Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5)
Geneva, Switzerland, 30 Oct 2023 - 03 Nov 2023
The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 October to 3 November 2023. During the second segment of COP-4, the Conference of the Parties elected Claudia Dumitru (Romania) as the President of COP-5.
This page will be updated as new information becomes available.
For previous highlights on the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, please click on the link below.
Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4) - Second segment
21 - 25 March 2022
Regarding the review of Annex A, the following amendments have been proposed ahead of COP-5:
MC/COP5/2023/53 - Proposal by Botswana and Burkina Faso, on behalf of the Africa region, to amend Part I and Part II of Annex A to the Minamata Convention on Mercury on cosmetics to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting
Submission from government
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MC/COP5/2023/54 - Proposal by Botswana and Burkina Faso, on behalf of the Africa region, to amend Part I of Annex A to the Minamata Convention on Mercury to eliminate fluorescent lighting to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting
Submission from government
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MC/COP5/2023/55 - Proposal by Botswana and Burkina Faso, on behalf of the Africa region, to amend Part I and Part II of Annex A to the Minamata Convention on Mercury on dental amalgam to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting
Submission from government
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MC/COP5/2023/68| 22 May 2023
Invitation to the Latin America and the Caribbean regional preparatory meeting for the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, 5-6 October 2023, Brasilia, Brazil
MC/COP5/2023/67| 22 May 2023
Invitation to the Eastern European States regional preparatory meeting for the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, 18-19 September 2023, Yerevan, Armenia
MC/COP5/2023/66| 22 May 2023
Invitation to the Africa regional preparatory meeting for the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, 12-13 September 2023, Nairobi, Kenya
MC/COP5/2023/65| 22 May 2023
Invitation to the Asia and the Pacific regional preparatory meeting for the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, 5-6 September 2023, Bangkok, Thailand
MC/COP5/2023/60| 05 May 2023
For observers: Invitation to the fifth meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury (30 October to 3 November 2023), Geneva, Switzerland
MC/COP5/2023/58| 29 Apr 2023
For delegates: Invitation to the fifth meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury (30 October to 3 November 2023), Geneva, Switzerland
MC/COP5/2023/55| 27 Apr 2023
Proposal by Botswana and Burkina Faso, on behalf of the Africa region, to amend Part I and Part II of Annex A to the Minamata Convention on Mercury on dental amalgam to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting
MC/COP5/2023/53| 27 Apr 2023
Proposal by Botswana and Burkina Faso, on behalf of the Africa region, to amend Part I and Part II of Annex A to the Minamata Convention on Mercury on cosmetics to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting
24 Mar 2023
Second teleconference of the COP-5 Bureau for the preparation of the fifth meeting
The Bureau focused on the provisional agenda and list of documents to COP-5, updates on the regional preparatory meetings and status of contributions.
17 Jan 2023
COP-5 Bureau holds first teleconference for the preparation of the fifth meeting
Under Claudia Dumitru's presidency, the Bureau focused on important dates related to the event, intersessional work and status of contributions; and elected Rapporteur for COP-5.
25 Mar 2022
Minamata COP-4 closes with global commitment to evaluate, expand and strengthen the efforts against toxic mercury
The five-day meeting in Bali agreed on making the evaluation of effectiveness an integral part of the Minamata Convention, extended the phase-out list of mercury-added products, and highlighted the importance of mainstreaming gender within the activities of the Convention.
Intersessional work and Submissions for COP-5
The Conference of the Parties had its fourth meeting online from 1 to 5 November 2021 and in-person from 21 to 25 March 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, and agreed on a number of action items. The Executive Secretary sent a letter to Parties and observers on 13 April 2022 to call for information to follow up on these action items.
The progress on these action items can be found on the individual pages linked below. Links will be added as information becomes available.
As a crosscutting support to this intersessional process, particularly on decision MC-4/6 on mercury waste and MC-4/11 on effectiveness evaluation, the Secretariat issued a call for nomination of experts to a roster. This roster of scientific and technical experts is created with a view to facilitating the identification of experts to fulfill the need for different types of expertise to contribute to various processes established by the COP, as well as to support information exchange and research development under the Convention. The contributions from the roster of experts will be made through electronic means of communication. Scientific and technical experts may be nominated to the roster by parties or organizations on an ongoing basis and with no limit in the number of experts being nominated by each party or organization. Nominations from parties or organizations must be endorsed by national focal points or heads of organizations, respectively, be accompanied by the completed template and sent to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org.
