Geneva

Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5)

Geneva, Switzerland, 30 Oct 2023 - 03 Nov 2023
    Meeting Information

    Programme of work and budget for the biennium 2024–2025

    The Programme of work and budget for the biennium 2024-2025, submitted to COP-5 as information document UNEP/MC/COP.5/INF/36, has been updated by the Secretariat based on the COP-5 decisions to guide the work during the intersessional period.

    This publication provides additional information on the work planned for the biennium 2024–2025, including on mandates, background information and rationales, activities and outputs, and costs associated with specific activities.

    The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) will take place  in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 October to 3 November 2023. During the second segment of COP-4, the Conference of the Parties elected Claudia Dumitru (Romania) as the President of COP-5.

    This page will be updated as new information becomes available.


    For previous highlights on the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, please click on the link below.

    Regarding the review of Annex A, the following amendments have been proposed ahead of COP-5:

    Documents
    Schedule

    Tentative schedule, additional details forthcoming. All times are in the Geneva time zone.

    Official Meeting
    13:00 - 15:00

    Geneva time

    13:30 - 14:30

    Geneva time

    15:00 - 18:00

    Geneva time

    17:15 - 22:00

    Geneva time

    19:00 - 22:00

    Geneva time

    10:00 - 13:00

    Geneva time

    15:00 - 18:00

    Geneva time

    08:00 - 08:45

    Geneva time

    09:00 - 09:45

    Geneva time

    Knowledge Lab
    Intersessional Work

    Intersessional work and Submissions for COP-5

    The Conference of the Parties had its fourth meeting online from 1 to 5 November 2021 and in-person from 21 to 25 March 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, and agreed on a number of action items. The Executive Secretary sent a letter to Parties and observers on 13 April 2022 to call for information to follow up on these action items. 

    The progress on these action items can be found on the individual pages linked below. Links will be added as information becomes available.

    As a crosscutting support to this intersessional process, particularly on decision MC-4/6 on mercury waste and MC-4/11 on effectiveness evaluation, the Secretariat issued a call for nomination of experts to a roster. This roster of scientific and technical experts is created with a view to facilitating the identification of experts to fulfill the need for different types of expertise to contribute to various processes established by the COP, as well as to support information exchange and research development under the Convention. The contributions from the roster of experts will be made through electronic means of communication. Scientific and technical experts may be nominated to the roster by parties or organizations on an ongoing basis and with no limit in the number of experts being nominated by each party or organization. Nominations from parties or organizations must be endorsed by national focal points or heads of organizations, respectively, be accompanied by the completed template and sent to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org.
     

    Review of and amendments to annexes A and B

    Annexes A and B to the Convention provide for measures to be taken on mercury-added products and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds is used.

    Amendment of Annex A adopted at COP-4 in 2022

    The Conference of the Parties (COP) decided, in its decision MC-4/3, to amend part I of Annex A to the Convention by adding the following mercury-added products, so that the manufacture, import and export of those products not be allowed after 2025:

    • Compact fluorescent lamps with an integrated ballast (CFL.i) for general lighting purposes that are ≤ 30 watts with a mercury content not exceeding 5 mg per lamp burner
    • Cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) and external electrode fluorescent lamps (EEFL) of all lengths for electronic displays, not included in the current listing
    • Strain gauges to be used in plethysmographs;
    • Melt pressure transducers, melt pressure transmitters and melt pressure sensors except those installed in large-scale equipment or those used for high precision measurement, where no suitable mercury-free alternative is available
    • Mercury vacuum pumps
    • Tire balancers and wheel weights
    • Photographic film and paper
    • Propellant for satellites and spacecraft.

