The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) was held from 24 to 29 September 2017 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties has multiple objectives, including procedural, political and celebratory. COP1, as a milestone in the Minamata journey, provides a unique opportunity to raise global awareness of the Convention, in particular at a high level, and to focus attention on the far-reaching impacts that the successful implementation of the Convention will achieve. It is an historic opportunity to celebrate the Convention and the achievements to date and to provide motivation and momentum to all as they take the next steps towards full implementation.
The Minamata Convention addresses all aspects related to the use of mercury and sets out measures to:
• reduce the use, emissions and releases of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining and major industrial activities;
• phase-out and phase-down the use of mercury in a number of mercury-added products and processes, specifically its use in dental amalgam;
• restrict trade and prohibit the manufacture, import and export of mercury and a wide range of mercury-added products such as batteries or lights;
• control and reduce air emissions and land and water releases;
• ensure the safer storage and proper management of mercury waste.
Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development (Environmental Ambassadors, EASD), as accredited organization, participated as the Observer.
EASD representative participated at IPEN Preparatory Meeting, Regional Meeting, Opening Ceremony, Thematic Session focus discussions on mercury as relevant to Land, MIA (Minamata Convention Initial Assessment) Clinics (where countries with UNEP, UNDP and UNIDO and partners showcase their MIA work, including lessons learned), as well as some Showcase Events and Knowledge Labs. To note that MIA for Serbia is under development (EASD contribute as stakeholder…). Also, EASD representative at Minamata COP1 communicate with official delegation of Serbia.
A “Hg-week” (“Mercury” week) coincide with COP1 and physically have its main hub in Geneva starting on Friday, 22 September and ending Thursday 28 September 2017. It featured a series of awareness raising events around the issue of Mercury. The objective of the “Hg-week” is to reach out to participants at COP1, as well as the public, students, and other experts and stakeholders interested in the field of chemicals and health.