Seychelles

Minister for Environment and Energy resigns to take up UN post


Published

Seychelles’ Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet, is resigning his post having been appointed as the new Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. The appointment was made by Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.

The President’s office has announced that a new minister for the portfolio will be announced ‘at a later date’.

The full press release as published on the State House website is as follows:

“President Michel congratulates Professor Rolph Payet on appointment as a UN Executive Secretary

The Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet has been appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon as the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. He will take up the new post in October 2014 in Geneva.

The President will announce a new minister with portfolio for environment and energy at a later date.

President Michel has sent a message of sincere congratulations to Professor Payet, wishing him every success and expressing his full cooperation and support in his tasks and challenges that lie ahead.

“Your appointment to this high office is a well-deserved recognition of your scientific and academic capabilities and crowns a professional life devoted to the environment and to the cause of Small Island Developing States. It also brings immense pride and satisfaction to Seychelles,” said the President.

Mr. Michel called the appointment ‘a memorable achievement.’

In this new role, Prof. Payet is to manage the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat, contribute to the implementation of the mandates and missions of those three conventions including the formulation of the conventions’ overall strategies and policies.

He will also act in an advisory capacity to the UNEP Executive Director and the Presidents and the Bureaus of the conventions as well as their subsidiary bodies.

He will also be responsible for coordinating the preparation of the meetings and implement the substantive work programme of the conventions, including assistance to parties, in particular developing country parties and those with economies in transition.

He will also lead the development of strategies and policies and undertake fund raising and donor reporting, the strategic interagency work of the Secretariat in close coordination with UNEP and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

Editor’s Note:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal

The overarching objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of wastes defined as “other wastes” – household waste and incinerator ash. The Basel Convention was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland, in response to increase the toxic wastes being deposited around the world. The Convention entered into force in 1992.

The Rotterdam Convention

The Convention covers pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by Parties and which have been notified by Parties for inclusion in the Prior Informed Consent procedure. The Rotterdam Convention was adopted on 10 September 1998 and entered into force on 24 February 2004. The Convention promotes shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm; contributes to the environmentally sound use of those hazardous chemicals and creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment. Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can lead to serious health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and damages to the central and peripheral nervous systems. Given their long range transport, no one government acting alone can protect its citizens or its environment from POPs. The Stockholm Convention was adopted by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on 22 May 2001 and entered into force on 17 May 2004.”

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