News

Slovakia brings to 54 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 31 May 2017, the Government of Slovakia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 54th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Slovakia brings to 54 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention

Slovakia brings to 54 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 31 May 2017, the Government of Slovakia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 54th future Party to the Minamata Convention.
St Kitts and Nevis brings to 53 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 24 May 2017, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 53rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

St Kitts and Nevis brings to 53 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention

St Kitts and Nevis brings to 53 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 24 May 2017, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 53rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.
50-ratification milestone reached on 18 May 2017!
The 50-ratification milestone required for the Minamata Convention on Mercury to enter into force was reached on 18 May 2017!

50-ratification milestone reached on 18 May 2017!

50-ratification milestone reached on 18 May 2017!

The EU and seven of its member States - Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden - deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN Headquarters in New York, bringing to 52 the current number of future Parties. As a result on 16 August 2017, the Convention, which aims at protecting human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds, will become legally binding for all its Parties. The updated list of Parties may be found here.

The Minamata Convention is the first new global Convention on environment and health adopted for close to a decade. It addresses the entire life cycle of mercury, considered by WHO as one of the top ten chemicals of major health concern, which threatens the environment and health of millions. Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment reminds us that there are alternatives to almost all of mercury’s current applications, such as newer, safer industrial processes and that all countries - big and small - can play a role – as well as all of us, just by changing what we buy and use.

The first Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention will gather governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations from around the world in Geneva from 24 to 29 September 2017. This Conference will play a key role in the future of the Convention as it will consider and adopt decisions covering technical, administrative as well as operational and financial matters. The President of Switzerland will host a high-level segment “Making Mercury History” on 28 and 29 September. More information about the first Conference of the Parties may be found here.

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Our website now available in French and Spanish!
The Minamata Convention website is now also available in French and Spanish thanks to the generous support of the French Government and the assistance of UNITAR.

Our website now available in French and Spanish!

Our website now available in French and Spanish!

The Minamata Convention website is now also available in French and Spanish thanks to the generous support of the French Government and the assistance of UNITAR.

Norway brings to 44 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 12 May 2017, the Government of Norway deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 44th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Norway brings to 44 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention

Norway brings to 44 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 12 May 2017, the Government of Norway deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 44th future Party to the Minamata Convention.
Afghanistan brings to 43 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 2 May 2017, the Government of Afghanistan deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 43rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Afghanistan brings to 43 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention

Afghanistan brings to 43 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention

On 2 May 2017, the Government of Afghanistan deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 43rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

New study - Elevated mercury levels in women in Pacific Island Nations
A new study reveals that women of childbearing age living in four Pacific Island countries have elevated levels of mercury in their hair. The study suggests a relationship between consumption of predatory fish and higher mercury levels.

New study - Elevated mercury levels in women in Pacific Island Nations

New study - Elevated mercury levels in women in Pacific Island Nations

A new study reveals that women of childbearing age living in four Pacific Island countries have elevated levels of mercury in their hair. The study suggests a relationship between consumption of predatory fish and higher mercury levels.

Canada and Burkina Faso become the 41st and 42nd future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 7 and 10 April 2017 respectively, the Governments of Canada and Burkina Faso deposited their instruments of ratification, thereby becoming the 41st and 42nd future Parties to the Minamata Convention.

Canada and Burkina Faso become the 41st and 42nd future Parties to the Minamata Convention

Canada and Burkina Faso become the 41st and 42nd future Parties to the Minamata Convention

On 7 and 10 April 2017 respectively, the Governments of Canada and Burkina Faso deposited their instruments of ratification, thereby becoming the 41st and 42nd future Parties to the Minamata Convention.

Canada brings to 41 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 7 April 2017, the Government of Canada deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 41st future Party to the Convention.

Canada brings to 41 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention

Canada brings to 41 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 7 April 2017, the Government of Canada deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 41st future Party to the Convention.
Honduras and Ghana become the 39th and 40th future Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 22 and 23 March 2017 respectively, the Governments of Honduras and Ghana deposited their instruments of accession, thereby becoming the 39th and 40th future Parties to the Minamata Convention.

Honduras and Ghana become the 39th and 40th future Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Honduras and Ghana become the 39th and 40th future Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 22 and 23 March 2017 respectively, the Governments of Honduras and Ghana deposited their instruments of accession, thereby becoming the 39th and 40th future Parties to the Minamata Convention.
Forms and guidance to implement the Minamata Convention
Forms and guidance documents required for the effective implementation of the Convention and adopted by the intergovernmental negotiating committee on a provisional basis pending formal adoption by the Conference of the Parties are available online.