Review of and amendments to annexes A and B
Annexes A and B to the Convention provide for measures to be taken on mercury-added products and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds is used.
Amendment of Annex A adopted at COP-4 in 2022
The Conference of the Parties (COP) decided, in its decision MC-4/3, to amend part I of Annex A to the Convention by adding the following mercury-added products, so that the manufacture, import and export of those products not be allowed after 2025:
- Compact fluorescent lamps with an integrated ballast (CFL.i) for general lighting purposes that are ≤ 30 watts with a mercury content not exceeding 5 mg per lamp burner
- Cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) and external electrode fluorescent lamps (EEFL) of all lengths for electronic displays, not included in the current listing
- Strain gauges to be used in plethysmographs;
- Melt pressure transducers, melt pressure transmitters and melt pressure sensors except those installed in large-scale equipment or those used for high precision measurement, where no suitable mercury-free alternative is available
- Mercury vacuum pumps
- Tire balancers and wheel weights
- Photographic film and paper
- Propellant for satellites and spacecraft.
COP-4 also agreed to amend part II of Annex A by adding the following provisions for dental amalgam;
- In addition, Parties shall:
- (i) Exclude or not allow, by taking measures as appropriate, the use of mercury in bulk form by dental practitioners;
- (ii) Exclude or not allow, by taking measures as appropriate, or recommend against the use of dental amalgam for the dental treatment of deciduous teeth, of patients under 15 years and of pregnant and breastfeeding women, except when considered necessary by the dental practitioner based on the needs of the patient.
Pursuant to Articles 26 and 27 of the Convention, the Secretary General of the United Nations, acting in his capacity as Depositary, has issued a communication following the adoption of decision MC-4/3 “Review and amendment of annexes A and B to the Minamata Convention on Mercury". The communication, including the texts of the amended Annex A in the six UN official languages, was issued on 28 September 2022 and posted on the UN Treaty Collection website.
The entry into force date set in paragraph 3 (c) of Article 27 of the Convention will be 28 September 2023.
Review and amendment to be considered at COP-5
The COP-4 also decided to consider at its 5th meeting the phase-out dates in Part I of Annex A for the following categories:
- Button zinc silver oxide batteries with a mercury content < 2% and button zinc air batteries with a mercury content < 2%
- Very high accuracy capacitance and loss measurement bridges and high frequency radio frequency switches and relays in monitoring and control instruments with a maximum mercury content of 20 mg per bridge switch or relay [except those used for research and development purposes]
- Linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) for general lighting purposes:
- (a) Halophosphate phosphor ≤ 40 watts with a mercury content not exceeding 10 mg per lamp
- (b) Halophosphate phosphor > 40 watts.
- Linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) for general lighting purposes:
- (a) Triband phosphor < 60 watts with a mercury content not exceeding 5 mg/lamp
The COP also decided to further consider adding the production of polyurethane using mercury-containing catalysts to part I of Annex B at its 5th meeting, and requested the secretariat to compile information on the availability and technical and economic feasibility of mercury-free alternatives of the production of polyurethane using mercury-containing catalysts for submission to its 5th meeting.
Parties are invited to submit any information on these products and processes that will support the consideration by COP-5 by 31 December 2022.
Furthermore, the COP requested the secretariat to prepare a short report on the technical and economic feasibility of mercury-free alternatives for the two processes (vinyl chloride monomer and sodium or potassium methylate or ethylate) listed in Part II of Annex B that refer to the COP establishing such feasibility. Part II of Annex B to the Convention requires Parties not to allow the use of mercury five years after the COP has established that mercury-free processes have become technically and economically feasible.
Parties are invited to submit information on the availability and feasibility of non-mercury alternatives to these processes by 31 December 2022.
The following submissions have been received:
The Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the group of technical experts, in its decision MC-4/5, to develop the guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices, in line with the road map contained in document UNEP/MC/COP.4/31, with a view to adopting the guidance pursuant to paragraph 7 of article 9 of the Convention at COP-5.
