Highlights for Wednesday, 27 November 2019
On Wednesday, COP3 delegates exchanged initial positions on a number of agenda items, discussed draft decisions in several contact groups, and participated in side events and knowledge labs. The agenda for this third COP of the Minamata Convention on Mercury comprises of a mix of items focused on establishing the smooth functioning of a new international treaty body, as well as items with a substantive focus on the products and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used. The Terms of Reference for the Implementation and Compliance Committee was discussed at length and ended in a deferment until Thursday. The Friends of the COP President Group reported that it had agreed on a draft decision to be forwarded to plenary on cooperative issues between the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.Agenda items addressed related to products and manufacturing processes included the Financial Mechanism, Capacity-building, Technical Assistance and Technology Transfer, Contaminated Sites, and Emissions of Mercury Resulting from the Open Burning of Waste. During the discussion on the Financial Mechanism, Norway announced a EUR 500,000.00 and Switzerland announced a CHF 100,000.00 voluntary contribution to the Specific International Programme to Support Capacity-building and Technical Assistance.The Plenary adopted its first decision, on the review of the financial mechanism, in which parties welcomed the report and requested the Secretariat to prepare draft terms of reference for the second review and consideration at COP4.Side events on Wednesday addressed mercury science, lessons learned from the National Action Plans on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), and “Dangerous, mercury-laden and often illegal skin-lightening products and measures to restrict them under the Minamata Convention.”Most of Thursday will be focused on the work of the contact groups, although issues such as releases still remain be discussed in plenary.For more details on the day’s negotiations and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
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