News from the Convention

Applying for funding through the Special Programme
The deadline for submissions is Friday 17 April 2020.

Applying for funding through the Special Programme

Applying for funding through the Special Programme

The fourth round of applications for the Special Programme was open on 29 November 2019 in the margins of the COP3. The deadline for submissions is Friday 17 April 2020.

Download the project application form, project budget form and the project application guidelines.

The Special Programme e-learning platform is available to assist Governments with the process of completing a Special Programme application based on the project application guidelines.

The Special Programme aims to support institutional strengthening at the national level for implementation of the Minamata convention, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. For more information visit the Special Programme website.

Time to phase out mercury-added products has arrived
Parties to the Minamata Convention renewed their commitment to phasing out the use of products which contain mercury and to promote alternatives at the Third Conference of the Parties, that closed today.

Time to phase out mercury-added products has arrived

Time to phase out mercury-added products has arrived
  • By 2020 the manufacture, import and export of mercury-added products is no longer allowed.
  • Parties agreed to advance the a framework to monitor the effectiveness of the Convention in order to strengthen its implementation
  • The Third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury took place from 25 to 29 November in Geneva, Switzerland.

Geneva, 29 November 2019 - Parties to the Minamata Convention renewed their commitment to phasing out the use of products which contain mercury and to promote alternatives at the Third Conference of the Parties, that closed today in Geneva after a one-week meeting from 26 to 29 November 2019. Delegates representing 113 parties decided to undertake the review regarding the reduction on the use of mercury in manufactured products. Parties also agreed on how to use custom codes for mercury-added products that would permit to gather reliable information and therefore facilitate the control of trade in products containing mercury.

Batteries, switches, fluorescent lamps, cosmetics, pesticides, barometers and thermometers containing mercury have their days numbered. By 2020 the manufacture, import and export of these products is no longer allowed. The good news is that a wide range of safe and high-functioning alternatives to mercury-containing products have been developed. Thus, it’s just a matter of time before mercury-free alternatives fully replace their more toxic counterparts.

As it was emphasized during the opening session on Monday, the road map for effectiveness evaluation agreed at the second meeting of the Parties resulted now in a framework, which will help in defining how effective the Convention is by 2023.

“This COP has a key role to play in establishing the framework for the first evaluation of the effectiveness of the Convention, set for 2023. Strengthening legal frameworks and institutional capacity is also a basic requirement for the implementation of the Convention”, said Inger Andersen, the UN Environment Executive Director.

In the same line, the Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention, Rossana Silva Repetto, admitted that “it is our common wish that the results of such evaluation reflect that our convention is proving to be effective. For this to happen, we need to work on the implementation of the convention at all levels in order to yield the fruits that indicate, in the data that will be collected, that we are on the right path towards attaining the objective that you, yourselves established for the Minamata Convention”.

Meanwhile, Parties have an obligation to submit their first national reports by December 2019 on the measures they have taken to implement a number of provisions of the Convention, on the effectiveness of such measures and on possible challenges in meeting the objectives of the Convention, as was agreed at the first meeting.

Other key decisions adopted at the Minamata COP3 include the programme of work and budget for the biennium 2020-2021, terms of reference for the Implementation and Compliance Committee, guidance on the management of contaminated sites, releases and waste thresholds. Parties reiterated their wish to continue to enhance cooperation with international organizations in areas of relevance to the Convention, towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

Donors announced voluntary contributions to the Specific International Programme to support capacity building and technical assistance, which is one of the components of the financial mechanism of the convention, the other one being the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

COP3 has also been the opportunity for consolidating the substantial progress made so far at the previous COPs. At the first and second meetings, the COP took decisions that were key for the ongoing implementation of the Convention. Several guidance documents were adopted in relation to trade, best available techniques and best environmental practices in relation to emissions, and artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) National Action Plans (NAPs).

The events at the COP included a special session on mercury science highlighting the linkage between policy and science. Among the other 26 side events broader issues were discussed such as the linkages between chemicals management and biodiversity, artisanal and small-scale gold mining, trade, contaminated sites, chemicals and waste management beyond 2020, and global community’s efforts to protect human health and the environment from the negative effects of mercury.

Since the convention entered into force in 2017, meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury have been held during a one-week period every year in late September (COP1) or November (COP2 and COP3) at the seat of the Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. From now, next COPs will be convened every two years. 2021 will be the turn of Indonesia to host the fourth Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention in Bali, to keep making mercury history.


NOTE FOR EDITORS

About the Minamata Convention

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is the most recent global agreement on environment and health, adopted in 2013. It is named after the bay in Japan where, in the mid-20th century, mercury-tainted industrial wastewater poisoned thousands of people, leading to severe health damage that became known as the “Minamata disease”. Since it entered into force on 16 August 2017, 113 Parties have been working together to control the mercury supply and trade, reduce the use, emission and release of mercury, raise public awareness, and build the necessary institutional capacity.

While mercury is naturally occurring, it is also a by-product of a number of industrial processes and can be found in many everyday objects, including batteries, dental amalgam, thermometers and fluorescent lamps. Once released to the atmosphere, soil and water - often through coal burning, and artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) - mercury bioaccumulates in fish, animals and humans, posing a serious threat to human health and the environment. Through the Minamata Convention the international community can tackle the entire life cycle of mercury.