Forms and guidance to implement the Minamata Convention

Forms and guidance to implement the Minamata Convention

Forms and guidance documents required for the effective implementation of the Convention and adopted by the intergovernmental negotiating committee on a provisional basis pending formal adoption by the Conference of the Parties are available online.


Special Programme - 2nd call for proposals now open until 20 June 2017 midnight
Eligible countries are invited to submit projects proposals between USD $50,000 - $250,000 under the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM

Special Programme - 2nd call for proposals now open until 20 June 2017 midnight

Special Programme - 2nd call for proposals now open until 20 June 2017 midnight

Eligible countries are invited to submit projects proposals between USD $50,000 - $250,000 under the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM.

Liechtenstein becomes the 37th future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 1 February 2017, the Government of Liechtenstein deposited their instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 37th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Liechtenstein becomes the 37th future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Liechtenstein becomes the 37th future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 1 February 2017, the Government of Liechtenstein deposited their instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 37th future Party to the Minamata Convention.
Costa Rica becomes the 36th future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 19 January 2017, the Government of Costa Rica deposited their instrument of accession, and thereby becoming the 36th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Costa Rica becomes the 36th future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Costa Rica becomes the 36th future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 19 January 2017, the Government of Costa Rica deposited their instrument of accession, and thereby becoming the 36th future Party to the Minamata Convention.
GEF GOLD - Reducing health hazards of artisanal and small-scale gold mining
A new project on reducing health hazards of artisanal and small-scale gold mining was launched on 5 December in Washington DC.

GEF GOLD - Reducing health hazards of artisanal and small-scale gold mining

GEF GOLD - Reducing health hazards of artisanal and small-scale gold mining

A new project on reducing health hazards of artisanal and small-scale gold mining was launched on 5 December in Washington DC. The project will work towards the objectives of the Minamata Convention and will strive to formalize artisanal and small-scale gold and reduce the use of mercury in the sector to protect the health of up to 15 million miners worldwide - See more at: UN Environment News centre and The GEF News centre

To help artisanal gold miners eliminate the use of mercury in gold mining, and reduce harmful risks to their health and the environment the GEF has recently approved the Global Opportunities for Long-term Development (GOLD) in the Artisanal Small Gold Mining Sector program.

Through the GOLD program, the GEF will provide funds to support artisanal and small-scale enterprises through the creation of policies and market incentives, as well as connecting them to supply chains and markets which use less or no mercury in the extraction of gold.  The program will build partnerships with the private sector.

Four implementing agencies will manage the program, including UN Environment (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Conservation International to implement projects in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, Mongolia and the Philippines. The ultimate aim is to ensure the wellbeing of workers and their families whilst improving their livelihoods.

ENTRY INTO FORCE
The Minamata Convention enters into force on the 16 August 2017. The First Conference of the Parties will take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

ENTRY INTO FORCE

The Minamata Convention enters into force on the 16 August 2017. The First Conference of the Parties will take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Benin and Gambia becomes the 34th and 35th future Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 7 November 2016, the Governments of Benin and Gambia deposited their instruments of accession, thereby becoming the 34th and 35th future Parties to the Minamata Convention.

Benin and Gambia becomes the 34th and 35th future Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Benin and Gambia becomes the 34th and 35th future Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 7 November 2016, the Governments of Benin and Gambia deposited their instruments of accession, thereby becoming the 34th and 35th future Parties to the Minamata Convention.
Sierra Leone becomes 33rd future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 1 November 2016, the Government of Sierra Leone deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 33rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Sierra Leone becomes 33rd future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Sierra Leone becomes 33rd future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 1 November 2016, the Government of Sierra Leone deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 33rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.
Antigua and Barbuda becomes 32nd future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 23 September 2016, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 32nd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Antigua and Barbuda becomes 32nd future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Antigua and Barbuda becomes 32nd future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

On 23 September 2016, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 32nd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Swaziland becomes 31st future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 21 September 2016, the Government of Swaziland deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 31st future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Swaziland becomes 31st future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Swaziland becomes 31st future Party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

On 21 September 2016, the Government of Swaziland deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 31st future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Acknowledging the support from donors
The interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention of Mercury would like to acknowledge with sincere thanks the financial and material support provided by Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organizations.

