For Immediate Release
June 30, 2014
Geneva, Switzerland — The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) welcomes the appointment of Baskut Tuncak as the next UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. The vacancy arose due to the untimely and tragic death of the previous mandate holder Mr. Marc Pallemaerts.
In 1995, the UN Human Rights Council (formerly the United Nations Commission on Human Rights) created the Special Rapporteurship on hazardous wastes in response to the rise in illicit trade and dumping of hazardous wastes in developing countries. The mandate was extended and strengthened in 2011 to include not only the movement and dumping of hazardous substances, but the entire life-cycle of hazardous products, from manufacturing to disposal. Within this mandate, the Special Rapporteur is tasked with monitoring the adverse effects these substances on the full enjoyment of human rights at every stage of their lifecycle (cradle-to-grave approach).
A member of CIEL’s Environmental Health team, Baskut Tuncak is an attorney and trained chemist with extensive experience in environmental health, international chemicals management and governance, and the human rights impacts of toxic risks. Baskut plans to remain at CIEL in completing this role, and will take all necessary steps to ensure independence in the implementation of the mandate. “We are excited to continue working with Baskut and to support him in the successful fulfillment of this vital mandate as CIEL did with his predecessors,” said David Azoulay, Managing Attorney for CIEL’s Geneva office.