 

About the UN Environment Programme

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

Speeches

Online resources

For more information contact: Anna García, Communications Officer of the Minamata Convention
Email: anna.garcia@un.org; Telephone: +41 22 917 31 11; Cel: +41 79 39 11 736

COP3 Photos and videos
Here you will find videos and pictures covering the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP3) taking place from 25 to 29 November 2019 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

COP3 Photos and videos

COP3 Photos and videos

Here you will find videos and pictures covering the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP3) taking place from 25 to 29 November 2019 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

Trading mercury interactive story
Effects of mercury poisoning can be devastating, with symptoms including seizures, memory, vision and hearing loss, and development disorders. Explore mercury's trade routes in this interactive story

Trading mercury interactive story

Trading mercury interactive story

Effects of mercury poisoning can be devastating, with symptoms including seizures, memory, vision and hearing loss, and development disorders. Explore mercury's trade routes in this interactive story

COP3 begins with a call to strengthen implementation for the effectiveness of the Convention
The meeting was opened yesterday at CICG in Geneva, Switzerland, with the presence of representatives from the Convention’s parties.

COP3 begins with a call to strengthen implementation for the effectiveness of the Convention

COP3 begins with a call to strengthen implementation for the effectiveness of the Convention

The meeting was opened yesterday at CICG in Geneva, Switzerland, with the presence of representatives from the Convention’s parties.


The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP3) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury opens in Geneva, Switzerland

With a call to strengthen implementation for the effectiveness of the Convention with the aim to protect the human health and the environment, the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury opened today at CICG in Geneva, Switzerland. This event brings together parties’ representatives, non-parties governments, intergovernmental organizations, UN bodies and NGOs to review the progress and challenges related to implementing the Convention in the world. Around one thousand participants are already confirmed to attend this meeting.

At the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Inger Andersen, empathized the work already achieved by the 113 Parties to the Convention to respond to mercury pollution and the need to keep moving, adopting the necessary documents for the effective implementation of the Convention.

“Everyone on the planet is exposed to mercury at some level – whether through the food we eat, the air we breathe, or the cosmetics that we use. Only concerted, united action through this Convention and all of its allies can stop this toxic heavy metal endangering human and environmental health”, she stated.

The UN Environment Executive Director was joined by Marc Chardonnens, State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Office for Environment as host of the Minamata Secretariat; David Kapindula (Zambia), current President of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention.

“It is my sincere hope that we will reach universal ratification for the Minamata Convention. However, this alone will not guarantee that we make mercury history. A resolute implementation and the capacities to do so are key for actual change in practice. Moreover, in order to be sure that our convention works well, we will have to check on its effectiveness.” Chardonnens emphasized.

In the same line, the Convention’s most senior representative, Rossana Silva Repetto stressed that “the adoption of the convention is not the end but the beginning, the point of departure of a new time line, the time line that started in 2013 when the international community united and with one voice showed its determination to address the negative effects of mercury through a convention on mercury”.

Finally, the President of the COP, David Kapindula, highlighted the challenging agenda of the meeting and the need to make an effort in reaching consensus on key issues that are critical for the long-term success of the treaty. “I hope that you share my concern that we must avoid building a legacy of unresolved issues that will adversely affect our ability to achieve the objective set out in Article 1 of the Convention. And I look forward to your support and cooperation in making this, our third meeting, truly a success”, he stated and declared the third meeting of the COP open.

Back to Minamata victims

The Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention took a moment to remember the victims of the Minamata disease by showing a wooden doll sculped by a Japanese victim, Mr. Masami Ogata. These dolls have no eyes, no nose and no mouth, because he wants that everyone completes them with their heart. Masami’s message is that the international community cannot afford a repetition of the Minamata tragedy in other parts of the world, that it is necessary to learn from the past and look to the future.

"We are Masami’s messengers! This is what we are all doing here, putting eyes, nose and mouth to Masami’s Kokeshi dolls, committing to deploy all our efforts and energy to attain the objective of the Minamata Convention, to help Masami’s dream become true, a world without the Minamata disease! A world that has left mercury and its negative effects behind, a world where mercury is history!", Rossana Silva expressed.

During the opening ceremony, Koichiro Matsunaga, a victim of the Minamata disease gave a moving speech on behalf of the Minamata disease patients.  “I came here to protect future children. Mercury affects the brain (…) I know that we, human being, make mistakes. But we must have a strong will to stop making mistakes when we realize it. Many children in the future will suffer like me if we fail to take appropriate control on mercury now. Please do not repeat what happened in Minamata in your country”, Matsunaga pointed out.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is named after the bay in Japan where, in the mid-20th century, mercury-tainted industrial wastewater poisoned thousands of people, leading to severe health damage that became known as the “Minamata disease”. Since it entered into force on 16 August 2017, 113 parties have been working together to control the mercury supply and trade, reduce the use, emission and release of mercury, raise public awareness, and build the necessary institutional capacity. Through the Minamata Convention the international community can tackle the entire life cycle of mercury.

