Home > MERCURY COP1

1st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1)

24-29 September 2017 | Geneva, Switzerland

Highlights for Friday, 29 September 2017

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Minamata Convention on Mercury Entry Into Force

Delegates huddle in the final hours of negotiations

On Friday morning, the Minamata COP1 High-Level Segment convened to hear reports from the eight Ministerial roundtables held on Thursday, and for country statements. In a keynote address, M. Sanjayan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Conservation International (CI), emphasized that the trajectory set today will change the world in ten years, lauding the entry into force of the Minamata Convention. During the session, the UK announced a US$150,000 contribution to the specific international programme (SIP), with Norway announcing a US$200,000 contribution. Several countries outlined national-level efforts to address challenges posed by and associated with mercury use and pollution.

In closing the High-Level Segment, Marc Chardonnens, COP1 President and Vice-Minister for Environment, Switzerland, emphasized that mercury management should be integrated into public health and local-level pollution strategies and control measures.

The Committee of the Whole (COW) convened in the afternoon to hear a progress report from the contact group on Programme of Work and budget, and to address other outstanding issues. Chair Fernando Lugris, Uruguay, suspended the COW briefly in the late afternoon to allow for consultations among countries on a draft proposal on the way forward regarding secretariat arrangements, submitted by Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Zambia, Chile and Colombia. Based on the understanding that the secretariat would be based in Geneva in the interim period before COP2, the contact group on Programme of Work and budget convened in the late afternoon and into the evening.

Returning to discuss the secretariat arrangements in the COW, delegates were unable to agree on amendments to the earlier proposal suggested by the US, with a small group being tasked with working on compromise text based on the original text. Reconvening the COW, delegates approved the draft decision and agreed to, inter alia, request the UN Environment Executive Director to perform the functions initially through a secretariat of the Minamata Convention located in Geneva. They then approved the draft decision on the implementation and compliance committee. Chair Lugris then suspended the COW.

* 8:51pm - COP1 closing plenary opens, adopts 10 decisions, and suspends at 9:05pm to await further decisions from the COW.

* 11:08pm - Plenary reconvenes to adopt the decision on the Secretariat. Plenary suspends again at 11:11pm.

* 1:35am - COW reconvenes to discuss and approve the Programme of Work and budget, a draft decision containing brackets, the financial rules and regional centers. COW closes at 1:44am

* 1:58am - COP1 plenary reconvenes, adopts Programme of Work and budget, financial rules containing bracketed text, and financial rules. Discussions on MoU with the GEF ongoing. COP1 President Chardonnens suspends plenary at 2:49am.

* 3:08am - COP1 plenary reconvenes and is closed at 3:15am.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports for COP1. The summary and analysis is now available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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High-Level Segment


Delegates gather in plenary for the high-level segment


Marc Chardonnens, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland

Jacob Duer, Principal Coordinator, Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention

M. Sanjayan, Chief Executive Officer, Conservation International



Haddijatou Jallow, Executive Chair-Person, Environment Protection, Sierra Leone

Anne Désirée Ouloto, Minister of Urban Safety and Sanitation, Côte d'Ivoire


Fleming Sengebau, Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Palau

Jassim Abdulaziz Al-falahy, Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment, Iraq

Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, UK


Ghulam Mohd Malikyar, Deputy Director-General, National Environmental Protection Agency, Afghanistan

Elsa Patricia Galarza Contreras, Minister of the Environment, Peru

Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment, Sweden



Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, Finland

Martha Garcíarivas Palmeros, Vice-Minister, Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico


Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand

Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono, Minister of the National Environment Management Authority, Uganda

Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of Environment, Japan


Yaseen Khayyat, Minister of Environment, Jordan

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries



Afternoon Session - Final Committee of the Whole (COW)


View of the dais during the final COW


Fernando Lugris, Uruguay, COW Chair

María del Mar Solano Trejos, Costa Rica


Reginald Hernaus, the Netherlands, Co-Chair of Programme of Work and Budget Contact Group

Sam Adu-Kumi, Ghana

Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan



Walter Schuldt Espinel, Ecuador

Franz Perrez, Switzerland

Hiroyuki Nishiura, Japan


Anne Daniel, Canada

Sezaneh Seymour, US


Delegates huddle in the final hours of negotiation


Representatives of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, and the Latin American, Asian and African Centers for Environmental Health present Fernando Lugris, Uruguay, COW Chair, with a "Public Official of the Year 2017" award to honour his leadership in the creation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury


Closing Plenary


View of the dais during the closing plenary


Karel Blaha, Czech Republic

Marc Chardonnens, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, and COP1 President


Sverre Thomas Jahre, Norway

Svetlan Bolocan, Moldova

Nassereddin Heidari, Iran


Members of the Secretariat discuss

Delegates from Brazil ask for the floor


Chizuru Aoki, Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Humphrey Mwale, Zambia




Around the Venue


Contact Group on Programme of Work and Budget


Delegates consult informally before the start of plenary


Franz Perrez, Switzerland, and Yingxian Xia, China

Aïta Sarr Seck, Senegal


Delegates from Cameroon

Delegates from Swaziland


Delegates from Venezuela


Delegates between sessions


Delegates from the US

Jacob Duer, Principal Coordinator, Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, speaks with Heidar Ali Balouji, Iran


Delegates refer to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) website to keep track of negotiations


The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team covering the negotiations: Nancy Williams, US; Jen Allan, Canada; Tallash Kantai, Kenya; Yixian Sun, China/Switzerland; Jonelle Jones, Trinidad and Tobago, and Kiara Worth, South Africa






Daily CoverageAbout | 24 Sep | 25 Sep | 26 Sep | 27 Sep | 28 Sep | 29 Sep | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of Mercury COP 1 has been provided by the European Union (EU),
the Government of Switzerland, and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment
EU Swiss Government Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the EC and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the EU and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD).

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