    COP-4 also agreed to amend part II of Annex A by adding the following provisions for dental amalgam;

    • In addition, Parties shall:
      • (i) Exclude or not allow, by taking measures as appropriate, the use of mercury in bulk form by dental practitioners;
      • (ii) Exclude or not allow, by taking measures as appropriate, or recommend against the use of dental amalgam for the dental treatment of deciduous teeth, of patients under 15 years and of pregnant and breastfeeding women, except when considered necessary by the dental practitioner based on the needs of the patient.

    Pursuant to Articles 26 and 27 of the Convention, the Secretary General of the United Nations, acting in his capacity as Depositary, has issued a communication following the adoption of decision MC-4/3 “Review and amendment of annexes A and B to the Minamata Convention on Mercury". The communication, including the texts of the amended Annex A in the six UN official languages, was issued on 28 September 2022 and posted on the UN Treaty Collection website.

    The entry into force date set in paragraph 3 (c) of Article 27 of the Convention will be 28 September 2023.

    Review and amendment to be considered at COP-5

    The COP-4 also decided to consider at its 5th meeting the phase-out dates in Part I of Annex A for the following categories:

    • Button zinc silver oxide batteries with a mercury content < 2% and button zinc air batteries with a mercury content < 2%
    • Very high accuracy capacitance and loss measurement bridges and high frequency radio frequency switches and relays in monitoring and control instruments with a maximum mercury content of 20 mg per bridge switch or relay [except those used for research and development purposes]
    • Linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) for general lighting purposes:
      • (a) Halophosphate phosphor ≤ 40 watts with a mercury content not exceeding 10 mg per lamp
      • (b) Halophosphate phosphor > 40 watts.
    • Linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) for general lighting purposes:
      • (a) Triband phosphor < 60 watts with a mercury content not exceeding 5 mg/lamp

    The COP also decided to further consider adding the production of polyurethane using mercury-containing catalysts to part I of Annex B at its 5th meeting, and requested the secretariat to compile information on the availability and technical and economic feasibility of mercury-free alternatives of the production of polyurethane using mercury-containing catalysts for submission to its 5th meeting.

    Parties are invited to submit any information on these products and processes that will support the consideration by COP-5 by 31 December 2022.

    Furthermore, the COP requested the secretariat to prepare a short report on the technical and economic feasibility of mercury-free alternatives for the two processes (vinyl chloride monomer and sodium or potassium methylate or ethylate) listed in Part II of Annex B that refer to the COP establishing such feasibility. Part II of Annex B to the Convention requires Parties not to allow the use of mercury five years after the COP has established that mercury-free processes have become technically and economically feasible.

    Parties are invited to submit information on the availability and feasibility of non-mercury alternatives to these processes by 31 December 2022.

    The following submissions have been received:

    The Secretariat hired a consultant to collect technical information that would support the COP-5 deliberation on Annexes A and B. The consultant’s report is available here. This information was used in the development of document UNEP/MC/COP.5/INF/5.

    Mercury releases

    The Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the group of technical experts, in its decision MC-4/5, to develop the guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices, in line with the road map contained in document UNEP/MC/COP.4/31, with a view to adopting the guidance pursuant to paragraph 7 of article 9 of the Convention at COP-5.

    Parties and other stakeholders are invited to submit existing information on national regulations or industry practices relating to the control of mercury releases from relevant sources by 30 June 2022 (extended to 15 July). The following submissions have been received.

    The list of members of the expert group can be found here. The group started working online in June 2022. The group elected Mr. Cristián Enrique Brito Martínez (Chile) and Ms. Bianca Hlobsile Mkhatshwa-Dlamini (Eswatini) as co-chairs.

    The group has developed a first draft of the guidance as available from the link below, accompanied by technical reference materials. Parties and stakeholders are invited to provide comments and input to this draft, using the commenting form, to the secretariat by Friday 17 February 2023.

    Comments have been received from Argentina, EU and its member states, Jamaica, Japan, Nigeria, Thailand, US, Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers (ALMR), International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), International Dental Manufacturers Association (IDM), IPEN, Alfa Laval Technologies AB, Atium and OASIS. The draft guidance and technical reference document were revised and submitted to COP-5 as UNEP/MC/COP.5/8 and UNEP/MC/COP.5/INF/11 respectively. The responses to the comments are available here.

