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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 Hg INC 4, 27 June - 2 July 2012, Punta de l'Este, Uruguay PDF Print
Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:46

4th meeting of the Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee - INC4
27th June- 2nd July 2012, Punta de L'Este, Uruguay 

The fourth Mercury of Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will be taking place on 27th June- 2nd July 2012,in Punta de L'Este, Uruguay

All relevant documents and details about the meeting can be found at the UNEP website:

http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Mercury/Negotiations/INC4/tabid/3470/Default.aspx

In preparation for the INC 4 on Mercury, the following ZMWG position papers have been developed (May 2012):

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - English version

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - French

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Arabic

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Portuguese

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Russian

ZMWG Preliminary Views on the INC 4 Draft Treaty text - Spanish

 

PRELIMINARY ZMWG RESPONSE TO CoChairs Emissions Paper May 2012 - EN

PRELIMINARY ZMWG RESPONSE TO CoChairs Emissions Paper May 2012 - ES

 

Zero Mercury Working Group Initial Comments on Products/Processes Discussion Paper June 2012

 

ZMWG Views on Mercury Use in Dental Amalgam, June 2012

Also available in RU, ES

ZMWG INC 4 BRIEFING PAPER SERIES - Phasing out Mercury Use in Button Cell Batteries

ZMWG INC 4 BRIEFING PAPER SERIES Mercury in VCM and PVC Manufacturing

 

ZMWG activities while at INC 4

The ZMWG carried out an action for INC4 whose theme was: Zero Mercury Flow: End Toxic Trade Now! Polluter pays!  Ten NGO colleagues wore placards showing faces of persons harmed by the use of mercury-added skin lightening creams, to raise awareness – passing the message that this is the effect when mercury flows also in products. We carried out this action in front of the plenary room handing out bookmarks and lanyards and USBs that carried the key messages that we wanted to communicate to the delegates and that focused on supply, trade and the effects of mercury use in products. (see photo at: http://www.iisd.ca/mercury/inc4/, with other photos at our Photo library

 

ZMWG statements while at INC 4

27 June 2012
Opening statement

Statement on Storage, Waste and Contaminated sites

Statement on Section J (art. 18-19)

28 June 2012
Statement on Emissions and Releases

Statement on Finance and Technical Assistance

29 June 2012
Statement on Products and Processes in EN and FR 

30 June 2012
Statement on Supply and Trade

Statement on Article 20 bis (Health)

Statement on Article 21 (NIPs)

Other relevant documents

Discussion paper on products and processes for regional consultations in preparation for INC4 on mercury - Tokyo paper- 4 May 2012Tokyo paper- 4 May 2012

Draft EU CRP supply and trade

Draft EU CRP emissions

Draft EU CRP storage and waste


WHO Factsheets: Skin Lightening and Health Care