conference of the Parties in autumn 2014 and could enter into force by the end of 2015.

Moreover, through the amendment of annex I to the Convention a high degree of consistency with European Union (EU) legislation addressing chemical accidents would be maintained. The new EU Seveso III Directive, finalized in March 2012, will apply from 1 June 2015.

In addition, the Conference of the Parties adopted the Convention’s workplan for 2013–2014, which specifies the work priorities for the next biennium.

At the meeting Parties also reviewed implementation of the Convention, the work of the Convention’s Bureau and activities carried out within the Convention’s Assistance Programme in order to draw conclusions for the future. Parties further adopted a sustainable financial mechanism that should help assure adequate voluntary contributions for the work under the Convention.

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