Parties and other stakeholders are invited to submit existing information on national regulations or industry practices relating to the control of mercury releases from relevant sources by 30 June 2022 (extended to 15 July). The following submissions have been received.
- European Union
- United States of America (updated August 2022)
- Compilation of submitted information
The list of members of the expert group can be found here. The group started working online in June 2022. The group elected Mr. Cristián Enrique Brito Martínez (Chile) and Ms. Bianca Hlobsile Mkhatshwa-Dlamini (Eswatini) as co-chairs.
The group has developed a first draft of the guidance as available from the link below, accompanied by technical reference materials. Parties and stakeholders are invited to provide comments and input to this draft, using the commenting form, to the secretariat by Friday 17 February 2023.
Comments have been received from Argentina, EU and its member states, Thailand, US, Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers (ALMR), International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), International Dental Manufacturers Association (IDM), IPEN, Alfa Laval Technologies AB, Atium and OASIS. The compilation of the submitted comments can be found here.
Mercury waste thresholds
The Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the group of technical experts, in its decision MC-4/6, to develop a report to recommend and facilitate a COP-5 decision on the thresholds for waste falling under subparagraph 2 (c) of article 11 (waste contaminated with mercury and mercury compounds). The group was also requested to develop a guidance document on test methods to be used for the tier-2 threshold (0.15 mg/L in leachate) for tailings from mining other than primary mercury mining.
Parties and other stakeholders have been invited to share information and data on the waste categories listed in the indicative list contained in Table 3 of decision MC-3/5, including with respect to any relevant national or local thresholds and their establishment, by 30 June 2022 (extended to 15 July). The following submissions have been received.
- European Union
- United States of America (updated August 2022)
- Compilation of submitted information
The list of members of the expert group can be found here. This list also includes experts nominated by Parties and other organizations into a roster to contribute to the work of the group. The group started to work online in June 2022, and elected Ms. Gabriela Denisia Vasiliu Isac (Romania) and Ms. Oluwatoyin Olabanji (Nigeria) as co-chairs.
As advised by the group, the secretariat issued a letter inviting submission of information on approaches other than a total mercury concentration approach, including risk-based considerations, by 24 November 2022. The following submissions were received:
- Burkina Faso and Botswana on behalf of the African Region
- Dominican Republic (received after the February meeting)
- European Union
The group will review the submissions through online meetings and at plans to have a face-to-face meeting, which will be held from 16 to 18 February 2023 in Geneva, back-to-back with the Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention, thanks to the financial contribution from Japan.
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/1/Rev.1: Provisional Annotated Agenda
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/2: Options for establishing thresholds for mercury waste falling under subparagraph 2 (a) of article 11
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/3: Existing thresholds related to mercury waste
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/INF/1: Proposals submitted on thresholds for mercury waste falling under subparagraph 2 (a) of article 11
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/INF/2: Information and data submitted to parties on mercury waste
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/INF/3: Information submitted by parties on approaches other than total concentration
- UNEP/MC/WT.2/L.1: Report of the meeting
Second review of the financial mechanism
The terms of reference for the second review of the financial mechanism are set forth in Decision MC-4/7, which invites parties, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders to submit information, consistent with the terms of reference for the review and organized by the listed performance criteria, on their experience gained through their interactions with the financial mechanism, as soon as possible and not later than 30 September 2022. Submissions should be emailed to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org with copy to marianne.bailey [at] un.org.
The review covers the time period from August 2019 to July 2022. The listed performance criteria against which the effectiveness and efficiency of the financial mechanism will be assessed are as follows:
(a) Responsiveness of the Global Environment Facility and the Specific International Programme to the guidance adopted by or provided by the Conference of the Parties;
(b) Extent to which the projects funded by the financial mechanism have reduced, or are expected to reduce, the supply, use, emissions and releases of mercury, and deliver other benefits in terms of Convention implementation;
(c) Transparency and timeliness of the project approval processes;
(d) Simplicity, flexibility and expeditiousness of the procedures for accessing funds and for implementing and reporting on projects;
(e) Adequacy and sustainability of the available resources;
(f) Country ownership of activities funded by the financial mechanism;
(g) Level of stakeholder involvement;
(h) Any other significant issues raised by the parties.