Development of the meeting

At the plenary sessions, the official meeting documents will be discussed for the COP to make decisions on matters such as the framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the Convention, the adoption of technical guidance documents, and the work programme and budget of the secretariat for the biennium 2020-2021. The complete list of documents can be found on the COP3 webpage. The main topics that the Parties to the Convention will discuss are

  • Effectiveness evaluation of the Convention
  • Mercury-added products and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used
  • Mercury waste, in particular the consideration of relevant thresholds
  • Financial mechanism
  • Implementation and Compliance Committee
  • Capacity-building, technical assistance and technological transfer
  • Venue and date of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties

The meeting’s official activities also include 26 side events and knowledge labs that will discuss broader issues such as the linkages between chemicals management and biodiversity, chemicals and waste management beyond 2020, and global community’s efforts to protect human health and the environment from the negative effects of mercury, among others.

The meeting will play a critical role in the future of the Convention, which aims at protecting the human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, a highly toxic heavy metal considered by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 chemicals of major public health concern.

One week is ahead to work hard and #MakeMercuryHistory

References

The full COP3 schedule, along with general information on the meeting is available on the COP3 dedicated webpage.

You will be able to follow the development of the event on the:

Speeches

Queries regarding press coverage of the event must be made to the Communications Officer of the Minamata Convention, Anna García, Email anna.garcia@un.org; Telephone: +41 79 39 11736.

Republic of Korea brings to 115 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention
On 22 November 2019, the Government of the Republic of Korea deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 115th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Republic of Korea brings to 115 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

Republic of Korea brings to 115 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

On 22 November 2019, the Government of the Republic of Korea deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 115th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Media advisory
Expected highlights from the third meeting of the conference of the parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Media advisory

Media advisory

Expected highlights from the third meeting of the conference of the parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Why mercury still poses important threats to human health
Mercury poisoning has dangerous and sometimes irreversible effects, and while unborn babies are most vulnerable, anyone can suffer. Read more

Why mercury still poses important threats to human health

Why mercury still poses important threats to human health

Mercury poisoning has dangerous and sometimes irreversible effects, and while unborn babies are most vulnerable, anyone can suffer. Read more

Many products still contain mercury. These alternatives could replace them
A wide range of safe and high-functioning alternatives to mercury-containing products have been developed. Thanks to the Minamata Convention it’s just a matter of time before mercury-free alternatives fully replace them. Read more

Many products still contain mercury. These alternatives could replace them

Many products still contain mercury. These alternatives could replace them

A wide range of safe and high-functioning alternatives to mercury-containing products have been developed. Thanks to the Minamata Convention it’s just a matter of time before mercury-free alternatives fully replace them. Read more

UN Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen will inaugurate COP3
The most senior authority from UNEP will travel to Geneva to open the global meeting, which will take place from 25 to 29 November 2019 at the International Conference Centre.

UN Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen will inaugurate COP3

UN Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen will inaugurate COP3

(Geneva, 12 November 2019) The Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Inger Andersen, will participate in the opening session of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which will be held from 25 to 29 November 2019 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

More than one thousand participants – including parties’ representatives, non-parties governments, intergovernmental organizations, UN bodies and NGOs – are already confirmed to attend the gathering. Participants will meet to review progress and challenges regarding the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in the world.

At the official opening ceremony, which will take place on Monday, 25 November at 10 a.m., Inger Andersen will be joined by David Kapindula (Zambia), current President of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention.

The COP was convened during a one-week period in late September (2017 - COP1) and November (2018 – COP2) at the seat of the Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. On this occasion, Zambia will preside the third meeting. “This meeting is crucial to strengthen our ability to control mercury and create a safer environment for healthier current and future generations” David Kapindula, said.

During the plenary sessions, the official meeting documents will be discussed in order for the COP to make decisions on matters such as the framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the Convention, the adoption of technical guidance documents, and the work programme and budget of the secretariat for the biennium 2020-2021. The complete list of documents can be found on the COP3 webpage. The meeting’s official activities also include 26 side events and knowledge labs that will discuss broader issues such as the linkages between chemicals management and biodiversity, chemicals and waste management beyond 2020, and global community’s efforts to protect human health and the environment from the negative effects of mercury, among others.

“It is an ambitious agenda that will allow the parties to agree on the next steps of the implementation of the Minamata Convention as deadlines for “phasing out” mercury-added products and the use of mercury and mercury compounds in manufacturing processes approach. I am convinced that the very committed parties to the Minamata Convention will agree on the various actions that are necessary to help the world address the most challenging mercury issues and attain the objective of the Convention”, Rossana Silva Repetto emphasized.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is the most recent global Convention on environment and health, adopted in 2013. It is named after the place in Japan where, in the mid-20th century, mercury-tainted industrial wastewater poisoned thousands of people, leading to severe health damage that became known as the “Minamata disease”. Since it entered into force on 16 August 2017, 114 parties have been working together to control the mercury supply and trade, reduce the use, emission and release of mercury, raise public awareness, and build the necessary institutional capacity.

The meeting will play a critical role in the future of the Convention, which aims at protecting the human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, a highly toxic heavy metal considered by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 chemicals of major public health concern.

The full COP3 schedule, along with general information on the meeting and registration forms for participants and journalists, is available on the dedicated webpage: http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Meetings/COP3

You will be able to follow the development of the event on the:

Journalists who wish to cover the plenary sessions, side events and knowledge labs must register via this accreditation form following the requirements that are explained here.

 

What: Third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

When: Monday, 25 November to Friday, 29 November 2019.