Acknowledging the support from donors

Acknowledging the support from donors
The interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention of Mercury would like to acknowledge with sincere thanks the financial and material support provided by Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organizations towards the development of a global legally binding instrument on mercury.
China becomes 30th future party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 31 August 2016, the Government of the People's Republic of China deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 30th future Party to the Convention.

China becomes 30th future party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

China becomes 30th future party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
On 31 August 2016, the Government of the People's Republic of China deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 30th future Party to the Convention.
Call for submissions (deadline extended)
Following the request of INC7, the interim secretariat has announced a call for submission of information related to certain articles of the Minamata Convention, which is required for the preparation of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

Call for submissions (deadline extended)

Call for submissions (deadline extended)

The seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC7) requested the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention to seek information from Governments and others in relation to certain articles of the Convention. This information is required towards the preparations for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention. In relation to this request, the interim secretariat has made two calls for information.

The first call for information relates to Article 7 (Artisanal and small-scale gold mining), Article 10 (Environmentally sound interim storage of mercury, other than waste mercury), Article 11 (Mercury wastes), Article 12 (Contaminated sites), and Article 22 (Effectiveness evaluation). The information requested is summarized in this attachment. The deadline for the submission of this information has now been extended to Sunday, 30 October 2016.

The second call for information relates to the calculation or estimation of mercury emissions and releases from the open burning of waste, including quantities of waste generated annually, the proportion of waste subjected to open burning and the average mercury content of waste. In relation to this request, a fact sheet outlining the current state of the knowledge on this issue was sent out. The deadline for the submission of this information is Friday, 9 December 2016.

Any information should be submitted to:

The Principal Coordinator

Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Chemicals and Waste Branch

Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

United Nations Environment Programme

11 - 13 chemin des Anémones

CH - 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

Fax: (41 22) 797 3460

E-mail: mercury.chemicals@unep.org

Ecuador becomes 29th future Party to the Minamata Convention
On 29 July 2016, the Government of Ecuador deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 29th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Ecuador becomes 29th future Party to the Minamata Convention

Ecuador becomes 29th future Party to the Minamata Convention
On 29 July 2016, the Government of Ecuador deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 29th future Party to the Minamata Convention.
E-learning course on the Minamata Convention on Mercury
InforMEA, an Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements facilitated by UNEP, has launched an e-learning course on the Minamata Convention as part of its online Learning Platform. The project is supported by funding from the European Union.

E-learning course on the Minamata Convention on Mercury

E-learning course on the Minamata Convention on Mercury

InforMEA, a project established by the MEA Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) Initiative, has launched a new online course on the Minamata Convention on Mercury entitled Introductory Course to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The initial section of the course provides the participants with a solid understanding of the environmental challenges posed by global mercury pollution and highlights the urgency of effective global action on mercury. The course then focuses on the operational articles of the Minamata Convention that address this problem, with an emphasis on key articles that address the economic activities resulting in significant mercury emissions and releases, as well as the implementation of those articles. The final section of the course focuses on the articles related to the institutional arrangements and the overall implementation of the Minamata Convention.

At the end of the course, the participants test their knowledge of global mercury pollution and of the provisions of the Minamata Convention in order to obtain a course certificate. The course, supported by funding from the European Union, is available for free on the InforMEA e-learning platform. It is currently available in English with further language versions being developed.

The IKM initiative brings together Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) to develop harmonized and interoperable information systems for the benefit of Parties and the environment community at large. The initiative currently includes 43 international and regional legally binding instruments from 18 Secretariats hosted by three UN organizations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Initiative invites and welcomes the participation of observers involved with MEA data and information, such as the Environmental Management Group (EMG), the European Environment Agency (EEA),The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO),  IUCN, the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

To learn more, please visit http://e-learning.informea.org/.

Switzerland, Mali and Botswana become future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 25 May 2016, the Government of Switzerland deposited its instrument of ratification to the Minamata Convention at a ratification ceremony in New York. Shortly thereafter, on 27 May and 3 June respectively, the Government of Mali and the Government of Botswana deposited their instruments of ratification to the Minamata Convention, bringing the number of future Parties to the Convention to 28.

