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Minamata  Convention banner  UNEP ON THE GROUND
Minamata Convention on Mercury – special event in New York

Named after a city in Japan where serious health damage occurred as a result of mercury pollution in the mid-20th century, the Minamata Convention aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

A year after the adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, ministers and senior government officials from around the world have renewed the international community’s commitment to combat the global threat posed to human health and the environment from mercury pollution worldwide.

The high-level special event - “The Minamata Convention on Mercury: Towards its early entry into force and effective implementation” – witnessed five states agreeing to become parties to the Minamata Convention and an additional 18 states signing the treaty.

Held in the margins of the opening of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, and in conjunction with the Secretary-General’s annual Treaty Event, the event was jointly convened by the Governments of Japan, Switzerland, the United States and Uruguay, with the assistance of UNEP.


Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, said: "I congratulate the countries signing and ratifying the Minamata Convention today as they now join the international community's commitment to address a pollutant -- mercury -- whose impact and notoriety is truly global. Their diversity speaks to the treaty's universal nature and relevance as they encompass both large and small nations, rich and poor, tropical and polar. While there is much to celebrate today, it is now imperative that we use this momentum and move towards the Convention's early entry into force. It is critical that we begin the implementation phase as soon as possible in order to protect human health and the environment for the current generation and those yet to come."


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