    Mercury waste thresholds

    The Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the group of technical experts, in its decision MC-4/6, to develop a report to recommend and facilitate a COP-5 decision on the thresholds for waste falling under subparagraph 2 (c) of article 11 (waste contaminated with mercury and mercury compounds). The group was also requested to develop a guidance document on test methods to be used for the tier-2 threshold (0.15 mg/L in leachate) for tailings from mining other than primary mercury mining.

    Parties and other stakeholders have been invited to share information and data on the waste categories listed in the indicative list contained in Table 3 of decision MC-3/5, including with respect to any relevant national or local thresholds and their establishment, by 30 June 2022 (extended to 15 July). The following submissions have been received.

    The list of members of the expert group can be found here. This list also includes experts nominated by Parties and other organizations into a roster to contribute to the work of the group. The group started to work online in June 2022, and elected Ms. Gabriela Denisia Vasiliu Isac (Romania) and Ms. Oluwatoyin Olabanji (Nigeria) as co-chairs.

    As advised by the group, the secretariat issued a letter inviting submission of information on approaches other than a total mercury concentration approach, including risk-based considerations, by 24 November 2022. The following submissions were received:

    The group will review the submissions through online meetings and at plans to have a face-to-face meeting, which will be held from 16 to 18 February 2023 in Geneva, back-to-back with the Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention, thanks to the financial contribution from Japan.

    Second review of the financial mechanism

    The terms of reference for the second review of the financial mechanism are set forth in Decision MC-4/7, which invites parties, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders to submit information, consistent with the terms of reference for the review and organized by the listed performance criteria, on their experience gained through their interactions with the financial mechanism, as soon as possible and not later than 30 September 2022. Submissions should be emailed to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org with copy to marianne.bailey [at] un.org.

    The review covers the time period from August 2019 to July 2022. The listed performance criteria against which the effectiveness and efficiency of the financial mechanism will be assessed are as follows:

    (a) Responsiveness of the Global Environment Facility and the Specific International Programme to the guidance adopted by or provided by the Conference of the Parties;

    (b) Extent to which the projects funded by the financial mechanism have reduced, or are expected to reduce, the supply, use, emissions and releases of mercury, and deliver other benefits in terms of Convention implementation;

    (c) Transparency and timeliness of the project approval processes;

    (d) Simplicity, flexibility and expeditiousness of the procedures for accessing funds and for implementing and reporting on projects;

    (e) Adequacy and sustainability of the available resources;

    (f) Country ownership of activities funded by the financial mechanism;

    (g) Level of stakeholder involvement;

    (h) Any other significant issues raised by the parties.

    Draft reporting guidance

    In decision MC-4/8, the Conference of the Parties (COP) requests the Secretariat to seek any additional comments from Parties and other stakeholders on the draft reporting guidance prepared by the Secretariat set out in UNEP/MC/COP.4.17, taking into account their experiences for completing the first full national reports (Reporting period: 16 August 2017 to 31 December 2020, for submittal by 31 December 2021).

    The same decision sets the deadline for comments to reach the Secretariat by Thursday, 15 December 2022. To facilitate the commenting process, the secretariat has prepared a version of the draft reporting guidance with line indication and a form for the additional comments. All comments received by Parties and other stakeholders are accessible here.

    The secretariat arranged a dedicated Minamata Online Season 3 session on Wednesday, 12 October 2022 from 13:00 to 14:00 Geneva time to introduce the comment form and related documents, and also to respond to any questions and needs for clarifications. The video recording and the full presentation of the session are made available here.

    Gender

    The Minamata Convention on Mercury pays specific attention to the needs of vulnerable populations, especially women and children, in several parts of its text.