Switzerland, Mali and Botswana become future Parties to the Minamata Convention

Switzerland, Mali and Botswana become future Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 25 May 2016, the Government of Switzerland deposited its instrument of ratification to the Minamata Convention at a ratification ceremony in New York. Shortly thereafter, on 27 May and 3 June respectively, the Government of Mali and the Government of Botswana deposited their instruments of ratification to the Minamata Convention, bringing the number of future Parties to the Convention to 28.
Set of fact sheets on the Minamata Convention now online
The interim secretariat has published a set of fact sheets providing an overview of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, of its key control measures as well as of the process for becoming a Party. Released in English and French, Spanish version will be made available shortly.

Set of fact sheets on the Minamata Convention now online

Set of fact sheets on the Minamata Convention now online
The interim secretariat has published a set of fact sheets providing an overview of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, of its key control measures as well as of the process for becoming a Party. Released in English and French, Spanish version will be made available shortly.
1st call for proposals now open until 4 July 2016
Eligible countries are invited to submit projects proposals between USD $50,000 - $250,000 under the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM.

1st call for proposals now open until 4 July 2016

1st call for proposals now open until 4 July 2016
Eligible countries are invited to submit projects proposals between USD $50,000 - $250,000 under the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM.
Successful outcomes at INC7 pave the way for entry into force and COP1
Governments reached successful outcomes at the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee held from 10 to 15 March 2016 at the Dead Sea, in Jordan.

Successful outcomes at INC7 pave the way for entry into force and COP1

Successful outcomes at INC7 pave the way for entry into force and COP1

Over 450 participants representing governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations took part in the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on mercury (INC7) which concluded its work on 15 March 2016 at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center in Jordan after six days of meeting. INC7 was preceded by regional consultations on 9 March 2016.

Successful outcomes have been achieved at this important session to prepare for the entry into force of the Convention, with agreement reached on a number of significant issues which will be considered for adoption by the Conference of Parties at its first meeting. In particular, guidance materials have been adopted on a provisional basis on a number of technical issues, such as on best available techniques and best environmental practices for emissions of mercury, on the identification of stocks and sources of mercury supply as well as on completing the forms required under Article 3. Agreement was also reached on the use of guidance on the development of national action plans on artisanal and small-scale gold mining by countries in developing their national action plans. Good progress was generally made on all areas including the financial mechanism of the Convention as well as administrative matters.

 

Documents prepared for INC7 can be accessed on the INC7 webpage, where the session’s report and final list of participants will also be posted as soon as finalized. The daily coverage and summary report by Earth Negotiations Bulletin are available on the IISD webpage at: www.iisd.ca/mercury/inc7/

Senegal becomes 25th future Party to the Minamata Convention
On 15 March 2016, last day of INC7, Chair Fernando Lugris announces the ratification of the Convention by the Government of Senegal.

Senegal becomes 25th future Party to the Minamata Convention

Senegal becomes 25th future Party to the Minamata Convention
On 15 March 2016, last day of INC7, Chair Fernando Lugris announces the ratification of the Convention by the Government of Senegal.
“Pez-Peste”, symbol of the mercury negotiations
The sculpture “Pez-Peste”, specially created and donated by the Argentinean artist Nicolas Garcia Uriburu, followed the INC throughout the negotiations process as a symbol of the irreversible consequences of mercury contamination.

“Pez-Peste”, symbol of the mercury negotiations

“Pez-Peste”, symbol of the mercury negotiations

The sculpture “Pez-Peste” was presented to the INC at its second session (Chiba, Japan, January 2011) by the health sector and civil society groups, as a symbol of the irreversible consequences of mercury contamination. The Chair of the INC, Ambassador Fernando Lugris, accepted the sculpture on behalf of the Committee.

The sculpture was specially created and donated by the Argentinean artist Nicolas Garcia Uriburu, an internationally recognized Argentinean visual artist and pioneer in landscape art who addresses ecological concerns through his creations.

The INC Bureau was pleased to visit the artist at his home during INC4 (Puta del Este, Uruguay, June-July 2012), see a number of his other works and discuss his commitment to the environment. 

“Pez-Peste” has followed the INC throughout the negotiations process. At the Diplomatic Conference which adopted the Minamata Convention (Kumamoto, Japan, October 2013), the sculpture was passed to the care of the Government of Japan to be displayed at the museum in Minamata in recognition of the important work of the Convention. 
 

