Good progress towards ratification reported at Spring 2015 Minamata workshops

Monday, April 27, 2015

Following a first series of 12 sub-regional awareness raising and capacity building workshops held between March 2014 and February 2015, the Interim Secretariat on the Minamta Convention on Mercury continued its outreach efforts with the organization between mid-March and mid-April 2015, together with the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), of a new round of 4 regional workshops to support ratification and effective implementation of the Convention. These workshops were held back to back with the regional preparatory meetings to the 2015 BRS Conventions conferences of the parties.

The aim of the Minamata regional workshops was to support countries in their efforts towards ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, building on lessons learned from previous sub-regional workshops. They represented an opportunity to discuss progress to date and possible areas of cooperation within the region as well as preparations for the seventh session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee and the first Conference of the Parties to be held upon entry into force of the Convention. These meetings also featured a Minamata & BRS session to discuss joint topics between 4 conventions, including financial resources for chemicals and wastes.

Amongst others, countries reported at these meetings on where they stood in terms of preparation for ratification and implementation of the Convention, with a number of countries invited to deliver presentations on their national processes. Countries were also invited to participate in a pre-workshop survey on their national circumstances. Based on the discussions that took place and the information received from participating countries, the Interim Secretariat is pleased to report significant progress towards ratification and implementation, giving hope for a rapid entry into force of the Minamata Convention.

These meetings gathered a total of over 450 delegates, including representatives from about 130 Governments from Asia and the Pacific (17 to 20 March 2015, Jakarta, Indonesia), Africa (24 to 27 March 2015, Nairobi, Kenya), Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (7 to 10 April 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia) and Latin America and the Caribbean (14 to 17 April 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay). Intergovernmental organizations and UN Agencies that play an important role in supporting efforts towards ratification and implementation of the Convention, including the GEF, UNDP, UNIDO, UNITAR, WHO, UNEP, Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres as well as several NGOs and business federations active in the respective regions also took part in the meetings.

The regional workshops to support the ratification and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury have been organized thanks to the generous support of the Governments of Switzerland and Norway.

Compendiums for the workshops will be made available here as they become available.


On the picture, from left to right: Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; Mr. Dieter Cavalleri, Consejero, Embassy of Switzerland in Buenos Aires; H.E. Ms. Eneida De León, Minister, Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente (MVOTMA), Uruguay; Mr. Jacob Duer, Coordinator of the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention; Ms. Gabriela Eigenmann, Senior Policy Advisor, International Affairs Division, Global Affairs Section, Federal Office for the Environment, Swtizerland.

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