The GHS and the Global Partnership: A success story from Rio to Rio

The booklet summarises and reviews the achievements, lessons learned and future directions of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Global Partnership for Capacity Building to Implement the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

The WSSD Global Partnership for Capacity Building to Implement the GHS was launched 10 years ago at the WSSD in Johannesburg, following the call at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to develop an internationally comprehensible chemical classification and labelling system: the GHS. With the first version of the GHS adopted in December 2002 by the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the GHS and now 10 years of successful collaboration regarding capacity building for implementation, the GHS can truly be considered one of the success stories “from Rio to Rio’’.

This special publication summarises Partnership highlights from 2002-2012. It reviews the many national, regional, and supporting activities implemented in the framework of the Partnership and provides information on the concrete achievements, lessons learned, and future directions of the Partnership as it enters its second decade. In relation to governance issues, Partnerships are considered one of the most participatory and effective mechanisms to implement sustainable development and enhance international cooperation, as they are intended to facilitate, strengthen and expedite implementation by involving all relevant stakeholders. This has certainly been the experience of the GHS Partnership.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the ILO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would like to thank all the partners and supporters of the Partnership – many of them are referenced in the following pages – for their contributions over the past decade. Specific appreciation is extended to the Government of Switzerland and the European Union for having been core financial supporters of the UNITAR/ILO GHS capacity building programme, which has executed many of the activities reported in this document.