    Gender Action Plan

    COP-4 decision MC-4/10 on gender mainstreaming invites Parties, inter alia, to support the secretariat in its efforts to mainstream gender into all activities to be undertaken by the secretariat as well as by parties and other stakeholders, including thorough the development of a gender action plan for the Minamata Convention during the biennium 2022‒2023.

    Pursuant to decision MC-4/10, the secretariat is organizing online consultations for Parties and other stakeholders between September and November 2022 to receive input on a draft gender action, which was prepared by the secretariat thanks to the generous financial support of Sweden. A call for nominations to participate in this consultive process has been issued by the secretariat on 12 August 2022.

    The draft gender action plan, incorporating the inputs received during the consultative process, is expected to be submitted for consideration by the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which is scheduled to take place from 30 October to 3 November 2023 in Geneva.

    Gender Roadmap

    At the second segment of COP-4, the Conference of the Parties took note, in decision MC-4/10, of the gender road map of the Minamata Convention, developed by the secretariat in 2021 and submitted to the Conference of the Parties in working document MC/COP.4/22 on gender mainstreaming.

    The roadmap is living document, which already incorporates inputs from parties. The Secretariat is looking forward to further collaborating with Parties and stakeholders to recognize the importance of this issue and welcomes the submission of additional comments and inputs on the roadmap.

    Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact Lara Ognibene, Legal/Programme Officer and Gender Focal Point, at lara.ognibene [at] un.org.

    First effectiveness evaluation

    Article 22 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury states that the Conference of the Parties (COP) will evaluate the effectiveness of the Convention, beginning no later than six years after the Convention’s entry into force and periodically thereafter at intervals to be decided by the COP.

    At its fourth meeting, in decision MC-4/11, the COP agreed to begin the first effectiveness evaluation of the Convention and adopted the framework for the effectiveness evaluation as outlined in annex I to the decision.

    Open-Ended Scientific Group (OESG)

    In decision MC-4/11, the COP established the Open-ended Scientific Group (OESG) to develop. In accordance with its terms of reference, as contained in annex II to the decision, the work of the OESG during the intersessional period should focus on the compilation of information and development of the following plans:

    • (a) Plan for the monitoring data compilation and summary;
    • (b) Plan for the summary of available emissions and releases data;
    • (c) Plan for data analysis consistent with the Monitoring Guidance (see document UNEP/MC/COP.4/INF/12);

    The OESG is co-chaired by Mr. Dominique Bally Kpokro, from Ivory Coast, and Mr. Terry Keating from the United States of America. To date, the OESG has met online eight times and once face-to-face from 27 to 31 March 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. A progress report of the OESG to the COP is available in document UNEP/MC/COP.5/16/Add.2.

    As a next step in the process, the OESG will start compiling and analysing available data on mercury levels in biota, water, sediment, soil, and in humans, as well as data from emissions and releases inventories, with a view to addressing the guiding questions outlined in the Monitoring Guidance.

    Accordingly, on behalf of the co-Chairs to the Open-ended Scientific Group, the Secretariat has invited Parties and other relevant stakeholders, through the relevant technical experts, to:

    • (a) Submit an expression of intent to provide data to support the first effectiveness evaluation

    The expression of intent will assist the OESG to better plan for and coordinate a subsequent step for the compilation of data. Once the expressions of intent have been received, the OESG will liaise with the data providers on how the data can be submitted to, or accessed by the OESG.

    The purpose of the expression of intent is to indicate a preliminary wish to support the effectiveness evaluation by providing data. The expression of intent is voluntary and non-binding and may be withdrawn at any time by the focal points or technical experts of the relevant country or organization at their sole discretion.

    To submit an expression of intent, the data providers for each type of data to be submitted should complete the response template and email it to mea-minamatasecretariat [at] un.org as soon as possible. Ideally, one data provider will be identified for each type of data to be submitted.

    The submissions received so far are available here.

