This note has been prepared by the secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury to guide parties in the submission of proposals to amend the Minamata Convention and its annexes.
The proposal, adoption and entry into force of amendments to the Minamata Convention are dealt with in Article 26 of the Convention. The proposal, adoption and entry into force of new annexes or of amendments to existing annexes to the Minamata Convention are dealt with in Article 27 of the Convention, which refers back to the provisions embodied in paragraphs 1-3 of Article 26 with respect to their proposal and adoption.
Pursuant to Articles 26 and 27, only a party may propose amendments to the Convention and its annexes. Any amendment proposal must be made available by the secretariat to all parties at least six months before the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) at which it is proposed for adoption. The secretariat shall also communicate the proposed amendment to the signatories to the Convention and, for information, to the Depositary.
Furthermore, paragraph 7 of Article 4 specifies that any Party may submit a proposal to the secretariat for listing a mercury-added product in Annex A, which shall include information related to the availability, technical and economic feasibility and environmental and health risks and benefits of the non-mercury alternatives to the product. Similarly, paragraph 9 of Article 5 states that any Party may submit a proposal to amend Annex B in order to list a manufacturing process in which mercury or mercury compounds are used. It shall include information related to the availability, technical and economic feasibility and environmental and health risks and benefits of the non-mercury alternatives to the process.
For each meeting of the COP, the Rules of Procedure require the secretariat to issue the provisional agenda, together with supporting documents, in the official languages of the COP (Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian and Spanish).
Therefore, the text of any proposed amendments, as well as information required under Articles 4(7) and 5(9), should be sent to the secretariat at least eight months before the meeting of the COP at which it is proposed for adoption to allow for the translation of the text of the amendment and its timely transmission to all parties, signatories and the Depositary, as required by Articles 26 and 27 of the Convention.