Who: Opening session (Monday, 25 November, 10 a.m.):

  • Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.
  • David Kapindula (Zambia), President of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
  • Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Where: Geneva International Conference Centre - Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG), Rue de Varembé 17, 1211, Geneva, Switzerland

 

Queries regarding press coverage of the event must be made to the Communications Officer of the Minamata Convention, Anna García, Email anna.garcia@un.org; Telephone: +41 22 917 31 11.

The Executive Secretary participates in Japan in the launch of a project to promote the implementation of the Convention
Seven years after the Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted in Kumamoto, Japan, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, Rossana Silva Repetto, visited Minamata City to participate in the launch of a project funded by Japan, to promote the implementation of the Convention.

The Executive Secretary participates in Japan in the launch of a project to promote the implementation of the Convention

The Executive Secretary participates in Japan in the launch of a project to promote the implementation of the Convention

Seven years after the Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted in Kumamoto, Japan, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, Rossana Silva Repetto, visited Minamata City to participate in the launch of a project funded by Japan, to promote the implementation of the Convention.

The launched project aims to utilize the experience and technology of mercury management in Japan, and to improve the national capacity in each country on inventory development and data analysis. Around 30 participants from 12 countries from the Asia-Pacific region were present.

Japanese newspapers Asahi Shimbun and Kumamoto Daily covered this story with the purpose to reinforce the importance of the Minamata Convention in protecting human life and the environment from the negative effects of mercury.

Côte d'Ivoire brings to 114 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention
On 1 October 2019, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 114th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Côte d'Ivoire brings to 114 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

Côte d'Ivoire brings to 114 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

On 1 October 2019, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 114th Party to the Minamata Convention.

EU provides €500K for technical assistance and capacity building
To support the capacity building and technical assistance plan of the Minamata Convention, the European Union provided 500,000 euros for targeted support at the sub-regional level on mercury trade and mercury emissions.

EU provides €500K for technical assistance and capacity building

EU provides €500K for technical assistance and capacity building

With the contribution of 500,000 euros granted by the European Union for the 2019-2020 work programme, the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury organised two workshops in October.

The first sub-regional workshop, on mercury trade, took place in La Paz, Bolivia, with the participation of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru. The overall objective is to support these countries in the implementation of the Minamata Convention trade provisions.

The second sub-regional workshop, on mercury emissions, was held in Hanoï, Viet Nam. As part of the workshop, officials from major coal-using countries in Asia were invited to discuss the use of the guidance documents on best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP), the development of emission inventory, and the planning for policy measures including the use of BAT/BEP and/or the establishment of emission limits.

Both sub-regional workshops provided a platform to exchange information and perspectives on each country’s national circumstance, strengthen capacity building on challenges encountered, and explore solutions and approaches to strengthen the support to implement Minamata obligations at national and sub-regional levels.

The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention is also preparing some studies, publications and information materials with the EU funding to be developed during 2020.

Specific International Programme: Ten projects approved in the Second Round
The Governing Board of the Specific International Programme met in Washington from 18-20 September and approved ten projects for close to 2 million dollars. Please read the statement by the Co-Chairs, Mr. Sam Adu-Kumi and Mr. Reggie Hernaus.

Specific International Programme: Ten projects approved in the Second Round

Specific International Programme: Ten projects approved in the Second Round

As Co-Chairs of the Governing Board of the Specific International Programme of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, we are very pleased to inform you that on Friday, 20 September 2019, the Board approved ten projects in the Second Round of the Programme amounting to close to two million dollars. Twenty applications had been submitted by Parties to the Second Round.

The successful projects were submitted by Antigua and Barbuda, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Moldova, Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka and Zambia.

On behalf of the Board, we would like to congratulate these applicants noting that each project successfully sets out to support capacity-building and technical assistance in support of the implementation of their obligations under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

As with the First Round in 2018, the Board noted again in 2019 the high interest expressed by Parties in the Specific International Programme. Twenty applications were made to the Second Round with applications received from all regions, including from least developed countries and from small island developing states.

The Board would like to commend all the applicants, whether successful or not in the Second Round, for having prepared and submitted their applications.

Recognising the country needs expressed and the effort invested in the preparation of the applications, for applications that were not approved in this Second Round, the Board proposed a number of recommendations for the applicant to consider for submission to the Third Round. These recommendations will be sent by the Secretariat on behalf of the Board in due course.

The Board would like to sincerely thank Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States for their strong contributions to the Second Round of the Specific International Programme. The resource envelope available for the Second Round represented a doubling of funding, which allowed the Board to approve twice the number of projects in 2019 compared with 2018.

Given the high interest shown in the Programme and the country needs expressed, we hope to be in a position to launch the Third Round soon and in this regard would like to encourage those in a position to do so to contribute to a robust next round of the Programme.

The Board will present its full report to the Conference of the Parties at its third meeting in November 2019.

On behalf of the Board we would also like to thank the Secretariat of the Global Environment Facility for hosting the meeting at its premises in Washington D.C.

Sam Adu-Kumi (Ghana) and Reggie Hernaus (The Netherlands
Co-Chairs of the Governing Board of the Specific International Programme
Washington D.C., 20 September 2019

COP3 Participants Information
The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention will take place from 25 to 29 November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The online platform for pre-registration is available until the 11 November 2019.

