Statement by Norway
We thank the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery for her timely and relevant report and recommendations on a very urgent issue.
Norway appreciates the firm focus of the Special Rapporteur on the practical implementation of relevant legal provisions on contemporary forms of slavery. We recommend that also future reports maintain such an approach. We encourage countries to follow up on the key strategies highlighted in the report, and to disseminate its findings to practitioners and relevant authorities.
The report bears relevance to the important work conducted in Vienna on the establishment of a review mechanism for the implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementing protocols, including the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
We encourage the Special Rapporteur to engage actively in this process to ensure that the review mechanism develops in an effective and independent manner.
Turning now to the report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxic waste, we welcome the report on the challenges connected to medical waste and appreciate that focus is placed on the often unsustainable treatment of waste in many countries and its adverse effects on human rights.
Waste treatment in most countries may have flaws, but developing countries and countries with economies in transition face particular challenges as the economy develops. Waste volumes increase with economic growth as does the complexity of the waste streams and often its hazardousness.
While developing countries face considerable problems in handling waste generated by their own population and industry, we also see a considerable export of hazardous waste. The import and export of waste is not in itself an environmental problem. The environmentally sound management of waste may be facilitated through cross-border cooperation, but many developing countries see an unsustainable inflow of waste or products that end up as waste upon arrival. One example is medicines that have passed their expiry date on, or shortly after arrival.
Considerable work has been done through i.a. UNEP and the Basel Convention on transboundary movement of hazardous waste in developing guidelines, capacity building, supporting the development of national legislation, and financial and technical assistance.
Norway considers the Basel Convention to be an important instrument in addressing the challenges highlighted by the Special Rapporteur. Aware of the need to avoid duplication of regulations, Norway calls upon the international community to concert its efforts through, in particular, the Basel Convention, and to further discuss the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations there.
In addition, Norway underlines the need to support developed countries in their efforts to strengthen inspections at border crossings to prevent illegal cross-border traffic in waste.