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The Berlin Forum began on July 7, 2021 with a high-level dialogue, at ministerial level. The opening speech was given by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze. The more than 40 high-level speakers included UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Virginjus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The aim of the Berlin Forum is to raise the political profile of responsible management of chemicals and waste.