COP3 Participants Information

COP3 Participants Information

The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention will take place from 25 to 29 November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • The online platform for pre-registration is available until the 11 November 2019.
Analysis of Minamata Initial Assessments presented at the ICMGP 2019
From the 8th to 13th September 2019 the international scientist community and policy makers met in Krakow, Poland at the 14th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP 2019).

Analysis of Minamata Initial Assessments presented at the ICMGP 2019

Analysis of Minamata Initial Assessments presented at the ICMGP 2019

From the 8th to 13th September 2019 the international scientist community and policy makers met in Krakow, Poland at the 14th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP 2019).

Under the theme of the ICMGP “Bridging knowledge on global mercury with environmental responsibility, human welfare and policy response”, the Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention, Rossana Silva-Repetto, delivered a plenary lecture on how the implementation of the Minamata Convention requires valuable inputs from the scientific community. She focused on the importance of integration and implementation of emerging and future mercury research into the policy making.

At this conference, the Minamata Convention secretariat presented an analysis of the national priorities from the Minamata Initial Assessments (MIA). In order to assist the countries in identifying priority areas in the implementation of the Minamata Convention, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) supports the development of these assessments that are very helpful in identifying the capacity-building and technical assistance needs.

Currently, there are 39 completed reports available on the Convention website, of which 27 countries became parties during the implementation of their MIA. The main national priorities described in MIA reports are phasing-out mercury-added products (Article 4) and waste management (Article 11). Other major priority areas include artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM, Article 7), emissions (Article 8), releases (Article 9) and monitoring (Article 19).

During the following months further analysis will be done as more initial assessments become available. The results of the MIA analysis will be utilized to prepare the development of the capacity-building and technical assistance programme for 2020-2021. They will also form the basis of the Specific International Programme and other related activities.

Poster presentation

The Minamata secretariat also shared a poster about developing technical guidance for the implementation of the Minamata Convention, that in its COP3 will review aspects related to mercury-added products (Article 4 – Annex A), manufacturing processes (Article 5 – Annex B), releases (Article 9 - list of relevant sources), mercury waste (Article 11 - thresholds) and contaminated sites (Article 12 - Guidance).

The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention will take place from 25 to 29 November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. More information can be find on its website.

Colombia brings to 113 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention
On 26 August 2019, the Government of Colombia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 113th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Colombia brings to 113 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

Colombia brings to 113 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

On 26 August 2019, the Government of Colombia deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 113th Party to the Minamata Convention.


Making Mercury History: The Minamata Convention celebrates its second anniversary
Two years ago, on 16 August 2017, the Minamata Convention came into force as a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from human-induced emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

Making Mercury History: The Minamata Convention celebrates its second anniversary

Making Mercury History: The Minamata Convention celebrates its second anniversary

Two years ago, on 16 August 2017, the Minamata Convention came into force as a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from human-induced emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.


Republic of the Congo brings to 112 the number of Parties to the Minamata Convention
On 6 August 2019, the Government of the Republic of the Congo deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 112th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Republic of the Congo brings to 112 the number of Parties to the Minamata Convention

Republic of the Congo brings to 112 the number of Parties to the Minamata Convention

On 6 August 2019, the Government of the Republic of the Congo deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 112th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Draft report on effectiveness evaluation comments received
The draft report of the ad hoc technical expert group was open for comment from 1 August to 5 September 2019. The draft report responds to the mandate of MC-1/9 and MC-2/20. View comments received.

Draft report on effectiveness evaluation comments received

Draft report on effectiveness evaluation comments received

The draft report of the ad hoc technical expert group was open for comment from 1 August to 5 September 2019. The draft report responds to the mandate of MC-1/9 and MC-2/20. View comments received.

COMOROS BRINGS TO 111 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 23 July 2019, the Government of Comoros deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 111th Party to the Minamata Convention.

COMOROS BRINGS TO 111 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

COMOROS BRINGS TO 111 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 23 July 2019, the Government of Comoros deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 111th Party to the Minamata Convention.

MONTENEGRO BRINGS TO 110 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 10 Jun 2019, the Government of Montenegro deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 110th Party to the Minamata Convention.

MONTENEGRO BRINGS TO 110 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

MONTENEGRO BRINGS TO 110 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 10 Jun 2019, the Government of Montenegro deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 110th Party to the Minamata Convention.

TUVALU BRINGS TO 109 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 7 Jun 2019, the Government of Tuvalu deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 109th Party to the Minamata Convention.

TUVALU BRINGS TO 109 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

TUVALU BRINGS TO 109 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 7 Jun 2019, the Government of Tuvalu deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 109th Party to the Minamata Convention.

SCHEDULE OF INTERSESSIONAL WORK UPDATED
COP-3 will be held in Geneva from 25 to 29 November 2019. Updated schedule for submissions, commenting and development of COP documents is available.

SCHEDULE OF INTERSESSIONAL WORK UPDATED

SCHEDULE OF INTERSESSIONAL WORK UPDATED

COP-3 will be held in Geneva from 25 to 29 November 2019. Updated schedule for submissions, commenting and development of COP documents is available.

South Africa brings to 108 the  number of Parties to the Minamata Convention
The government of South Africa deposited its instrument of ratification on 29 April 2019.