Zambia ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 11 March 2016, the Government of the Zambia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 24th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Zambia ratifies the Minamata Convention

Zambia ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 11 March 2016, the Government of the Zambia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 24th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

7th advisory group meeting of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership
Gathered on 8 March 2016, on the eve of INC7, partners of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership renewed their commitment towards rapid implementation of the Minamata Convention.

7th advisory group meeting of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership

7th advisory group meeting of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership

The UNEP Global Mercury Partnership held its 7th Advisory Group meeting on 8 March 2016, on the eve of INC7.

The Partnership consists of over 150 stakeholders from governments, industry, NGOs, and academia who are dedicated to protecting human health and the environment from the impacts of mercury.

A key role of the Partnership is to assist countries in achieving timely and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention. In line with that role, the Partnership is undertaking capacity-building efforts and producing information and guidance in multiple sectors including mercury-added products, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), and coal combustion.

The Partnership held its seventh advisory group meeting (PAG7) in Jordan on 8 March 2016, on the eve of INC7. The objective of this meeting was to review Partnership activities, plan future efforts, and develop strategies to increase effectiveness in supporting implementation of the Minamata Convention.

Among its main conclusions, PAG7 reaffirmed partners’ commitment to contribute to the Convention on areas such as mercury interim storage and monitoring, in a similar way the Partnership did on the issue of ASGM national action plans with the development of draft guidance for the consideration of INC7.

The meeting also reviewed the business plans for Partnership areas addressing mercury from coal combustion, mercury-added products, waste management, chlor-alkali plants and cement production.

Finally, the PAG meeting discussed its future work based on outcomes of the Partnership regional consultations held in the margins of the INC7 regional consultations and agreed to strengthen the communication and outreach of the Partnership.

Please visit the Global Mercury Partnership web site for more information, and to find out how you can join.

Minamata Convention now live on Twitter!
Follow the official Twitter Feed of the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, get latest updates for #INC7 held at the Dead Sea, Jordan from 10 to 15 March 2016 and the work of the Convention.

Minamata Convention now live on Twitter!

Minamata Convention now live on Twitter!

Follow the official Twitter Feed of the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, get latest updates for #INC7 held at the Dead Sea, Jordan from 10 to 15 March 2016 and the work of the Convention.

 

Japan ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 2 February 2016, the Government of Japan deposited its instrument of acceptance, thereby becoming the 23rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Japan ratifies the Minamata Convention

Japan ratifies the Minamata Convention

On 2 February 2016, the Government of JAPAN deposited its instrument of Acceptance, thereby becoming the 23rd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Peru ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 21 January 2016, the Government of the Peru deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 21st  future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Peru ratifies the Minamata Convention

Peru ratifies the Minamata Convention

On 21 January 2016, the Government of the Peru deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 21st  future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Bolivia (Plurinational State of) ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 26 January 2016, the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 22nd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Bolivia (Plurinational State of) ratifies the Minamata Convention

Bolivia (Plurinational State of) ratifies the Minamata Convention

On 26 January 2016, the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 22nd future Party to the Minamata Convention.

UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Reaching Out to Stakeholders Ahead of INC7
The Partnership is holding awareness-raising and knowledge sharing events on the margins of the INC7 regional consultations.

UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Reaching Out to Stakeholders Ahead of INC7

UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Reaching Out to Stakeholders Ahead of INC7

The UNEP Global Mercury Partnership consists of stakeholders from governments, industry, NGOs, and academia who are dedicated to protecting human health and the environment from the impacts of mercury. A key role of the Partnership is to assist countries in achieving timely and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention.

Consistent with that role, the Partnership is undertaking capacity-building efforts and producing information and guidance in multiple sectors including mercury-added products, ASGM, and coal combustion.

In order to increase responsiveness to national government stakeholders, the Partnership’s UNEP Secretariat is organizing a series of discussions and information sessions at the INC7 Regional Consultations.

The Partnership will also hold its seventh advisory group meeting (PAG7) in Jordan on March 8, 2016, immediately preceding INC7.  The objective of this meeting is to review Partnership activities, plan future efforts, and develop strategies to increase effectiveness in supporting implementation of the Minamata Convention.

Please visit the Global Mercury Partnership web site for more information, and to find out how you can join.

Kuwait ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 3 December 2015, the Government of Kuwait deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 20th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Kuwait ratifies the Minamata Convention

Kuwait ratifies the Minamata Convention

On 3 December 2015, the Government of Kuwait deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 20th future Party to the Minamata Convention.