Draft reporting guidance
In decision MC-4/8, the Conference of the Parties (COP) requests the secretariat to seek any additional comments from parties and other stakeholders on the draft reporting guidance prepared by the secretariat set out in UNEP/MC/COP.4.17, taking into account their experiences for completing the first full national reports (Reporting period: 16 August 2017 to 31 December 2020, for submittal by 31 December 2021).
The same decision sets the deadline for comments to reach the secretariat by Thursday, 15 December 2022. To facilitate the commenting process, the secretariat has prepared a version of the draft reporting guidance with line indication and a form for the additional comments. The comments are to be submitted to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org, with a copy to claudia.tenhave [at] un.org.
The secretariat arranged a dedicated Minamata Online Season 3 session on Wednesday, 12 October 2022 from 13:00 to 14:00 Geneva time to introduce the comment form and related documents, and also to respond to any questions and needs for clarifications. The video recording and the full presentation of the session are made available here.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury pays specific attention to the needs of vulnerable populations, especially women and children, in several parts of its text.
Gender Action Plan
COP-4 decision MC-4/10 on gender mainstreaming invites Parties, inter alia, to support the secretariat in its efforts to mainstream gender into all activities to be undertaken by the secretariat as well as by parties and other stakeholders, including thorough the development of a gender action plan for the Minamata Convention during the biennium 2022‒2023.
Pursuant to decision MC-4/10, the secretariat is organizing online consultations for Parties and other stakeholders between September and November 2022 to receive input on a draft gender action, which was prepared by the secretariat thanks to the generous financial support of Sweden. A call for nominations to participate in this consultive process has been issued by the secretariat on 12 August 2022.
The draft gender action plan, incorporating the inputs received during the consultative process, is expected to be submitted for consideration by the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which is scheduled to take place from 30 October to 3 November 2023 in Geneva.
At the second segment of COP-4, the Conference of the Parties took note, in decision MC-4/10, of the gender road map of the Minamata Convention, developed by the secretariat in 2021 and submitted to the Conference of the Parties in working document MC/COP.4/22 on gender mainstreaming.
The roadmap is living document, which already incorporates inputs from parties. The Secretariat is looking forward to further collaborating with Parties and stakeholders to recognize the importance of this issue and welcomes the submission of additional comments and inputs on the roadmap.
Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact Lara Ognibene, Legal/Programme Officer and Gender Focal Point, at lara.ognibene [at] un.org.
First effectiveness evaluation
At its fourth meeting, the Conference of the Parties, in its decision MC-4/11, agreed to begin the first effectiveness evaluation of the Convention and adopted the framework for the effectiveness evaluation as outlined in annex I to the decision.
In accordance with the adopted framework, the work during the intersessional period focuses on the compilation of information and plans. The different work streams for the development of the plans are described below. This page will be updated on a regular basis.
Open-Ended Scientific Group (OESG)
Article 22 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury states that the Conference of the Parties (COP) will evaluate the effectiveness of the Convention, beginning no later than six years after the Convention’s entry into force and periodically thereafter at intervals to be decided by the COP.
In decision MC-4/11, at its fourth meeting, the COP agreed to begin the first effectiveness evaluation of the Convention and adopted the framework for the effectiveness evaluation as outlined in annex I to the decision. Further in the same decision, the COP established the Open-ended Scientific Group in accordance with the terms of reference in annex II to the decision.
Each party may nominate one expert to become a member of the OESG. The OESG currently has 42 members. Moreover, experts participating in the roster of scientific and technical experts are supporting the work of the OESG.
The OESG is co-chaired by Mr. Dominique Bally Kpokro, from Ivory Coast, and Mr. Terry Keating from the United States of America. To date, the OESG has met online six times and is expected to convene a face-to-face meeting from 27 to 31 March 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.
On behalf of the OESG co-Chairs and in accordance with the adopted framework for the effectiveness evaluation, Parties and other relevant stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on the following draft documents, which were developed by the OESG to inform the effectiveness evaluation:
- Plan for Monitoring Data Compilation and Summary (including addenda 1-4)
- Plan for Emissions and Releases Data Summary
All draft documents are available online at the OESG document review space. Parties and other relevant stakeholders wishing to submit comments on the draft documents are invited to use the attached review template and submit it to mea minamatasecretariat [at] un.org by 1 March 2023.
