The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. It was agreed at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on mercury in Geneva, Switzerland at 7 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, 19 January 2013 and adopted later that year on 10 October 2013 at a Diplomatic Conference (Conference of Plenipotentiaries), held in Kumamoto, Japan.
The Convention draws attention to a global and ubiquitous metal that, while naturally occurring, has broad uses in everyday objects and is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources. Controlling the anthropogenic releases of mercury throughout its lifecycle has been a key factor in shaping the obligations under the Convention.
Major highlights of the Minamata Convention include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, the phase out and phase down of mercury use in a number of products and processes, control measures on emissions to air and on releases to land and water, and the international regulation of the informal sector for artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The Convention also addresses its interim storage and its disposal once it becomes waste, sites contaminated by mercury as well as health issues.
The Booklet of the Convention can be downloaded in the 6 official UN languages following these links:
For the certified true copy of the Minamata Convention text, to be read in conjunction with any corrections thereof, please follow the link below:
For proposal of corrections to the original text of the Convention and to the certified true copies, please follow the link below: