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Rotterdam Convention Asbestos Side Event

Sascha Gabizon chaired a panel on the dangers of chrysotile asbestos

08.05.2013 |Laurie Kazan-Allen

From 1:15 until 3 p.m. today (May 8) at the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Conventon, the side-event took place in the well-filled Room 4 of the International Conference Centre.

Reflecting the high degree of interest regarding chrysotile asbestos generated by the obstructive behaviour of asbestos vested interests, there was a very good turnout. As well as dozens of official delegates from Iran, Bahrain, Malaysia, Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere, were representatives of Russian and Brazilian trade unionis aligned with the asbestos industry. International media also reported on it, such as Il Monferrato in Italy.
The panel of speakers consisted of campaigner Sugio Furuya from the Japan Occupational Health and Safety Centre, Brazilian Labor Inspector Fernanda Giannasi, filmmaker and Italian researcher Alessandro Pugno and activists Vladimir Kototenko and Elina Doszhanova from Kyrgyzstan and Kazaksthan respectively.
The side event was organized by the Rotterdam Convention Alliance and was facilitated by the group: Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF). The WECF's Sascha Gabizon chaired the session, a taxing job not made any easier by the boorish behaviour of Russian observer Andrey Kholzakov who tried to interrupt the proceedings on more than one occasion.
The speakers were in agreement regarding the crucial importance of listing chrysotile asbestos on Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention; they called on delegates to make every effort to resolve the current impasse over chrysotile in order to protect human health.

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