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International cooperation
International cooperation

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are legally binding instruments between two or more nation states that deal with some aspect of the environment, including chemical safety and chemicals management. Resulting from discussions that first took place at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, the main objectives of these MEAs are (1) to respond to the gravity of environmental problems, and (2) to recognize the regional and global nature of these problems. Through the years, additional MEAs have been developed as awareness of the global dimension of environmental issues has increased. At present, there are more than 200 MEAs, several of which were entered into at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This "Earth Summit" produced 5 key documents on issues related to sustainable development: 2 "hard laws" - the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and 3 "soft laws" - the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, and the Forest Principles, which were adopted by consensus.

Examples of the most directly relevant conventions to chemical safety and chemicals management include:

Chemical Safety Towards Sustainable Development