Mercury has been at the UNEP Governing Council (GC) agenda since its 21st session, in February 2001. In 2009, Decision 25/5 of the Governing Council launched the discussions towards the development of a mercury treaty. An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) was formed in 2010, to meet 5 times before the treaty text would be agreed by 2013. The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted in October 2013 and entered into force on 16 August 2017.
The Zero Mercury Working Group has been following developments and participated to all relevant meetings since 2004.
Policies on mercury exist in the EU since the 70's. Most recently the EU adopted the Regulation (EU) 2017/852 which covers the full life cycle of mercury. It complements a large body of existing EU environmental law on mercury vis a vis the requirements of the Minamata Convention.
The EEB and other EU NGOs on behalf of ZMWG have followed and contributed actively to EU pieces of legislation.