    • (b) Review the draft plan for data analysis

    Parties and relevant stakeholders are invited to review and provide feedback on the “draft plan for data analysis”, which was prepared by the Open-ended Scientific Group to guide the analysis of data to address the guiding questions in the monitoring guidance. The draft plan for data analysis is available here.

    To provide feedback on the plan, Parties and other relevant stakeholders are invited to use the commenting template and submit it to mea minamatasecretariat [at] un.org by 24 November 2023.

    These and other documents developed by the OESG are available online at the OESG online space.

    Please contact the Secretariat through the email above for any questions related to the work of the OESG.

    Draft report on mercury trade, supply and demand

    In decision MC-4/11, the secretariat was tasked, among other things, with the development of the plan for the report on trade, supply and demand of mercury, including waste flows and stocks. To give effect to the decision, the secretariat engaged the services of a consultant to draft a plan and then work with an additional consultant for the development of the report.

    In August 2022, the Executive Secretary informed parties, in communication MC/ES/2022/109, that the Secretariat had begun the development of the report and invited national focal points of parties and other States, as well as relevant organizations, to indicate one or more experts on the subject matter, including themselves, whom the secretariat would contact for feedback on the draft plan.

    In September 2022, the Secretariat reached out to the 81 experts who had been identified, among whom 50 were from parties, 9 from five other States and 22 from organizations. Comments on the draft plan were received from four parties, one other State and five organizations. The comments received on the draft plan were taken into account in the development of the draft report.

    In June 2023, parties and other stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on a draft version of the full report. The comments received from Parties and other stakeholders are available here.

    The key findings of the resulting draft report on mercury trade, supply and demand to support the first effectiveness evaluation is set out in the annex to document UNEP/MC/COP.5/INF/22. The full draft report is available here.

    Indicators for the Effectiveness Evaluation Process

    In decision MC-4/11, the Conference of the Parties (COP) requested the Secretariat to support an intersessional process to refine the list of indicators to be used in the effectiveness evaluation, with a view to providing a final list of indicators for consideration and possible adoption by the COP at its fifth meeting.

    To support the intersessional process to refine the list of indicators to be used, the Secretariat prepared a draft refined list of indicators for commenting by 31 January 2023.

    The Secretariat arranged a dedicated Minamata Online Season 3 session on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 from 13:00 to 14:00 Geneva time to introduce the draft refined list of indicators and related details for commenting, and also to respond to any questions and needs for clarifications. The video recording and the full presentation of the session are made available here.

    All comments received are accessible on the dedicated online work space for indicators.

    On the basis of the comments received, the Secretariat developed a list of draft indicators, which is available here.

    Contribution to UNEA resolutions

    Pursuant to decision MC-4/12 the Secretariat kept under review the contribution made by the implementation of the Convention to the implementation of relevant resolutions and decisions of UNEA. The Secretariat prepared a mapping document that identifies parts of UNEA resolutions and decisions that are relevant to the implementation of the Convention and provides an update on the status of contributions made so far. The mapping document reviewed resolutions and decisions adopted by UNEA since its first meeting in 2017, which also coincides with the entry into force of the Convention. The mapping document will be available on the Convention’s website soon. The Secretariat will continue updating the mapping document during future intersessional periods and report progress made to the Conferences of the Parties.

    Previous intersessional work


    Information for participants
    Becoming a Party at the time of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    The Minamata Convention entered into force on 16 August 2017, the 90th day after the date of deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. For each State or regional economic integration organization that ratifies, accepts or approves the Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit of this 50th instrument, the Convention will enter into force on the 90th day after the date of deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. Hence, in order to be Parties to the Minamata Convention at the time of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, countries and regional economic integration organizations that have not yet done so should deposit their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the United Nations Secretary-General, who is the depository of the Convention, no later than 1 August 2023. The updated list of Parties can be found on the Convention website.