Regional consultations in preparation for INC7
A series of regional consultations were held in preparation for the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on mercury (INC7), scheduled to be held in the Dead Sea Area in Jordan, from 10 to 15 March 2016.

Regional consultations in preparation for INC7

Regional consultations in preparation for INC7

A series of regional consultations have been held in preparation for the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on mercury (INC7), scheduled to be held in the Dead Sea Area in Jordan, from 10 to 15 March 2016.

 

The consultations included presentations of the documents available for INC7,and were followed by discussions among Governments and possible development of positions for the various issues to be addressed at that session.

 

These meetings were held as follows:

  • Asia and the Pacific regional consultations: 20 to 22 January 2016, Jakarta, Indonesia;
  • Africa regional consultations: 2 to 4 February 2016, Lusaka, Zambia;
  • Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asian regional consultations: 3 and 4 February 2016, Brno, Czech Republic;
  • Latin America and the Caribbean regional consultations: 9 to 12 February 2016, Montevideo, Uruguay.

 

Intergovernmental organizations as well as accredited non-governmental organizations  participated as observers in open sessions of these consultations. 

Jordan ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 12 November 2015, the Government of Jordan deposited its instrument of ratification, bringing to 19 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention to date.

Jordan ratifies the Minamata Convention

Jordan ratifies the Minamata Convention
On 12 November 2015, the Government of Jordan deposited its instrument of ratification, bringing to 19 the number of future Parties to the Minamata Convention to date.
28 September 2015, Geneva - SDGs: Make it happen for chemicals and wastes!
ICCM4 participants were invited to reflect and share their views on how the SDGs can become reality for chemicals and wastes at interactive Panel Discussion scheduled on Monday 28 September.

28 September 2015, Geneva - SDGs: Make it happen for chemicals and wastes!

28 September 2015, Geneva - SDGs: Make it happen for chemicals and wastes!

 

24 September 2015 - New York: Chad and Samoa join the Minamata Convention
Chad and Samoa deposited their instruments of ratification at Special High-level Event co-hosted by the Governments of japan, Switzerland, Uruguay and the United States of America.

24 September 2015 - New York: Chad and Samoa join the Minamata Convention

24 September 2015 - New York: Chad and Samoa join the Minamata Convention
24 September 2015 - New York: Special High-level Event to foster entry into force and implementation of the Minamata Convention
On 24 September 2015, a Special High-Level event on the Minamata Convention will be convened at the UN Headquarters in New York, in the margins of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly and on the eve of the UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.

24 September 2015 - New York: Special High-level Event to foster entry into force and implementation of the Minamata Convention

24 September 2015 - New York: Special High-level Event to foster entry into force and implementation of the Minamata Convention

On 24 September 2015, from 1.15 pm to 2.30 pm, a Special High-Level Event "The Minamata Convention on Mercury: Promoting environmental protection through early entry into force and effective implementation" will be convened at the UN Headquarters in New York (Conference Room 6), in the margins of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly and on the eve of the UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.

Co-hosted by the Governments of Japan where the Minamata Convention was adopted, Switzerland, where the negotiations concluded and the first COP will be held, the United States of America, the first country to ratify the Convention and Uruguay, who chaired the negotiations process, this Special High-Level Event will provide important momentum to accelerate the entry into force and implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The Special High-Level Event will include a ceremony for the deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession by Member States as well as an opportunity for speeches and exchange of views among high-level representatives moderated by the Executive Director of UNEP.

Wide participation from Government representatives is encouraged.  The official correspondence may be found below. The event will also be open to non-governmental participation.

The Special High-Level Event will take place immediately before the 2015 Treaty Event convened from 28 September to 1 October 2015 to provide states with an opportunity to fulfil pledges made in national and international forums to sign on to sign and, particularly, to ratify or accede to multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General.

To register or receive further information, please contact the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention here.


Invitation Letter to the Special High-Level Event on the Minamata Convention

English

Executive Director Transmittal Letter

English

Practical information and provisional programme for the High-level Special Event on the Minamata Convention

English

Call for comments on draft BAT/BEP guidance
Governments and other interested stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the developing draft guidance on BAT/BEP for controlling and where feasible reducing mercury emissions to the atmosphere. Comments are to be submitted no later than 1 August 2015.

Call for comments on draft BAT/BEP guidance

Call for comments on draft BAT/BEP guidance

Governments and other interested stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the developing draft guidance on BAT/BEP for controlling and where feasible reducing mercury emissions to the atmosphere. Comments are to be submitted no later than 1 August 2015.