South Africa brings to 108 the number of Parties to the Minamata Convention

South Africa brings to 108 the  number of Parties to the Minamata Convention
The government of South Africa deposited its instrument of ratification on 29 April 2019.
Ireland and the State of Palestine bring to 107 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention
The governments of Ireland and the State of Palestine deposited their instrument of ratification and accession respectively, on 18 March 2019.

Ireland and the State of Palestine bring to 107 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

Ireland and the State of Palestine bring to 107 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

The governments of Ireland and the State of Palestine deposited their instrument of ratification and accession respectively, on 18 March 2019.

Saint Lucia, Marshall Islands, Saudi Arabia and Uganda bring to 105 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention
The governments of Saint Lucia, Marshall Islands and Saudi Arabia deposited their instrument of accession respectively on 23, 29 January and 27 February while Uganda’s government deposited its instrument of ratification on 1 March 2019.

Saint Lucia, Marshall Islands, Saudi Arabia and Uganda bring to 105 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

Saint Lucia, Marshall Islands, Saudi Arabia and Uganda bring to 105 the number of parties to the Minamata Convention

The governments of Saint Lucia, Marshall Islands and Saudi Arabia deposited their instrument of accession respectively on 23, 29 January and 27 February while Uganda’s government deposited its instrument of ratification on 1 March 2019.

Specific International Programme – Second Round of Applications open until 14 June 2019
Eligible Parties are invited to submit applications to the Second Round of the Specific International Programme that was established to support capacity building and technical assistance.

Specific International Programme – Second Round of Applications open until 14 June 2019

Specific International Programme – Second Round of Applications open until 14 June 2019

Eligible Parties are invited to submit applications to the Second Round of the Specific International Programme that was established to support capacity building and technical assistance.

Submissions received in preparation for COP3
Submissions for COP3 on releases, waste, contaminates sites and effectiveness evaluation were received by 15 February. Other submissions are due by 31 May 2019.

Submissions received in preparation for COP3

Submissions received in preparation for COP3

Submissions for COP3 on releases, waste, contaminates sites and effectiveness evaluation were received by 15 February. Other submissions are due by 31 May 2019.

Specific International Programme: Third Meeting of the Governing Board, 14-15 February 2019, Geneva
Members of the Governing Board will discuss preparations to launch the Second Round for projects applications, as well as elements for a resource mobilization strategy.

Specific International Programme: Third Meeting of the Governing Board, 14-15 February 2019, Geneva

Specific International Programme: Third Meeting of the Governing Board, 14-15 February 2019, Geneva

Members of the Governing Board will discuss preparations to launch the Second Round for projects applications, as well as elements for a resource mobilization strategy.

COP2 calls for follow up actions in preparation for COP3
The Executive Secretary conveys her sincere gratitude to Parties and stakeholders for contributing to the success of the conference and shares a summary of key follow up items, including call for submissions and nominations.

COP2 calls for follow up actions in preparation for COP3

COP2 calls for follow up actions in preparation for COP3

The Executive Secretary conveys her sincere gratitude to Parties and stakeholders for contributing to the success of the conference and shares a summary of key follow up items, including call for submissions and nominations.

Kumamoto celebrates the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention
The Minamata Convention was adopted at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries (DipCon) in Kumamoto, Japan, on 10 October 2013. The citizens of Kumamoto celebrated the 5th anniversary with a “mercury-Free Fair” on 18 November 2018.

Kumamoto celebrates the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention

Kumamoto celebrates the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention

The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries (DipCon) on 10 October 2013 in Kumamoto, Japan, with a ceremonial opening of DipCon held in Minamata on 9 October 2013.

mercury-free-fairTo celebrate the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention, and to promote environmental awareness of the citizens for achieving a ‘Mercury-free society’, a Mercury-free Fair was held in Kumamoto, Japan on 18 November 2018. The event, organized by the Kumamoto Prefecture and supported by the Ministry of Environment, Kumamoto City and Minamata City, attracted approximately 4,000 visitors. The fair encompassed stage presentations as well as exhibition.

The stage presentations included messages from Miss Mayu Zenitani, a 2nd year student in Shinwa High School in Kumamoto who had drawn a picture for a tumbler distributed to the DipCon delegates 5 years ago. The Ministry of the Environment has launched a “Tumbler Search”, to link the young artists who painted a picture for a tumbler and the DipCon participant who received the tumbler with the picture.

mercury-free-fairA photo exhibition by Ms. Tamaki Ozaki, a diving photographer, showed the rich sea life in the once heavily polluted Minamata Bay. At a ‘Touching Pool’ and aquariums, participants could see and touch the marine creatures of the sea of Minamata. The exhibition included a sample display of mercury-added products, and an awareness raising video was screened using a mercury-free screen projector.

This day-long event on the eve of the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury reaffirmed people’s commitment to our shared mission to protect human health and the environment from the risks associated with mercury.

Countries meet to address mercury as global emissions rise by 20%
Global mercury emissions rose by 20% between 2010 and 2015. Mercury is deadly to human health and technology hasn't been able to offset this rise which may be partly due to the recovery of major coal burning economies in the years following the 2008 crash.

Countries meet to address mercury as global emissions rise by 20%

Countries meet to address mercury as global emissions rise by 20%

Global mercury emissions rose by 20% between 2010 and 2015. Mercury is deadly to human health and technology hasn't been able to offset this rise which may be partly due to the recovery of major coal burning economies in the years following the 2008 crash.

