M113

17 September 1995

WAIGANI CONVENTION


On Saturday, 16 September, Senator Evans signed the Regional Convention of the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste (known as the Waigani Convention) when it opened for signature.

The ceremony for signing of the Convention took place at Port Moresby following the

meeting of the South Pacific Forum.

This Convention was an initiative of Papua New Guinea. From the outset Australia has provided significant contributions to the development of this Convention.

The Waigani Convention is an important milestone in the protection of the environment of the South Pacific region.

The main purpose of this Convention is to impose a ban on the importation of all hazardous and radioactive wastes from outside the Convention Area to Pacific Island Developing Parties.

This Convention also ensures that any transboundary movements of hazardous wastes within the Convention Area are completed in a controlled and environmentally sound manner.

Under this Convention the main obligation on Australia will be to impose a ban on all exports of hazardous and radioactive wastes to all Forum Island countries as set out in the Convention.

The signing of this Convention shows Australia's support for its South Pacific neighbours. It also shows Australia' s genuine commitment to the protection of vulnerable countries from unwanted hazardous waste.

CANBERRA