UFH Alumna and Alice-born Zukie Gwayi re-appointed as Chair of UN Environment Programme Chemical Review Committee

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One of our esteemed alumni and Mavuso Location (Alice) born, Noluzuko “Zukie” Gwayi has been reappointment as the Chair of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC), a scientific subsidiary committee of the Rotterdam Convention under the United Nations Environment Programme. This unanimous decision was taken by parties (country representatives) at the Conferences of the Parties to Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS-COPs) conventions held from 6th to 17th June in Geneva, Switzerland.

The CRC is responsible for assessing whether scientific research undertaken by parties for risk evaluation of the dangers of chemicals of concern to the environment and human health in a country, has been done in accordance with internationally accepted scientific standards and methods.

According to a report issued by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an international Press body that covered the BRS COPs meetings, a region, and parties from all the UN regions supported her re-election for the second term. Several lauded her outreach to developing countries regarding the convention and efforts to improve the effectiveness of the CRC. Various parties indicated that this was the first time in the history of the conventions that a single name was echoed in the plenary for chairing the CRC and was supported by all.

“The whole world displayed confidence in her leadership, with not one objection”, one of her seniors, Ms Mishelle Govender said.

Zukie is currently a Senior Policy Advisor for the International Chemicals and Waste Cooperation in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE). She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (1992) and Higher Diploma in Education (1993) from UFH. She also holds an Honours Degree and a Master's Degree in Zoology /Animal Biology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Rhodes University, respectively.

Commenting on her reappointment, she said: “From a policy perspective, my nomination affords me and all developing countries an opportunity to ensure that the work of the CRC continues unhindered. It also ensures that developing countries get access to scientific research outcomes on chemicals that are a danger to the environment and to human health so that they can make informed decisions in their respective countries”

“From a personal perspective, I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support from all the continents of the world. To the African child, it does not matter whether you come from Mavuso Location, the world can be your oyster.”

Well done Zukie. Thank you for flying the South African, UFH and Mavuso Location’s flags high.