Highlights and images for 28 November 2019


Rosa Vivian Ratnawati, Indonesia, upon election to be the President of the COP4 Bureau

COP3 delegates discussed cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and other international organizations during the morning and resumed their work in contact groups for the rest of the day and into the night. Delegates also elected Rosa Vivien (Indonesia) as President of COP4, by acclamation. During the discussion on international cooperation and coordination, WHO highlighted health-related activities relevant to the Minamata Convention, including the WHO guidance on prioritization and planning for implementation of the health-related articles of the Minamata Convention and regional workshops. The ILO discussed the promotion of ILO international instruments for the prevention of occupational diseases caused by mercury, projects in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector and other relevant ILO activities in support of the implementation of the Convention. The Global Mercury Partnership (GMP) informed plenary that the tenth meeting of the GMP Advisory Group highlighted intended future actions, including further refinement of mercury emissions factors, development of a centralized database on mercury, and guidance on waste management technologies.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), speaking as Chair for the Global Mercury Advisory Group, provided updates on UNEP activities undertaken in relation to work on mercury. The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) noted that mercury would be addressed at the fifth meeting of the International Conference on Chemicals Management meeting (ICCM-5) scheduled for October 2020. The Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) discussed cooperation with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on ASGM under its planetGOLD programme. The UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) highlighted its technical assistance on capacity building, including its online MercuryLearn training course for inventories.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discussed its interest in supporting effectiveness evaluation under the Convention with quality assurance data for fish, biota and other indicators. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) discussed technical assistance for monitoring data under its Global Observation System for Mercury (GOS4M). The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) highlighted work tackling mercury emissions associated with cement production, smelters, and waste management. Zero Mercury Group discussed achievements in the phaseout of high mercury products including actions undertaken by Amazon, Ebay, and Alibaba. Some pointed to the group of indigenous leaders in plenary as a glaring reminder of the communities that could be impacted by the COP3 decisions. The Indigenous Federation of Madre De Dios, Peru, stressed the need to integrate the voices, and reflect the impact and needs, of indigenous communities in the work of the Minamata Convention. He urged parties to support ways to look at how mercury is impacting indigenous people.

With one day left, there was a sense of urgency by some and dread by others as Contact Groups continued their work into the night. The Contact Groups on Technical Matters, Effectiveness Evaluation, and Budget, together with the Friends of the President Group, are expected to conclude their deliberations by Friday, 29 November.

For more details on the day’s negotiations and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin.


Technical Matters Contact Group Co-Chairs Sam Adu-Kumi (Ghana) and Silvija Kalnins (Latvia) in discussions with President of COP3, David Kapindula (Zambia) and Minamata Secretariat

Delegates from Gabon reviewing ENB coverage from the day prior

Osvaldo Patricio Álvarez Pérez, Chile

Effectiveness Evaluation Contact Group Co-Chair Teeraporn Wiriwutikorn, Thailand

Delegates from the UK consulting

Mohamed Abdulai Kamara, Sierra Leone

Yelba de Los Angeles López González, Nicaragua

Rossana Silva Repetto, Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention on Mercury, and Claudia ten Have, Minamata Convention Secretariat

Christina Paradiso, Canada

Gene Smilansky, US

Delegates from Namibia conferring during the plenary

Bangaly Dioumessy, Guinea

Italo Andres Flamenco Cordova, El Salvador

Vice President of COP3, Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan

Halshka Graczyk, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Fiasosoitamalii Siaosi, Samoa

Gene Smilansky and Robert Wing, US

Brenda Koekkoek, SAICM Secretariat

Manal Azzi, ILO

Angela Rivera, Colombia, speaking with President of COP3, David Kapindula, Zambia

María Florencia Grimalt, Argentina

Jérôme Stucki, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

A view of the dais during the plenary

Delegates huddle during the mornig plenary.

Contact Groups

Close exchanges during the Technical Matters Contact Group

José Rizo-Martin, EU

David Bennett, Natural Resources Defense Council

Participants during the Friends of the President Contact Group

The Effectiveness Evaluation Contact Group reflects on the next item

The Budget Contact Group carries discussion forward

Michel Tschirren, Switzerland, requesting the floor

Around the Venue


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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For Minamata Convention COP 3, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu.


Negotiating blocs
European Union