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Basel Convention, ITU Partner to Address Electronic Waste

13 March 2012: The Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) and the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have entered into a partnership agreement that aims to reduce the damage caused by electronic waste.

Under the agreement, the two organizations will: hold regular dialogues and meetings; exchange information, experiences and materials; coordinate activities in areas of mutual interest, including the development of green information and communication technology (ICT) standards, and capacity building; and execute supplementary activities, projects and programmes.

According to ITU, electronic waste, which contains toxic components that can cause damage to the environment and human health, is predicted to increase exponentially.

Commenting on the agreement, Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention, underscored that ICT equipment must be dealt with in “view of its entire life-cycle,” including the time when the equipment comes to its “end-of-life and becomes e-waste.” [ITU Press Release] [Basel Convention Press Release] [UN Press Release]