Resolution adopted at the EGP Council, Geneva, 15 October 2006. (.pdf)
Côte d’Ivoire and its capital city, Abidjan, have once more been the scene of tragedy. During the night of 19-20 August, highly toxic waste shipped from Europe in a Greek cargo vessel was dumped illegally at a number of tips around Abidjan, resulting in the deaths of seven people.
This terrible incident is not an isolated case. Representatives of the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) say they have witnessed four or five incidents on a similar scale this year and admit that the true figures for trafficking of this kind, which is both illegal and dangerous for populations and the environment, are far higher.
Electronic components account for the largest flow of illegal consignments of toxic waste.
The company responsible for the Abidjan disaster was Trafigura, a multinational commodity trading firm specialising in oil and metals.
Trafigura is based in Amsterdam, where it has its head office, but its operations are mainly conducted from Luzern, in Switzerland. The firm also operates in Congo and South Africa, where it has already caused several incidents, and is one of the companies involved in the scandal surrounding the 'Oil for Food' programme in Iraq.
Such practices must cease, once and for all.
On the occasion of the European Green Party Congress in Geneva, 14 October 2006, the assembled members of the European Green Party condemn in the severest possible terms the practices of European firms such as Trafigura, which endanger human life and the environment by using Africa as a dumping-ground for toxic waste instead of processing it in a responsible way.
These lethal practices are turning Africa into a vast repository for Europe's unwanted hazardous waste. They must cease at once.
We, the European Greens, hereby undertake to denounce these practices in all the countries in which we are present, and call on the governments concerned to act responsibly.
Accordingly, the European Greens assembled here in Geneva call on the government of Switzerland to take the necessary steps to put a stop to the shameful illegal operations conducted by Trafigura from the city of Luzern.
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