At the Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva, the asbestos industry has succeeded in defeating the recommendation to place chrysotile asbestos on the Convention’s list of hazardous substances.

Out of the 143 countries attending the conference, 7 countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, India and Vietnam – opposed the listing.listing. Thus it was not possible to achieve consensus and the recommendation to list chrysotile asbestos will be put forward again, for the 5th time, at the Conference of the Parties in 2015.

When the listing of chrysotile asbestos was put forward on the first day, the President of the conference recalled how Canada had refused to allow the listing at the previous conference in 2011 and Canada then stated that it did not oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos.

The African group of countries earlier made a statement that – with the exception of Zimbabwe – they were united in strongly supporting the listing. At the plenary session this morning, the President of the conference, at the request of Kenya, asked countries who supported the listing to indicate this by raising their flags. Overwhelmingly around the room, countries indicated their support.

Here is the link to daily reports on the conference: RC COP6 HIGHLIGHTS