    Registration and travel assistance

    The names, titles and contact information of your designated representatives to attend the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (including postal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses) should be communicated to the Secretariat using Kronos online registration platform that will be available from 3 July 2023. The link to access the registration platform with the instructions will be sent to National Focal Points to the Minamata Convention on Mercury and/or Permanent Missions to the United Nations Environment Programme and to the United Nations in Geneva and observer organisations contact emails.

    Furthermore, Parties are requested to send to the Secretariat at MEA-MinamataMeetings [at] un.org the official nomination letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a note verbale from the Permanent Mission of the Party to the United Nations Office at Geneva with the names and contact details of the designated representatives. The deadline for registration in the online platform and for sending the official nomination letter for all parties except those requesting travel support is 29 September 2023.

    Observers Governments and organisations approved to participate in the previous meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury are requested to send to the Secretariat at mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org the nomination letter signed by the head of the entity or other duly authorized representative. The deadline for registration in the online platform and for sending the nomination letter is 29 September 2023.

    NOTE: the deadline for registration in the online platform and for sending the official nomination letter for sponsored delegates is 1 September 2023.


    Please note that the completion of the registration process is subject to the submission of all required information and subsequent confirmation by the Secretariat. Delegates are invited not to make travel arrangements before receiving the registration confirmation from the Secretariat. Once the registration is validated in Kronos, each member of the delegation will receive a confirmation email with further logistical information and details.

    In the nomination process of delegates to the meeting, it is strongly encouraged to ensure balanced gender representation within the participating delegations.
    Credentials for Parties to the Minamata Convention

    In order to take part in decision-making at the meeting, Parties must be accredited. Credentials for the head of delegation, alternate representatives and advisers are issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In the case of a regional economic integration organization, credentials should be issued by the competent authority of that organization. Information regarding any change in the composition of the delegation should be submitted using the same procedure.

    Samples of credentials are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

    Original credentials must be submitted to the Secretariat no later than twenty-four hours after the opening of the meeting (therefore by 10 am on Tuesday, 31 October 2023). Parties are invited to submit their original credentials in advance of the meeting, preferably by 1 October 2023, in order to facilitate the clearance process, to:

    The Executive Secretary
    Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury
    United Nations Environment Programme
    Avenue de la Paix 8-14, 1211
    Geneva 10, Switzerland

    If not submitted in advance of the meeting, Parties can hand over original credentials of their representatives at the registration desk upon arrival at the meeting venue on the first day of the meeting.

    Advance electronic copies of credentials can be sent to MEA-MinamataMeetings [at] un.org.

    Travel support

    Financial assistance may be available to support the participation of one participant per eligible developing country Party and Party with economy in transition. The assistance will include daily subsistence allowance (DSA) at United Nations rate and round-trip ticket. The sponsored participant must be clearly specified in the official nomination letter.

    Important: the deadline for registration in the online platform and for sending the official nomination letter for sponsored delegates is 1 September 2023. Please note that early registration is encouraged.

    Once confirmed for participation, the sponsored participants will receive additional instructions on their travel arrangements. Air travel will be arranged according to the United Nations regulations, via the most economical and direct means possible in all cases. Please note that changes to air tickets after they have been issued will not be permitted.

    In order to facilitate the payment of subsistence allowance at the venue, sponsored participants will be requested to submit copies of their passport and boarding passes to the Secretariat staff at the location and time indicated during the meeting. For any query related to travel and DSA, sponsored participants are invited to contact the Secretariat at: mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org.

    Accomodation

    Please note that accommodation support for the non-sponsored governments and NGO representatives participating at the COP-5 may be provided by International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI). Please check CAGI website for more details about the eligibility criteria and the conditions that apply.

    Participants are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements in advance of the meeting and for covering any associated incurred costs. The Secretariat encourages all Parties to make such arrangements at the earliest possible opportunity.

    An updated list of hotels offering preferential rates to the United Nations is available here.