Ratification of the Convention by Guinea-Bissau and Tonga
On 22 October 2018, the Governments of Guinea-Bissau and Tonga deposited their instruments of ratification, thereby becoming the 100th and 101st Parties to the Convention.

Ratification of the Convention by Guinea-Bissau and Tonga

Ratification of the Convention by Guinea-Bissau and Tonga

On 22 October 2018, the Governments of Guinea-Bissau and Tonga deposited their instruments of ratification, thereby becoming the 100th and 101st Parties to the Convention.

VANUATU BRINGS TO 99 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 16 October 2018, the Government of Vanuatu deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 99th Party to the Minamata Convention.

VANUATU BRINGS TO 99 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

VANUATU BRINGS TO 99 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 16 October 2018, the Government of Vanuatu deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 99th Party to the Minamata Convention.

On the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention: Find the artist that created your tumbler
Today makes the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries (DipCon) in Kumamoto, Japan. All DipCon delegates were presented with a tumbler for hot or cold drinks decorated by school children from Minamata City and Kumamoto City.

On the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention: Find the artist that created your tumbler

On the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention: Find the artist that created your tumbler

The Conference of Plenipotentiaries (DipCon) on the Minamata Convention on Mercury was held on 10 and 11 October 2013 in Kumamoto, Japan, with a ceremonial opening held in Minamata on 9 October 2013. At the ceremonial opening, the Government of Japan welcomed delegates to Minamata and recalled the events which led to the recognition of the dangers of mercury poisoning. A storyteller, whose life had been affected by the Minamata Disease, presented the lifelong effects for many of the people of Minamata Bay.

For the occasion, the hosts had thought of a special gift for all delegates. To reduce the consumption of PET bottles and paper cups, they prepared 1000 tumblers that can be used for hot and cold drinks for the DipCon delegates. Children in Kumamoto City (2 primary schools and a high school) and Minamata City (7 primary schools) drew pictures which were inserted in the tumblers. The children were asked to draw pictures on attractive scenes around Minamata (e.g. sceneries, wildlife and local specialties) or activities (e.g. waste segregation, cleaning campaigns and so on) to showcase the city as an ‘Environmental Model City’. Five years on, the youngest artists, who were 4th grade pupils then and are now 9th grade students, will soon graduate.

On 1st July 2017, Minamata City commemorated the entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury with an event co-hostedby the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, Kumamoto Prefectural Government, Minamata Municipal Government and the United Nations Environment Programme. DipCon participant Ms. Claudia ten Have was invited to the event together with Ms. Yukina Arita, the schoolgirl who drew the picture for her tumbler. Ms. ten Have expressed her thanks for the opportunity to meet Ms. Arita, saying that she was impressed at how a small gift could leave such a meaningful memory. She also said that while for many Japanese the name ‘Minamata’ may be linked with heartache, she recognized the word “Minamata” now as having a positive meaning, representing the people of Minamata who have faced the problem so courageously and the convention that was established. She also expressed her determination to work with them to make mercury history.

To commemorate the fifth anniversary, we would like to call on all DipCon participants to take part in a Tumbler Search to match the artist and the owner of the tumbler.

To take part in the tumbler search, DipCon participants are invited to follow the following instructions to possibly know more about the artist.

  1. Please take out the drawing from your tumbler and make a photocopy of it or take a close-up photo. This will allow us to identify the artist, since the drawing contains key information (name, age and school) about the artist.

  2. We invite you to write a short message for the artist. Your message could include “your name, your country, whether you are using the tumbler, and your impression about the drawing”.

  3. Please send your message and the photo/photocopy to the following email address: suigin@env.go.jp

 

Specific International Programme: The first five projects approved
The Governing Board of the Specific International Programme met in Oslo from 2-3 October 2018 to review applications to its First Round. Please see link for the statement by the Co-Chairs, Mr. Sam Adu-Kumi and Mr. Reggie Hernaus.

Specific International Programme: The first five projects approved

Specific International Programme: The first five projects approved

As Co-Chairs of the Governing Board of the Specific International Programme of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, we are very pleased to inform you that on Wednesday, 3 October 2018, the Board approved five projects in the First Round of the Programme amounting to one million United States dollars.

The successful projects were submitted by Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Iran and Lesotho. On behalf of the Board, we would like to congratulate these applicants.

We noted the high interest in the Specific International Programme, and would like to commend all the applicants, whether successful or not in the First Round, for having prepared high quality submissions despite the short time frames.

In total 19 applications, from 18 Parties, were received by the deadline. The Board was particularly heartened that applications were received from all regions, including from least developed countries and from small island developing states.

The Board would also like to sincerely thank Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States for their contributions to the First Round of the Specific International Programme.

The Board was unfortunately not in a position to satisfy all requests for funding in this round. Given the high interest shown we hope to be in a position to launch the next round soon and in this regard would like to encourage those in a position to do so to contribute to a robust next round of the Programme.

The Board will present its full report to the Conference of the Parties at its second meeting.

On behalf of the Board we would also like to thank the Government of Norway for the gracious invitation to convene this meeting in Oslo.

