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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.

The Prime Minister of Samoa opens 1st sub-regional Minamata workshop for Pacific Islands
His Excellency Mr. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa opened the 1st sub-regional workshop to support countries from the Pacific in the ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention in Apia, Samoa, on 19 January 2015.

The Prime Minister of Samoa opens 1st sub-regional Minamata workshop for Pacific Islands

The Prime Minister of Samoa opens 1st sub-regional Minamata workshop for Pacific Islands

The first sub-regional workshop to support countries from the Pacific in their process towards ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention was held in Apia, Samoa, from 19 to 21 January 2015, at the headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

The workshop was officially opened on Monday 19 January 2015 by the Prime Minister of Samoa, His Excellency Mr. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, who highlighted the core importance of cooperation and partnership among all Parties and development partners in order to achieve the successful and coordinated implementation of the Minamata Convention, as well as the Stockholm, Rotterdam, Basel and Waigani Conventions. Samoa was the first country from the Pacific to sign the Minamata Convention at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Kumamoto on 10 October 2013.

As an integral part of UNEP’s regional and sub-regional efforts to support the ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention, the workshop aimed to further enhance participants knowledge of the Convention, of the processes for its ratification and early implementation, and of the available sources of support, including in the interim period. Governments also had the opportunity to exchange information and discuss joint efforts to address key regional priorities, including control of imports of mercury containg products, management of mercury wastes and mercury monitoring in fish and seafood. One important outcome of the workshop was the presentation by participating countries on Wednesday 21 January of a draft national roadmap for the ratification and early implementation of the Convention that they were invited to prepare during the course of the workshop.

Delegates from ten Pacific countries participated, including the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Intergovernmental organizations and UN Agencies that play a crucial role in the process towards rapid implementation and ratification of the Convention, including the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization .(UNIDO), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the World Health Organization (WHO), SPREP and UNEP as well as the NGOs Ban Toxics and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry presented amongst others on the support they are  providing to countries from the region.  

Small Island Developing States were clearly in the spotlight in this beginning of 2015 as a sub-regional workshop for Caribbean  countries was held simultaneously in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from 19 to 21 January 2015.

Compendiums for the workshops can be found here.

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