Parties, which have not yet done so, are invited to nominate one expert to take part in the OESG. Nominations can be made using the OESG nomination form and by sending it to the email indicated above. Furthermore, additional experts may be nominated by Parties and organizations to be part of a roster of scientific and technical experts to support the work of the OESG by using the roster nomination form. Nominations to the OESG and the roster of experts are accepted on an ongoing basis but the sooner the experts join the OESG the more valuable their contribution will be.
Please contact the secretariat for any questions related to the work of the OESG.
Plan for the Trade, Supply and Demand Report
In decision MC-4/11, the secretariat was tasked, among other things, with the development of the plan for the report on trade, supply and demand of mercury, including waste flows and stocks.
The process to develop the plan foresees at least two occasions, tentatively in late 2022 and first quarter of 2023, where parties and relevant organizations will be invited to review draft versions of the report on trade, supply and demand.
Below are the key steps taken in the development of the plan during the intersessional period:
26 August 2022: a letter from the Executive Secretary was sent to parties and relevant organizations inviting them to indicate one or more experts to contribute to the development of the report on trade, supply and demand. Parties and organizations may continue to identify experts to contribute to this process by contacting the secretariat at mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org.
16-30 September 2022: commenting period on the zero draft of the plan by experts who have been identified by parties and organizations to contribute to the process.
Indicators for the Effectiveness Evaluation Process
In decision MC-4/11, the Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the secretariat to support an intersessional process to refine the list of indicators to be used in the effectiveness evaluation, with a view to providing a final list of indicators for consideration and possible adoption by the COP at its fifth meeting.
To support the intersessional process to refine the list of indicators to be used, the secretariat has prepared a draft refined list of indicators for comment. The comments are to be submitted to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org, with a copy to claudia.tenhave [at] un.org.
The secretariat arranged a dedicated Minamata Online Season 3 session on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 from 13:00 to 14:00 Geneva time to introduce the draft refined list of indicators and related details for commenting, and also to respond to any questions and needs for clarifications. The video recording and the full presentation of the session are made available here.
Previous intersessional work
Information for participants
Information for participants
Becoming a Party at the time of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties
The Minamata Convention entered into force on 16 August 2017, the 90th day after the date of deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. For each State or regional economic integration organization that ratifies, accepts or approves the Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit of this 50th instrument, the Convention will enter into force on the 90th day after the date of deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. Hence, in order to be Parties to the Minamata Convention at the time of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, countries and regional economic integration organizations that have not yet done so should deposit their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the United Nations Secretary-General, who is the depository of the Convention, no later than 1 August 2023. The updated list of Parties can be found on the Convention website.
Registration and travel assistance
The names, titles and contact information of your designated representatives to attend the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (including postal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses) should be communicated to the Secretariat using Kronos online registration platform that will be available from 3 July 2023. The link to access the registration platform with the instructions will be sent to National Focal Points for the Minamata Convention on Mercury and/or Permanent Missions to the United Nations Environment Programme and to the United Nations in Geneva.
Furthermore, Parties are requested to send to the Secretariat at MEA-MinamataMeetings [at] un.org the official nomination letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a note verbale from the Permanent Mission of the Party to the United Nations Office at Geneva with the names and contact details of the designated representatives. The deadline for registration in the online platform and for sending the official nomination letter for all parties except those requesting travel support is 29 September 2023.
Financial assistance may be available to support the participation of one participant per eligible developing country Party and Party with economy in transition. The sponsored participant must be clearly specified in the official nomination letter and a copy of the sponsored participant’s national passport identification page must be enclosed. In the nomination process of delegates to the meeting, Parties are strongly encouraged to ensure balanced gender representation within their delegations.
Important: the deadline for registration in the online platform and for sending the official nomination letter for sponsored delegates is 1 September 2023. Please note that early registration is encouraged.
Please note that the completion of the registration process is subject to the submission of all required information and subsequent confirmation by the Secretariat. Delegates are invited not to make travel arrangements before receiving the registration confirmation from the Secretariat. Once the registration is validated in Kronos, each member of the delegation will receive a confirmation email with further logistical information and details.
