The Prime Minister of Samoa opens the first sub-regional Minamata workshop for Pacific Islands

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The first sub-regional workshop to support countries from the Pacific in their process towards ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention was held in Apia, Samoa, from 19 to 21 January 2015, at the headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

The workshop was officially opened on Monday 19 January 2015 by the Prime Minister of Samoa, His Excellency Mr. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, who highlighted the core importance of cooperation and partnership among all Parties and development partners in order to achieve the successful and coordinated implementation of the Minamata Convention, as well as the Stockholm, Rotterdam, Basel and Waigani Conventions. Samoa was the first country from the Pacific to sign the Minamata Convention at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Kumamoto on 10 October 2013.

As an integral part of UNEP’s regional and sub-regional efforts to support the ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention, the workshop aimed to further enhance participants knowledge of the Convention, of the processes for its ratification and early implementation, and of the available sources of support, including in the interim period. Governments also had the opportunity to exchange information and discuss joint efforts to address key regional priorities, including control of imports of mercury containg products, management of mercury wastes and mercury monitoring in fish and seafood. One important outcome of the workshop was the presentation by participating countries on Wednesday 21 January of a draft national roadmap for the ratification and early implementation of the Convention that they were invited to prepare during the course of the workshop.

Delegates from ten Pacific countries participated, including the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Intergovernmental organizations and UN Agencies that play a crucial role in the process towards rapid implementation and ratification of the Convention, including the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization .(UNIDO), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the World Health Organization (WHO), SPREP and UNEP as well as the NGOs Ban Toxics and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry presented amongst others on the support they are  providing to countries from the region.  

Small Island Developing States were clearly in the spotlight in this beginning of 2015 as a sub-regional workshop for Caribbean  countries was held simultaneously in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from 19 to 21 January 2015.

Compendiums for the workshops can be found here.

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