Promoting science – policy collaboration on mercury in Jeju, Korea
Over 800 scientists, engineers, and policy makers from more than 60 countries gather in Jeju, Korea, from 14-19 June 2015 to discuss research on mercury and its impacts on human health and the environment at the 12th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant.

Promoting science – policy collaboration on mercury in Jeju, Korea

Promoting science – policy collaboration on mercury in Jeju, Korea

The International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) is a biennial event that brings together scientists, engineers, and policymakers from a wide variety of disciplines, from atmospheric chemistry to toxicology. At the 12th ICMGP over 800 participants from more than 60 countries gathered in Jeju, Korea, from 14-19 June, 2015, to discuss research on mercury and its impacts on human health and the environment. The contribution of science towards the ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention also featured prominently in the programme for ICMGP, supported by a number of events organized by the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention and the UNEP Chemicals Branch.

UNEP participated in the opening ceremony, together with members of the Government of the Republic of Korea, and recognized the key role of scientists in shaping both the Minamata Convention and the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership. UNEP’s opening remarks emphasized that the ICMGP community of scientists has already achieved great success in bridging the divide between research and global policy action, and called on conference participants to continue to strengthen the science-policy nexus.

On June 15, the Coordinator of the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention addressed the opening plenary of the ICMGP with a talk about the importance of science to the Minamata Convention. He recognized the tremendous contribution of the scientific community in elaborating the risks that mercury poses to human health and the environment, making possible the international action that culminated in the adoption of the Minamata Convention in 2013. He also stressed that in many ways, the real work is just beginning, as countries move to ratify and implement the Convention, often with significant challenges. The scientific community has a critical role to play in the implementation of the Convention, from assisting governments identify and measure sources of mercury emissions and releases, to providing the framework for evaluating the agreement’s effectiveness.

UNEP also hosted a workshop at the ICMGP on the UNEP Mercury Inventory Toolkit, which assists countries in developing a standardized inventory of mercury emissions and releases. The Toolkit is a key element in Minamata Initial Assessments, enabling activities funded by the Global Environment Facility to help Governments ratify the Convention. In addition, a special session on the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership was held at the conference to explore how the Partnership is working to bridge the gap between science and policy to deliver solutions for effective implementation of the Convention.

The next ICMGP will take place in 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. By then, it is expected that the Minamata Convention will have entered into force, and the scientific community can again take stock of the efforts to assist in implementation and evaluation.

More information about the 12th ICMGP can be found here

Phasing out mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers - New step by step WHO guidance
Step by step guidance by WHO on phasing out mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers in the health care sector.

Phasing out mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers - New step by step WHO guidance

Phasing out mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers - New step by step WHO guidance

WHO released a new guidance document to assist countries in phasing out mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers in the health care sector. The document entitled "Developing national strategies for phasing out mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers in health care, including in the context of the Minamata Convention on Mercury: Key considerations and step-by-step guidance" is available here.

 

 

Further information on WHO's work and publciations in relation to mercury is available on the WHO/IPCS mercury webpage at: www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/mercury/en/.

Good progress towards ratification reported at Spring 2015 Minamata workshops
Following a first round of 12 sub-regional workshops between March 2014 and February 2015, the Interim Secretariat organized together with the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), a new round of regional workshops to support ratification and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention, back to back with the regional preparatory meetings to the 2015 BRS COPs.

Good progress towards ratification reported at Spring 2015 Minamata workshops

Good progress towards ratification reported at Spring 2015 Minamata workshops

Following a first series of 12 sub-regional awareness raising and capacity building workshops held between March 2014 and February 2015, the Interim Secretariat on the Minamta Convention on Mercury continued its outreach efforts with the organization between mid-March and mid-April 2015, together with the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), of a new round of 4 regional workshops to support ratification and effective implementation of the Convention. These workshops were held back to back with the regional preparatory meetings to the 2015 BRS Conventions conferences of the parties.

The aim of the Minamata regional workshops was to support countries in their efforts towards ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, building on lessons learned from previous sub-regional workshops. They represented an opportunity to discuss progress to date and possible areas of cooperation within the region as well as preparations for the seventh session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee and the first Conference of the Parties to be held upon entry into force of the Convention. These meetings also featured a Minamata & BRS session to discuss joint topics between 4 conventions, including financial resources for chemicals and wastes.

