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Preparing entry into force of mercury treaty

Key steps have been taken at a meeting preparing for the entry into force of the Minamata Convention on mercury.


The seventh session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Prepare a Global Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury (INC7) convened from 10-15 March 2016 in Jordan.


Outcomes from the meeting include the adoption on a provisional basis of technical guidance documents related to the control and – where feasible - reduction of emissions, on the identification of individual stocks of mercury and mercury compounds, as well as guidance on preparing consent forms related to imports of the metal.


A memorandum of understanding was furthermore agreed and forwarded to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) council for its consideration. Draft guidance to the Facility was also shared for its consideration, especially in light of upcoming negotiations on the fund’s seventh replenishment.


Further agreements were reached on financing and activities related to the Convention’s implementation, while plans for additional work were made in relation to effectiveness evaluation, the interim storage of mercury, mercury waste and contaminated sites.


The Minamata Convention on mercury is the first treaty on chemicals and waste for nearly a decade. It was adopted in Kumamoto, Japan in October 2013 and includes a ban on new mercury mines and the phase-out of existing ones.


Entry into force of the Convention will take place 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession is deposited. With Senegal the latest country to ratify the Convention, twenty-five countries have already deposited their instruments and a number of governments are well on their way to doing so.


Over 300 participants representing 103 governments attended the event in Jordan, in addition to many non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations.


INC7 was the second of two negotiating sessions planned for the period between the adoption of the Minamata Convention and the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties.


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