First meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1)

The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) took place from 24 to 29 September 2017 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva. It was preceded on 23 and 24 September 2017 by preparatory meetings, including regional and Bureau meetings, while a series of regional meetings took place in July 2017.

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Main outcomes of COP1

Amongst its main outcomes, COP1 agreed on a programme of work and budget for the secretariat, and adopted decisions on guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), activities of the Specific International Programme, administrative matters relating to the Conference of the Parties, and on guidance on trade in mercury, stocks and sources of supply of mercury, exemptions, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and emissions. COP1 also adopted decisions relating to intersessional work, particularly on effectiveness evaluation, interim storage of mercury other than waste mercury, mercury wastes and contaminated sites.

COP1 also elected officers that would form the Bureau until the conclusion of COP2. 

COP1 culminated on 28 and 29 September 2017 in a High-Level Segment hosted by the President of Switzerland, entitled “Make Mercury History”, to celebrate the commitment of the international community to the Minamata Convention. Read the summary of "key Take-Home messages" provided by the President of the Conference.

Following COP1, the secretariat contacted parties and stakeholders inviting submissions as well as nomination of experts for the intersessional processes. The follow up letter is available here.  Intersessional work is ongoing.  The revised guidance document on interim storage is available for comment on the page on intersessional work

Documents prepared for the session may be found below. 

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On the side of COP1

Thematic Sessions were convened during the first days of COP1 to focus discussions on mercury as relevant to Land, Air and Water. The outcomes of these discussions were forwarded to the Ministerial Roundtables held during the High-Level Segment as background to the Ministers’ discussions.

In addition to the Thematic Sessions, a number of events took place on the side of COP1, including:

  • Minamata Convention Initial Assessment (MIA) Clinics, where countries with the UN Environment Programme, UNDP, UNIDO and partners showcased their MIA work, focusing on experiences of small island development states, of countries with artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities and of emerging economies with industrial sources of mercury;
  • Show Case Events, where stakeholders could present activities that supported the ratification and early implementation;
  • Knowledge Labs on the life cycle of mercury and the Minamata Convention;
  • Exhibition throughout the week, featuring the “Minamata Journey”, designed to step participants through a journey of the lifecycle of mercury and the Minamata Convention.    

In parallel to COP1, a week of activities – the “Mercury Week” – was organized in different places of the Geneva city to raise the awareness of stakeholders and the public about mercury, its uses, its effects, and how the Minamata Convention contributes to the global solution (more information). Activities included a special installation on the Geneva Place des Nations featuring a gigantic "mercury bubble" and an exhibition of photographs on small-scale gold mining by Pulitzer Prize winner Larry C. Price, panel discussions and special events at the WHO Headquarters, the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute.

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Additional information

  • Video materials from COP1 may be watched here
  • The daily coverage and summary report by Earth Negotiations Bulletin are available on the IISD webpage at: http://enb.iisd.org/mercury/cop1/about.html
  • Submissions from Governments and interested stakeholders for consideration at COP1 are available here

UNEP/MC/COP.1/29 - Report of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury on the work of its first meeting

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/1 - Provisional agenda

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/1/Add.1 - Annotations to the provisional agenda

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/2 - Scenario note for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/3 - Draft rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/4 - Achievements of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/5 - Guidance in relation to mercury supply sources and trade (article 3), particularly in regard to identification of stocks and sources of supply (paragraph 5 (a)) and forms and guidance for obtaining consent to import mercury (paragraphs 6 and 8)

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/6 - Required content of the certification required for the import of mercury from non-parties in accordance with paragraphs 6 (b) and 8 of article 3

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/7 - Guidance in relation to mercury emissions (article 8) referred to in paragraphs 8 (a) and 8 (b)

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/8 - Guidance to the Global Environment Facility on overall strategies, policies, programme priorities, eligibility for access to and utilization of financial resources and on an indicative list of categories of activities that could receive support from the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/9 - Specific international programme to support capacity-building and technical assistance

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/9/Add.1 - Location options within the United Nations Environment Programme, governance arrangements and duration of the specific international programme to support capacity-building and technical assistance

