Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants entered into force on October 23, 2003. The world will be a healthier place, especially in the northern region, once we realize the full impact of this agreement.
Canada was the first to ratify the regional protocol in 1998 and led the way in developing the science that recognized the need for global action on persistent organic pollutants. The agreement aims to reduce or eliminate emissions of 16 of these pollutants, including PCBs, DDT and dioxins and furans. Most of these pollutants have been banned or restricted in Canada for years.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe is a regional economic organization that includes Canada, the United States, countries in eastern and western Europe and Russia.
I want to highlight the cooperation among the Government of Canada, aboriginal peoples, environmental non-governmental organizations, provincial and territorial governments and industry groups. This united national effort has made us stronger and more influential in the international community.