§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with regard to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. 
§ Mr. Meacher
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted on 22 May 2001 and has 124 signatories. To come into force 50 countries need to ratify, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has set a target of 2004 at the latest. The Convention has been ratified by five countries, with work on ratification in progress in others including the UK. However, the use of all ten intentionally produced chemicals currently listed in the Convention has already been banned here.
In June UNEP will convene a sixth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which developed the Convention, to oversee implementation of international action during the interim period and to prepare for the first Conference of the Parties after entry into force.