Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca
At the close of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam May 15, Russia and Kazakhstan – the world’s biggest asbestos exporters – refused to allow chrysotile asbestos to be put on the Convention’s list of hazardous substances These two asbestos exporters were joined by Zimbabwe (which wants to re-open its asbestos mines) and Russia’s ally, Kyrgyzstan.
This group of four countries blocked the recommendation of the Convention’s scientific committee and the wishes of the overwhelming majority of countries attending to put chrysotile asbestos on the Convention’s list, which would have required prior informed consent to be obtained before chrysotile asbestos could be exported.
Following its habitual dishonesty, the International Chrysotile Association (ICA), which is the industry lobby organisation, is stating that its sabotage of the Convention means that continued use of chrysotile asbestos has been accepted. “For the fifth time, inclusion of Chrysotile has not been agreed. It is historical and without precedent. The policy of controlled use promoted by ICA still is the responsible accepted approach,” states the ICA.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, the corrupt information and the immoral conduct of the tiny number of countries who are sabotaging the Convention in order to protect their asbestos profits was condemned by the overwhelming majority of countries attending the conference.