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Update on UN Negotiations towards the Minamata Convention on Mercury

The 3rd round of discussions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC3) took place at the UN HQ in Nairobi, Kenya from 30th October - 6th November 2011. Over 160 country delegations were present, working together to establish a legally binding global instrument on mercury, to be known as the Minamata Convention. Fernando Lugris, Chair of the UN Negotiations, says he is looking forward to having a finalised global treaty in his hand when he launches our festivities at the ICMGP opening ceremony in Edinburgh in 2013.

The work towards the Minamata convention has been underway since the momentous agreement made at the United Nations Governing Council back in 2009:

The negotiations aim to produce a legally binding and comprehensive convention that will reduce mercury emissions from all sources. This includes gold mining, dental practices, chlor-alkali plants, coal combustion, medical uses as well as waste management, storage, fate and transport in the atmosphere and other related issues. Reaching global consensus on such a complex issue is a significant challenge but one which is unifying nations. The Minamata Convention will be a significant and historic document which will include legal requirements for mercury control as well as a financial aspect to ensure that emerging countries and economies in transition can be assisted in their participation.

And so 2013 will be a monumental year for mercury and mercury related research. The ICMGP in Edinburgh will be THE hot spot for discussions as experts from around the world meet to decide how to put the UN Minamata Convention into practice.


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