Highlights and images for 29 September 2017



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


Negotiating blocs
European Union