United Nations, Sep 17: The use of ozone-depleting substances has decreased by over 80 per cent and they have been phased out almost entirely by the developed world, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said.
The battle to repair the ozone layer ''represents one of the great success stories of international cooperation,'' with the use of ozone-depleting substances reducing drastically during the past 20 years in rich as well as poor countries, he added.
In his message to mark the 'International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer' September 16, Mr Ban said when the 'Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer' was signed twenty years ago, nearly two million tonnes of such substances were released annually.
The Secretary-General noted that measures against ozone-depleting substances had yielded broader benefits since many of these chemicals contributed to global warming. ''Their dramatic reduction has helped bolster measures to counter climate change,'' he said.
While hailing these achievements, Mr Ban cautioned against complacency. ''Scientists are warning that the ozone layer will remain particularly vulnerable for some time. State parties must continue to implement the agreement and ensure that the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in developing countries is completely phased out by 2010, the deadline imposed by the Montreal Protocol,'' he said.
The Montreal Protocol, which opened for signatures on September 16, is an annex to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Since the adoption of the two pacts, the international ozone regime has expanded to address almost 100 ozone-depleting chemicals for refrigeration, electronics, foam-making and other industries.