Regional GHS Implementation Strategy for ASEAN

  • Goh Choo Ta
Keywords: GHS, ASEAN, chemical classification and labelling, implementation


At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held on 3 – 14 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the establishment of a globally harmonized hazard classification and compatible labelling system was adopted as programme area B listed in Chapter 19 of Agenda 21. After UNCED, with the culmination of more than a decade of work by multidisciplinary experts, a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) was adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Subcommittee of Experts on the GHS (UNSCEGHS) in 2002 and endorsed by United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 2003. In the two-year project (2005-2007) to strengthen capacities in ASEAN countries for implementing the GHS, executed by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in the context of UNITAR/ILO Global GHS Capacity Building Programme with financial support from the European
Union and the Government of Switzerland, a study was conducted to assess GHS capacity at the ASEAN regional level. Based on the findings from that study, a regional GHS implementation strategy has been developed to fill in existing gaps for GHS implementation in ASEAN. Two strategies are proposed, namely a sectoral strategy that focuses on four thematic sectors - industrial workplace, agriculture, transport and consumer products respectively; and a cross-sectoral strategy for
GHS implementation in ASEAN.