Sponsored participants will receive additional instructions on their travel arrangements. Air travel will be arranged according to the United Nations regulations, via the most economical and direct means possible in all cases. Please note that changes to air tickets after they have been issued will not be permitted.
All participants are responsible for obtaining their visa for entering Switzerland, as well as any necessary transit visa(s), as appropriate. Visa support letters can be provided by the Secretariat upon request.
Credentials for Parties to the Minamata Convention
In order to take part in decision-making at the meeting, Parties must be accredited. Credentials for the head of delegation, alternate representatives and advisers are issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In the case of a regional economic integration organization, credentials should be issued by the competent authority of that organization. Information regarding any change in the composition of the delegation should be submitted using the same procedure.
Samples of credentials are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
Original credentials must be submitted to the Secretariat no later than twenty-four hours after the opening of the meeting (therefore by 10 am on Tuesday, 31 October 2023). Parties are invited to submit their original credentials in advance of the meeting, preferably by 1 October 2023, in order to facilitate the clearance process, to:
The Executive Secretary
Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury
United Nations Environment Programme
Avenue de la Paix 8-14, 1211
Geneva 10, Switzerland
If not submitted in advance of the meeting, Parties can hand over original credentials of their representatives at the registration desk upon arrival at the meeting venue on the first day of the meeting. Advance electronic copies of credentials can be sent to MEA-MinamataMeetings [at] un.org.
It is the responsibility of each participant to familiarize themself with travel restrictions related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country of origin, including for transit and re-entry. The following websites provide information on entry requirements to Switzerland:
- Entry restrictions from the Federal Office of Public Health’s website
Appropriate precautionary and hygiene measures will be put in place at the meeting venue, in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations and the Government of Switzerland. The COVID-19 situation will be kept under review in the lead-up and during the meeting. The Secretariat strongly recommends that all participants in the meeting of the Conference of the Parties be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Please follow COP-5 webpage for any updates regarding COVID-19.
b. Code of Conduct to Prevent Harassment at Events organized under the Minamata Convention
As notified by the Executive Secretary on 11 January 2023, the United Nations issued the Code of Conduct to prevent harassment, including sexual harassment, at UN System events, which include meetings, conferences, side events, workshops and other events organized under the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention is committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment. Delegates are invited to familiarize themselves with the document.
c. Streaming of plenary sessions
The meeting will be held in person at the International Conference Center in Geneva. The plenary sessions of the meeting will be live streamed in English and the streaming will made available through the COP-5 webpage and YouTube Channel.
For further information on the meeting, please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat, by e-mail at MEA-MinamataMeetings [at] un.org, or consult our website at: mercuryconvention.org.
As per paragraph 6 of Article 23 of the Minamata Convention, any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, that is qualified in matters covered by the Convention and has informed the secretariat of its wish to be represented at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties as an observer may be admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present object.
Organizations approved to participate in the previous meetings of the Conference of the Parties did not need to resubmit such application for admission. See organizations listed in documents UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/16, UNEP/MC/COP.2/INF/19, UNEP/MC/COP.3/INF/27 and UNEP/MC/COP.4/INF/28-Rev.1.
Organizations needed to submit to the secretariat by e-mail: MEA-MinamataMeetings [at] un.org, at least two months prior to the opening of the meeting, an application for admission as an observer at meetings of the COP, including information demonstrating it is qualified in matters covered by the Convention. The Secretariat will screen the applications to check their completeness and conformity with the requirements of the Convention. Successful applications will be submitted to COP-5.
Further information with regard to the participation of observers in meetings of the Conference of the Parties may be found at: mercuryconvention.org/Meetings/Observers.
Additional information on observers
Rule 6 of the rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties provides that the United Nations, its specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State not party to the Convention and any entity operating the mechanism referred to in paragraph 5 of Article 13 of the Convention, may, upon the invitation of the President, participate in the proceedings of any meeting without the right to vote, unless at least one third of the Parties present at the meeting object.
Rule 7 of the rules of procedure provides that any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, admitted as an observer may, upon the invitation of the President, participate without the right to vote in the proceedings of any meeting in matters of direct concern to the body or agency they represent, unless at least one third of the Parties present at the meeting object.