Amongst others, countries reported at these meetings on where they stood in terms of preparation for ratification and implementation of the Convention, with a number of countries invited to deliver presentations on their national processes. Countries were also invited to participate in a pre-workshop survey on their national circumstances. Based on the discussions that took place and the information received from participating countries, the Interim Secretariat is pleased to report significant progress towards ratification and implementation, giving hope for a rapid entry into force of the Minamata Convention.

These meetings gathered a total of over 450 delegates, including representatives from about 130 Governments from Asia and the Pacific (17 to 20 March 2015, Jakarta, Indonesia), Africa (24 to 27 March 2015, Nairobi, Kenya), Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (7 to 10 April 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia) and Latin America and the Caribbean (14 to 17 April 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay). Intergovernmental organizations and UN Agencies that play an important role in supporting efforts towards ratification and implementation of the Convention, including the GEF, UNDP, UNIDO, UNITAR, WHO, UNEP, Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres as well as several NGOs and business federations active in the respective regions also took part in the meetings.

The regional workshops to support the ratification and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury have been organized thanks to the generous support of the Governments of Switzerland and Norway.

Compendiums for the workshops will be made available here as they become available.

 

On the picture, from left to right: Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; Mr. Dieter Cavalleri, Consejero, Embassy of Switzerland in Buenos Aires; H.E. Ms. Eneida De León, Minister, Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente (MVOTMA), Uruguay; Mr. Jacob Duer, Coordinator of the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention; Ms. Gabriela Eigenmann, Senior Policy Advisor, International Affairs Division, Global Affairs Section, Federal Office for the Environment, Swtizerland.

Minamata regional workshops back to back with BRS COPs preparatory meetings
Following a first series of 12 sub-regional workshops held between March 2014 and February 2015, the Interim Secretariat is organizing together with the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), a new round of regional workshops to support ratification and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention, back to back with the regional preparatory meetings to the 2015 BRS COPs.

Minamata regional workshops back to back with BRS COPs preparatory meetings

Minamata regional workshops back to back with BRS COPs preparatory meetings

Following a first series of 12 sub-regional workshops held between March 2014 and February 2015, the Interim Secretariat is organizing, together with the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), a new round of regional workshops to support ratification and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention, back to back with the regional preparatory meetings to the 2015 BRS Conventions conferences of the parties (COP).

Two joint Minamata and BRS Conventions regional meetings have been held so far, for Asia and the Pacific in Jakarta from 17 to 20 March 2015 and for Africa in Nairobi from 24 to 27 March 2015. The Asia and the Pacific meetings were attended by 160 participants, including 103 government representatives from 39 countries, and the Africa regional meetings were attended by 163 participants, including 140 government representatives from 43 countries.

The Asia and the Pacific regional meetings were opened on Tuesday 17 March 2015 by His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Ilham Malik, Deputy Minister for Hazardous Substances, Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, Her Excellency Ms. Yvonne Baumann, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Switzerland to Indonesia, Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Mr. Jacob Duer, Coordinator, Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, and Mr. Ridwan Tamin, Head of the Regional Center for the Basel and Stockholm Conventions in Indonesia.

The Africa regional meetings were opened on Tuesday 24 March 2015 by Mr. Geoffrey Wahunga, Director General, National Environmental Management Agency of Kenya, Ms. Gabi Eigenmann, Federal Office for the Environment of Switzerland, Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and Mr. Tim Kasten, Deputy Director, UNEP DTIE.

The aim of the Minamata regional workshops is to support countries in their efforts towards ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, building on lessons learned from previous sub-regional workshops. They represent an opportunity to discuss progress to date and possible areas of cooperation within the region as well as preparations for the seventh session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee and COP1.

Intergovernmental organizations and UN Agencies that play an important role in supporting efforts towards ratification and implementation of the Convention, including the GEF, UNDP, UNIDO, UNITAR, WHO, UNEP, Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres as well as several NGOs active in the respective regions also took part in the meetings.

Two additional Minamata and BRS regional meetings will be held in April 2015: for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia from 7 to 10 April in Bratislava, Slovakia, and for Latin America and the Caribbean from 14 to 17 April, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The regional workshops on the Minamata Convention are organized thanks to the generous support of the Governments of Switzerland and Norway.

Compendiums for the workshops will be made available here.

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