    Observers

    As per paragraph 6 of Article 23 of the Minamata Convention, any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, that is qualified in matters covered by the Convention and has informed the Secretariat of its wish to be represented at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties as an observer may be admitted unless at least one-third of the Parties present object.

    Organizations approved to participate in the previous meetings of the Conference of the Parties did not need to resubmit such application for admission. See organizations listed in documents UNEP/MC/COP.1/INF/16, UNEP/MC/COP.2/INF/19, UNEP/MC/COP.3/INF/27 and UNEP/MC/COP.4/INF/28-Rev.1.

    Organizations needed to submit to the secretariat by e-mail: mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org at least two months prior to the opening of the meeting, an application for admission as an observer at meetings of the COP, including information demonstrating it is qualified in matters covered by the Convention. The Secretariat will screen the applications to check their completeness and conformity with the requirements of the Convention. Successful applications will be submitted to COP-5.

    Further information with regard to the participation of observers in meetings of the Conference of the Parties may be found at: mercuryconvention.org/Meetings/Observers.

    Additional information on observers

    Rule 6 of the rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties provides that the United Nations, its specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State not party to the Convention and any entity operating the mechanism referred to in paragraph 5 of Article 13 of the Convention, may, upon the invitation of the President, participate in the proceedings of any meeting without the right to vote, unless at least one-third of the Parties present at the meeting object.

    Rule 7 of the rules of procedure provides that any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, admitted as an observer may, upon the invitation of the President, participate without the right to vote in the proceedings of any meeting in matters of direct concern to the body or agency they represent, unless at least one-third of the Parties present at the meeting object.

    Upon invitation by the President, observers may present their statements orally. The number of oral statements to be delivered at the meeting depends on the time available. With respect to NGOs, preference will be given to those speaking on behalf of groups of organizations or coalitions. Written statements could also be submitted in one of the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish).

    Media

    Read the media advisory for COP-5, including information on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Minamata Convention, to know what to expect from the fifth-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Media professionals that represent bona fide media organizations (formally registered as a media organization in a country recognized by the United Nations General Assembly) are invited to attend the fifth meeting of the Minamata Convention COP-5 taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 October to 3 November 2023. By following the accreditation process, each journalist can be issued with credentials to enable access to the plenary sessions, side events and exhibition area.

    Media admittance follows the Guidelines for Media accreditation and access.

    Accreditation will be granted upon presentation of valid press credentials, including each of the following:

    1. Completed Accreditation Form
    2. Letter of assignment on the official letterhead of a media organization signed by the publisher/assignment editor, editor-in-chief or bureau chief, specifying the name and functional title of the journalist. Unsigned letters or e-mails will not be accepted;
    3. Photocopy of a valid press card/work pass; and
    4. Photocopy of passport/national ID card.

    Please submit the Accreditation Form together with the documents listed above as soon as possible to the Secretariat through the Communication and Knowledge Management Officer, Anna García Sans at anna.garcia [at] un.org.

    Note that double accreditation is not allowed (e.g. as press and delegate, or as press and nongovernmental organization).

    Visas

    Participants are responsible for obtaining any necessary visa for entering Switzerland as well as any transit visa. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival. Please note that a Schengen visa is required even for transiting through Schengen zone European countries. As time required for the processing of visa requests may vary, it is strongly recommended that visa applications be made sufficiently in advance. More information is available on the website of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs.

    Visa support letters can be provided by the Secretariat upon request.

    Venue

    The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Monday, 30 October, to Friday, 3 November 2023. Regional consultations and other preparatory meetings will take place in the afternoon of Sunday, 29 October 2023.

    The meeting will be held at:

    Geneva International Conference Centre – Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG)
    Rue de Varembé 17. 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland
    Tel.: + 41 (0) 22 791 91 11, Fax: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 64
    Website: www.cicg.ch

    Internet access

    Free wireless internet access is available in all conference and meeting rooms and in the public areas of the CICG.