Sam Adu-Kumi (Ghana) and Reggie Hernaus (The Netherlands)
Co-Chairs of the Governing Board of the Specific International Programme
Oslo, 3 October 2018


Please visit the Governing Board meeting's photo gallery (you will need to be logged in with your Flickr account).

Governments and other relevant stakeholders gathered in Geneva from 19 to 23 November 2018 for COP2
Meeting documents and information on registration, credentials, events and exhibitions are available. Please refer to updated information, including the events timetable.

Governments and other relevant stakeholders gathered in Geneva from 19 to 23 November 2018 for COP2

Governments and other relevant stakeholders gathered in Geneva from 19 to 23 November 2018 for COP2

Meeting documents and information on registration, credentials, events and exhibitions are becoming available. COP2 will be preceded by a series of regional consultations in October 2018.

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE BRINGS TO 98 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 30 August 2018, the Government of Sao Tome and Principe deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 98th Party to the Minamata Convention.

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE BRINGS TO 98 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE BRINGS TO 98 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 30 August 2018, the Government of Sao Tome and Principe deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 98th Party to the Minamata Convention.

PORTUGAL BRINGS TO 97 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 28 August 2018, the Government of Portugal deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 97th Party to the Minamata Convention.

PORTUGAL BRINGS TO 97 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

PORTUGAL BRINGS TO 97 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 28 August 2018, the Government of Portugal deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 97th Party to the Minamata Convention.

CHILE BRINGS TO 96 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 27 August 2018, the Government of Chile deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 96th Party to the Minamata Convention.

CHILE BRINGS TO 96 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

CHILE BRINGS TO 96 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 27 August 2018, the Government of Chile deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 96th Party to the Minamata Convention.

THE MINAMATA CONVENTION CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSURY ON 16 AUGUST 2018
On 16 August 2017 the Minamata Convention entered into force, 90 days after the 50-ratification milestone required was reached. Today, the number of Parties to the Convention almost doubled, with 95 countries having committed to its provisions. 

THE MINAMATA CONVENTION CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSURY ON 16 AUGUST 2018

THE MINAMATA CONVENTION CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSURY ON 16 AUGUST 2018

On 16 August 2017 the Minamata Convention entered into force, 90 days after the 50-ratification milestone required was reached. Today, the number of Parties to the Convention almost doubled, with 95 countries having committed to its provisions. 


SURINAME BRINGS TO 95 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 2 August 2018, the Government of Suriname deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 95th Party to the Minamata Convention.

SURINAME BRINGS TO 95 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

SURINAME BRINGS TO 95 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 2 August 2018, the Government of Suriname deposited its instrument of accession, thereby becoming the 95th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Paraguay BRINGS TO 94 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 26 June 2018, the Government of Paraguay deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 94th Party to the Minamata Convention.

Paraguay BRINGS TO 94 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

Paraguay BRINGS TO 94 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 26 June 2018, the Government of Paraguay deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 94th Party to the Minamata Convention.

INDIA BRINGS TO 93 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION
On 18 June 2018, the Government of India deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 93nd Party to the Minamata Convention.

INDIA BRINGS TO 93 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

INDIA BRINGS TO 93 THE NUMBER OF PARTIES TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION

On 18 June 2018, the Government of India deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 93nd Party to the Minamata Convention.

Specific International Programme – First Round of Applications open until 31 August 2018
Eligible Parties are invited to submit applications between USD 50,000 and USD 250,000 to the Specific International Programme that was established to support capacity building and technical assistance.

Specific International Programme – First Round of Applications open until 31 August 2018

Specific International Programme – First Round of Applications open until 31 August 2018

Eligible Parties are invited to submit applications between USD 50,000 and USD 250,000 to the Specific International Programme that was established to support capacity building and technical assistance.

Implementation and Compliance Committee first meeting,29-30 May, Geneva
Amongst others, members of the Committee considered the rules of procedure under which to operate. The meeting was preceded by an information-sharing session featuring experience under implementation and compliance mechanisms of other MEAs.

Implementation and Compliance Committee first meeting,29-30 May, Geneva

Implementation and Compliance Committee first meeting,29-30 May, Geneva

Amongst others, members of the Committee considered the rules of procedure under which to operate. The meeting was preceded by an information-sharing session featuring experience under implementation and compliance mechanisms of other MEAs.

Rossana Silva Repetto appointed Minamata Convention Executive Secretary
Ms. Silva Repetto started on 4 April 2018. She brings over 24 years of professional experience with the UN, including her last position as Head of the Legal Unit in the Corporate Services Division of UN Environment Programme.

Rossana Silva Repetto appointed Minamata Convention Executive Secretary

Rossana Silva Repetto appointed Minamata Convention Executive Secretary

Ms. Silva Repetto started on 4 April 2018. She brings over 24 years of professional experience with the UN, including her last position as Head of the Legal Unit in the Corporate Services Division of UN Environment Programme.





Specific International Programme Governing Board meeting,15-16 May, Geneva
The 10 members of the Board oversee the operations of the Programme, including how the approximately USD 800,000 pledged and contributed for use in 2018 from Austria, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America will be allocated.

Specific International Programme Governing Board meeting,15-16 May, Geneva

Specific International Programme Governing Board meeting,15-16 May, Geneva
The 10 members of the Board oversee the operations of the Programme, including how the approximately USD 800,000 pledged and contributed for use in 2018 from Austria, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America will be allocated. 
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