COP-1 Geneva

First meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-1)

Geneva, Switzerland, 24 Sep 2017 - 29 Sep 2017
    Meeting Information

    The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) took place from 24 to 29 September 2017 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva. It was preceded on 23 and 24 September 2017 by preparatory meetings, including regional and Bureau meetings, while a series of regional meetings took place in July 2017.

    Main outcomes of COP1

    Amongst its main outcomes, COP1 agreed on a programme of work and budget for the secretariat, and adopted decisions on guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), activities of the Specific International Programme, administrative matters relating to the Conference of the Parties, and on guidance on trade in mercury, stocks and sources of supply of mercury, exemptions, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and emissions. COP1 also adopted decisions relating to intersessional work, particularly on effectiveness evaluation, interim storage of mercury other than waste mercury, mercury wastes and contaminated sites.

    COP1 also elected officers that would form the Bureau until the conclusion of COP2. 

    COP1 culminated on 28 and 29 September 2017 in a High-Level Segment hosted by the President of Switzerland, entitled “Make Mercury History”, to celebrate the commitment of the international community to the Minamata Convention. Read the summary of "key Take-Home messages" provided by the President of the Conference.

    Following COP1, the secretariat contacted parties and stakeholders inviting submissions as well as nomination of experts for the intersessional processes. The follow up letter is available here. The revised guidance document on interim storage is available for comment on the page on intersessional work

    Documents prepared for the session may be found below.

    On the side of COP1

    Thematic Sessions were convened during the first days of COP1 to focus discussions on mercury as relevant to Land, Air and Water. The outcomes of these discussions were forwarded to the Ministerial Roundtables held during the High-Level Segment as background to the Ministers’ discussions.

    In addition to the Thematic Sessions, a number of events took place on the side of COP1, including:

    • Minamata Convention Initial Assessment (MIA) Clinics, where countries with the UN Environment Programme, UNDP, UNIDO and partners showcased their MIA work, focusing on experiences of small island development states, of countries with artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities and of emerging economies with industrial sources of mercury;
    • Show Case Events, where stakeholders could present activities that supported the ratification and early implementation;
    • Knowledge Labs on the life cycle of mercury and the Minamata Convention;
    • Exhibition throughout the week, featuring the “Minamata Journey”, designed to step participants through a journey of the lifecycle of mercury and the Minamata Convention.    

    In parallel to COP1, a week of activities – the “Mercury Week” – was organized in different places of the Geneva city to raise the awareness of stakeholders and the public about mercury, its uses, its effects, and how the Minamata Convention contributes to the global solution (more information). Activities included a special installation on the Geneva Place des Nations featuring a gigantic "mercury bubble" and an exhibition of photographs on small-scale gold mining by Pulitzer Prize winner Larry C. Price, panel discussions and special events at the WHO Headquarters, the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute.

    Additional information

    • Video materials from COP1 may be watched here
    • The daily coverage and summary report by Earth Negotiations Bulletin are available on the IISD webpage at:
    • Submissions from Governments and interested stakeholders for consideration at COP1 are available here


    Intersessional Work

    Technical submissions for COP1 based on request for further work made at INC7

    During the seventh session of the integovernmental negotiating committee, the secretariat was asked to seek input from Governments and a range of other interested stakeholders on a number of issues to be considered further at COP1. The submissions received are made available below.

    Submissions from Governments


    Submissions from other organizations

    Other intersessional work