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22 September 2017

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PRESS RELEASE: 

New treaty effectiveness will depend on adequacy of data to be collected, say NGOs  

Geneva, Switzerland


Prior to the start of the first Conference of Parties (COP1), the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) welcomed the entry into force of the Minamata Convention. 

“While there are alternatives to mercury, there are no alternatives to global cooperation,” said Michael Bender, international ZMWG coordinator. “We applaud the world’s governments for committing to curtail this dangerous neurotoxin.”

The First Conference of the Parties will take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.  Over 1,000 delegates and around 50 ministers are expected to assemble in Geneva to celebrate and lay the groundwork for the treaty’s overall effectiveness.
 
During the prior negotiations, the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) approved many of the forms and guidance that the Convention specifies must be adopted at COP 1, which are needed for the swift and smooth launch and running of the Convention.  These include guidance documents on identifying stocks, determining best available technologies and reducing mercury use in small scale gold mining; as well as forms for trade procedures and for exemptions from certain deadlines.

“These INC approvals were achieved by consensus after considerable deliberations, and are ready for approval without further debate,” said Satish Sinha, Toxics Link India.

Among the most critical open issues to be discussed at COP1 are the reporting requirements, which will provide critical information on both the global mercury situation and the effectiveness of the Convention in achieving mercury reductions.   Particularly critical to collect will be data on mercury production and trade, which can change significantly in a short period of time.

 “Countries will not have readily available information about production and trade in bordering countries or within their region, unless there is frequent reporting under the Convention,” said David Lennett, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council “Many borders between countries are “porous,” and where a significant portion of mercury trade is informal/illegal.   Good data on legal trade flows will enable actions to address illegal trade, all of which has a huge impact on artisanal and small scale gold mining, the largest source of mercury pollution globally.

Mercury is a global pollutant that travels long distances. Its most toxic form – methylmercury - accumulates in large predatory fish and is taken up in our bodies through eating fish, with the worst impacts on babies in utero

For more information, see:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org

www.zeromercury.org

Contacts:


Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Coordinator ‘Zero Mercury Campaign’, European Environmental Bureau, ZMWG International Coordinator
T: +32 2 2891301,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Michael Bender, ZMWG International Coordinator, T: +1 802 917 8222,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For information on reporting, please contact David Lennett, Natural Resources Defense Council, T:  +1 202 460 8517   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For further information, please contact:

*The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) is an international coalition of over 95 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from more than 50 countries from around the world formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project.  ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum.  Our mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury.



 

Home Our work at UNEP Level Towards a Mercury Treaty
UNEP GC 25, 16-20 February 2009, Nairobi, Kenya PDF Print
Friday, 10 September 2010 14:28

VICTORY!!! A GLOBAL AGREEMENT ON MERCURY

PR: World governments support breakthrough agreement on mercury
[20 February 2009]

Final draft text of the agreement hereThe 25th UNEP Governing Council took place in Nairobi, Kenya , 16-20 February 2009. In preparation for that the 10th Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF) took on teh 14-15 February, Nairobi.

Sixteen NGO representatives, from 14 countries from around the world and covering all regions, participated to the above mentioned meetings.

A Preparatory NGO Strategy working group took place on the Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 February 2009, in Nairobi., in parallel to the GCSF.

Information on the two meetings can be found at

10th, UNEP Global Civil Society Forum,
14-15 February 2009, Nairobi, Kenya

25th UNEP Governing Council
16-20 February 2009, Nairobi, Kenya

The NGOs had prepared and circulated a proposal for a GC Decision on mercury . Please find this below in EN, FR, and ES

A Preparatory NGO Strategy working group was organised by EEB/ZMWG on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February 2009 , in Nairobi . In parallel the NGOs participated in relevant parts of the Global Civil Society Forum which took place on the same dates (14-15/2), in preparation of the GC.

As a result of the NGO strategy meeting three documents were formalised:

- A proposal for a GC Decision on mercury in EN, FR and ES

- A submission of the ZMWG, information document on desired outcome for the 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council

- Quick Views of Zero Mercury Working Group, on GC 25, developed in EN, FR and ES

At the opening of the meeting, EEB on behalf of the NGOs delivered the opening statement.

The proceedings of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (document UNEP/GC.25/17) in English is available on the UNEP website: http://www.unep.org/gc/gc25/ . The document has “advance” watermark pending the completion of the translation into all official languages of the United Nations.

Following UNEP Decision 25/5 as above an Open Ended Working Group (OEWG 3) on Mercury was held on 19-23 October 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand.

In preparation for the OEWG 3 an NGO meeting was held on the 17 October 2009, Bangkok, Thailand.

27 NGOs attended the meetings and gave valuable input to the discussions.

The following Zero Mercury Working Group Quick Views on a successful OEWG 3 on mercury was agreed among NGOs and circulated to the governement representatives. The ZMWG quick views were also translated in Portuguese, Arabic, Russian and French

At the opening of the meeting, EEB on behalf of the ZMWG/NGOs delivered the opening statement

The NGOs welcomed the outcome of the meeting with a press release on the 23 October 2009.

On 16-17th November 2009 a joint WHO-UNEP Experts Consultation of the "Future Use of Dental Restorative Materials" is foreseen to take place. The meeting is in response to UNEP GC 25/5 mandate to continue the existing work under the Global Mercury Partnership particularly in the areas of reducing mercury in products and processes and raising awareness of mercury-free alternatives, reducing mercury supply and enhancing storage capacities, and providing information on sound management of mercury.

Over 70 non-governmental organisations from around the world signed and addressed a letter to the meeting , calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish a schedule to phase out the use of dental mercury fillings as soon as possible.