Major mobile phone manufacturers will sign a declaration today expressing their interest in cooperating with the Basel Convention and with other stakeholders in the mobile-phone sector on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile phones.
Geneva, 12 December 2002 - Major mobile phone manufacturers will sign a declaration today expressing their interest in cooperating with the Basel Convention and with other stakeholders in the mobile-phone sector on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile phones.
The Initiative for a Sustainable Partnership on Environmentally Sound Management of End-of-life Mobile Phones will address the recovery of this popular consumer product using a life-cycle approach. It is expected to be only the first of many such agreements to be developed between various industry sectors and the Basel Convention during the coming years.
The manufacturers supporting the proposed mobile phone initiative are LG, Matsushita (Panasonic), Mitsubishi, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Siemens and Sony Ericsson.
"The Information Age has brought extraordinary benefits to humankind. I am very pleased that manufacturers of the mobile phone - a young consumer good - are reinforcing their integrated product policies by focusing already on their product's environmental aspects," said Mr. Philippe Roch, State Secretary for Switzerland. "Tackling the environmental implications of mobile phones through this initiative will provide a good example of cooperation between economic sectors and multilateral environmental agreements," he added.
Mr. Roch took the lead in launching the initiative on the basis of the Ministerial Declaration on environmentally sound management that was adopted when he served as President of the previous meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 5) in Basel, Switzerland, in 1999.
"This cooperation with the mobile phone sector is the first concrete initiative to be developed between governments and companies within the framework of the Basel Convention," said Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, under whose auspices the Basel Convention was adopted. "Modern society must face up to the problem that we produce too much waste. Companies are clearly an essential part of the solution, and this initial expression of willingness by leading mobile phone manufacturers should serve as a model and an inspiration for other business sectors," he said.
The estimated global market volume for mobile phones in 2001 was around 380 million units. To be successful, this initiative will require the support of other stakeholders, particularly network providers. Senior officials from the participating companies will sign the declaration during the high-level segment of the Conference of the Parties (COP 6) to the Basel Convention before some 40 ministers and several hundred government representatives from most of the Convention's 151 member governments.
The signing will also be witnessed by Mr. Toepfer; Mr. Roch; and Ms. Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention.
Note to journalists:
The signature ceremony will take place today at 12h in Room 17. It will be preceded by a press conference with the manufacturers, Mr. Roch and Mr. Toepfer in Room 3 at 9h30; the declaration will be available at this briefing.
For interviews or additional information, please contact Anne-Marie Fenner at +41-79-212-4511, or Michael Williams at +41-22-917-8242/8244/8196, +41-79-409-1528 (mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org. See also www.basel.int.
UNEP-Information Unit for Conventions