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/10 - Membership of the Implementation and Compliance Committee as referred to in paragraph 3 of article 15

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/11 - Timing and format of the reporting to be followed by the parties, as set out in paragraph 3 of article 21

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/12 - Establishment of arrangements in regard to effectiveness evaluation as referred to in paragraph 2 of article 22

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/13 - Draft financial rules for the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury and any of its subsidiary bodies, as well as financial provisions governing the functioning of the secretariat of the Convention

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/14 - Revised report on proposals on how the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme would perform the functions of the permanent secretariat for the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/15 - Draft memorandum of understanding between the Conference of Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Council of the Global Environment Facility

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/16 - Formats to be used in registering an exemption from the phase out dates listed in Annex A and Annex B, including the information to be provided upon registering for an exemption, and for the register of exemptions

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/17 - Guidance document on the preparation of national action plans for artisanal and small-scale gold mining 

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/18_Rev.1 - Physical location of the permanent secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury - Rev.1

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/19 - Consideration of the report on mercury emissions related to then open burning of waste

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/20 - Progress report on the work of the interim secretariat in the period since the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/21 - Programme of work of the secretariat and budget for the period 2018–2019

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/21/Add.1 - Programme of work of the secretariat and budget for the biennium 2018–2019. Addendum - Overview of resources required for proposed activities included in the programme of work of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/21/Add.2 - Programme of work of the secretariat and budget for the biennium 2018–2019. Addendum - Overview of the resources required for staffing the proposed options for the secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and projected salary costs for the proposals on how the Executive Director would perform the functions of the secretariat

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/21/Add.3 - Programme of work of the secretariat and budget for the biennium 2018–2019. Addendum - Assessed contributions

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/21/Add.4 - Programme of work of the secretariat and budget for the biennium 2018–2019. Addendum - Overview of the resources required for each proposed option for the secretariat of the Minamata Convention

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/22 - Matters for action by the Conference of the Parties under articles 3, 4, 5, 14 and 16 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/23 - Guidance in relation to mercury emissions referred to in paragraphs 9 (a) and 9 (b) of article 8 

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/24 - Guidance in relation to releases of mercury (article 9), particularly in regard to best available techniques and best environmental practices (paragraph 7 (a)) and the methodology for preparing inventories of releases (paragraph 7 (b))

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/25 - Draft guidelines on the interim storage of mercury and mercury compounds referred to in paragraph 3 of article 10

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/26 - Compilation of additional information on the use of mercury waste thresholds

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/26/Add.1 - Compilation of additional information on the use of mercury waste thresholds Addendum: Decision in relation to article 11 forwarded from the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/27 - Guidance on the management of contaminated sites referred to in paragraph 3 of article 12

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/28 - Updated analysis of the offer by the Government of Switzerland to host the permanent secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Geneva, based on the clarifications received on 27 June 2017

 

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/1 - Available information that might assist the committee’s work

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/2 - Activities of the United Nations Environment Programme Global Mercury Partnership

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/3 - Activities of the Global Environment Facility

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/4 - Special Programme to support institutional strengthening at the national level for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management: implementation of the programme since its establishment

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/5 - Report on activities undertaken by partner organizations

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/6 - Report on the outcomes of the Mercury Waste Project

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/7 - Offer by the Government of Switzerland to host the permanent secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Geneva

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/8 - Clarification provided by the Government of Switzerland to host the permanent secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Geneva

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/9 - Relationship between the United Nations Environment Programme and the multilateral environmental agreements for which it provides the secretariats

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/10 - Informal process on the establishment of mercury waste thresholds led by the Government of Japan

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/11 - Update on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/12 - Addressing health aspects in the context of developing national action plans under the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/13 - World Health Organization road map to enhance health sector engagement in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management towards the 2020 goal and beyond

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/14 - Decisions adopted by the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions that make specific reference to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/15 - Report by UN Environment, the World Health Organization and Italian National Research Council – Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research regarding the activities of the Global Environment Facility Project: Development of a Plan for Global Monitoring of Human Exposure to and Environmental Concentrations of Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/16 - Admission of observers: bodies or agencies requesting admission to participate in meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/17 - List of Participants

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