|ZMWG Blog - Summary of Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) 6|
|Friday, 07 November 2014 09:19|
Summary of Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) 6
[7November 2014, Bangkok]
The Zero Mercury Working Group (Zero Mercury) closely followed the Mercury INC 6 negotiations in Bangkok, 3-7 November 2014. These negotiations were held in preparation for the first meeting of the Conference of Parties once the Minamata Convention enters into force.
Our main priorities for INC 6 were related to how to best translate the Convention’s requirements into measureable and substantial reductions in global mercury use, trade and emissions. We also noted that monitoring and reporting data are vital to determining compliance, ensuring accountability and enhancing interest by donors in supporting the Convention — both now and into the future.
INC 6 saw progress on several important fronts. First, regarding financial matters, there was movement in development of a Memorandum of Understanding for working with the Global Environment Facility, which will be the main financial instrument for the Convention. Second, an expert group was established to work on the Special International Programme (SIP), which is an additional Convention financial assistance mechanism. The expert group is charged with providing input to INC 7 and/or COP1 regarding the appropriate direction for the SIP to take.
One of our top priorities for INC 6 was to ensure that countries collect and exchange critical mercury trade information in a timely manner. We are pleased to note that the import consent form now includes space for denial of consent as well as information that the importing country needs from the exporter regarding the sources, amounts and proposed uses for the mercury.
Regarding the reporting form that countries must submit to describe progress in implementing the Convention, many important issues were raised, several of which were pointed out in our intervention on 5 November. However, due to time constraints these issues were left for resolution at INC 7.
Finally, on another important issue, several countries supported using the draft guidance on National Action Plans (NAP) produced by the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining Partnership as the basis to create NAP guidance for the Convention. This development is important because countries are already working on National Action Plans so the sooner the guidance can be completed the better.
All told, INC 6 has laid the groundwork for the final INC 7. The final road map is almost in place to ‘zero down’ global mercury use. Zero Mercury urges all countries to now follow through on their commitments and we stand ready to assist as appropriate.