Teens stacking hands together

WHO pushes actions on health and environment supported by the PARC project

Countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region decided to step up action to reduce the health impacts of pollution when they met for the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (7MCEH) in Budapest in July 2023. The European countries adopted the Budapest declaration stating that they will promote a safe, clean and healthy built environment across all settings. This ambition is very much in line with the mission of the about 200 partners in Partnership for the Assessment of Chemical Risks (PARC). PARC’s mission is to address current, emerging and novel chemical safety challenges, which was presented at the conference Professor Robert Barouki from Université Paris Descartes.

WHO ambitions

In the Budapest declaration among other things, the European countries commit themselves to:

  • step up action to reduce the health impacts of pollution, through addressing both established and emerging environmental risk factors;
  • provide universal and equitable access to essential services, such as safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, energy and food supplies, waste management, wastewater management, and healthy and sustainable transport systems;
  • promote a safe, clean and healthy built environment across all settings.

They will support ratification and/or advance the implementation of relevant multilateral agreements such as international Conventions on hazardous chemicals, their mixtures and waste. Also the countries welcomed the UN resolution "End plastic pollution - Towards an international legally binding instrument", adopted in March 2022.

Roadmap for healthier people

The countries commit to use a "Roadmap for healthier people, a thriving planet and a sustainable future 2023-2030" which has a full chapter on how to combat environmental pollution.

Among the initiatives mentioned are several actions supported by PARC research and innovation, such as updating policies, taking into account available technology and strengthening surveillance of environment and health threats.

The declaration also incorporates the voices and concerns of young persons, who were strongly represented at the 7MCEH. From this gathering, a “Budapest Youth Declaration" document was also published in order to secure a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations.

For more information about the 7MCEH click here.