Upon invitation by the President, observers may present their statements orally. The number of oral statements to be delivered at the meeting depends on the time available. With respect to NGOs, preference were given to those speaking on behalf of groups of organizations or coalitions. Written statements could also be submitted in one of the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish).
Greening the COP
Greening the COP
The Minamata Convention Secretariat has taken steps to enhance and promote the environmental sustainability of its activities, including in the preparation and conduct of its meetings.
The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (COP-5) will be conducted in accordance with the Secretariat’s environmental sustainability efforts. A number of measures will be put in place to reduce the environmental impact of COP-5 and offset unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions related to it.
The Secretariat will work with the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) on measures to reduce the environmental impact of its services.
All participants have an essential role to play in reducing the environmental footprint of COP-5, and your support in this important endeavour is highly appreciated.
Sustainability measures that will be adopted by the Minamata Convention Secretariat
- Reducing wastes: COP-5 will aim at reducing wastes at the meeting venue, in collaboration with CICG and catering services. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring refillable drinking containers (cups, mugs, bottles) to be used at the cafeteria and hydration stations located throughout the venue.
- Paperless meeting: COP-5 will be paperless. Paperless means making all meeting documents, including in-session documents available to participants through the Convention website in a user-friendly way. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops or iPads, as all documents will be made available online and device charging will be available. No hard copies will be provided.
Suggested actions to support greening COP-5*
Participants who organize their own travel to and from Geneva are encouraged to take the following actions:
- Calculate the CO2 emissions related to their travels, using the ICAO flight emissions calculator;
- Offset their emissions, using the United Nations carbon offset platform and sending a copy of the attestation to the Secretariat at mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org to help track progress in achieving climate neutrality of COP-5;
- Replace short flights with rail trips, where possible;
- Opt for direct routes that avoid additional emissions associated with multiple take-offs and landings;
- Voluntarily lower the flight class to avoid the higher footprint of business class trips;
- Use sustainable transportation, including buses, biking, walking, or carpooling for local trips where possible;
- Shift meals to plant-based, locally produced, in-season, or eco-certified alternatives where possible;
- Seek out accommodations that have a green guest program or have earned an eco-certification;
- Stay at accommodations that are within walking distance of the meeting venue;
- Reduce food waste and other waste;
- Participate in the venue's recycling program.
For more information, please contact the Secretariat at mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org.
*These actions are drawn from the document “Environmental Management System for Event Operations” developed by the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention of Mercury, the document “United Nations Ozone Secretariat Event EMS Green Travel and Event Tips”, and the webpage Greening the COPs of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
COP-5 events are an informal platform for Parties and observers to share information and bring knowledge to advances in technology, research, and policy to the attention of Parties and to the global community that the Convention serves.
As part of the preparation for the upcoming fifth meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) from 30 October to 3 November 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland, a call for proposals for COP-5 events has been opened from Monday, 19 May 2023 until Friday, 23 June 2023.
Two types of COP-5 events are offered:
- Online events: are 1-hour in duration, and take place virtually using the WebEx platform. The online events are scheduled for the week of October 9 to 13.
- Knowledge Lab sessions are 30-minutes in duration, with an open space set-up that is envisaged to be simple and straightforward, and for minimal cost to the organizers. The sessions will take place at the COP-5 venue, during lunch break, and only on specific days. There are very limited slots for the sessions.
The call is addressed to Parties, major groups and stakeholders registered for COP-5 or approved to participate in the previous meetings of the Conference of the Parties.
Please read the Guidelines for Organizers carefully.
Interested organizers who may wish to sign up for the Online Events are requested to use the application form (Annex A of the Guidelines) and please send to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org, with copy to richard.gutierrez [at] un.orgrichard.gutierrez [at] un.org (,) and indicate in the subject line: COP-5 Online Events.
Organizers interested in the Knowledge Labs are requested to send an email to the above addresses and include in the email a description of the event, how it meets the guidelines, and indicate in the subject line: COP-5 Knowledge Lab.
Please submit applications no later than 23 June 2023 (Geneva time). Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
The dates of the online regional preparatory meetings in 2023 are, as follows:
|Regional Group||Dates and details||Venue|
||UN Nairobi Gigiri Complex, Nairobi, Kenya|
||UNESCAP Bangkok, Thailand|
|Eastern and European States||
Further details will be provided in the near future.