    Restaurants / Catering services

    Catering services for lunch will be available at the Geneva International Conference Centre, at the bar and restaurant located on the ground and first-floor levels. Other cafes, restaurants and shops are within walking distance of the meeting venue.

    Banking facilities

    Banking services are available at the nearby area, the closest one being UBS Switzerland AG Vermont-Nations located at Chemin Camille-Vidart 17b, 1202 Geneva.

    On-site registration and badge issuance

    Participants are requested to register online in advance of the meeting and obtain their meeting badge at the registration desk at the venue, upon presentation of one of the following valid identification documents, in Latin alphabets:

    • Valid national passport issued by a government recognized by the United Nations;
    • Valid national ID cards issued by a Schengen State;
    • Valid travel document recognized by the UN.

    The registration counter is located on the ground floor of the Geneva International Conference Centre and will have the following opening hours:

    • Sunday, 29 October: 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 pm
    • Monday to Friday, 30 October to 3 November: 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 pm

    Access to the meeting venue is subject to the presentation of a valid meeting badge. For security reasons, the display of conference badges is mandatory at all times to gain access to the meeting venue and meeting rooms. Any loss of a conference badge should be reported immediately to the registration counter.

    We encourage delegates to obtain their conference badge/register prior to the morning of 30 October to reduce the lineups on the day of the official opening.

    Only the names of duly registered participants will be included in the list of participants of the meeting.

    Schedule

    The official opening of COP-5 will take place on Monday, 30 October 2023, at 10.00 a.m. The plenary sessions of the meeting are planned to be held daily from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. For more information, please refer to the annotated provisional agenda, available on COP-5 webpage.

    The plenary sessions of the meeting will be live-streamed in English and the streaming will be made available through the COP-5 webpage and YouTube Channel.

    Code of conduct

    As notified by the Executive Secretary on 11 January 2023, the United Nations issued the Code of Conduct to prevent harassment, including sexual harassment, at UN System events, which include meetings, conferences, side events, workshops and other events organized under the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention is committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment. Delegates are invited to familiarize themselves with the document.

    Greening the COP*

    The Minamata Convention Secretariat has taken steps to enhance and promote the environmental sustainability of its activities, including in the preparation and conduct of its meetings.

    The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (COP-5) will be conducted in accordance with the Secretariat’s environmental sustainability efforts. A number of measures will be put in place to reduce the environmental impact of COP-5 and offset unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions related to it.

    The Secretariat will work with the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) and the caterer to reduce the environmental impact of their services. CICG and the caterer have adopted several measures to reduce their environmental footprint. For more information on the environmental measures taken by CICG, please consult the environmental chart of the Foundation for Buildings for International Organizations (FIPOI).

    All participants have an essential role to play in reducing the environmental footprint of COP-5, and your support in this important effort is greatly appreciated.

    Sustainability measures that will be adopted at the venue

    1. Reducing waste production: COP-5 will aim at reducing wastes, especially plastic waste, at the meeting venue, in collaboration with CICG and the caterer:
      1. The use of plastic in containers, bottles, sandwich wraps, cutlery and cups will be minimized and replaced with alternatives. Please see below a table of items that will be available at COP-5, and suggested actions to reduce waste production;
      2. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring refillable drinking containers (cups, mugs, bottles) to be used at the Café/Restaurant and hydration stations located throughout the venue;
      3. A discount on hot drinks will be offered by the caterer at the Café le 6ème Continent (Ground Floor) and at the Restaurant (First Floor) to the participants who use their own reusable cups;
      4. The venue has a recycling programme, and recycling bins are disposed in various locations throughout the venue.
    2. Paperless meeting: The meeting will be paperless and printed documents will not be available at the meeting. Making a meeting paperless considerably reduces the cost and carbon footprint of the meeting. Pre-session documents will be available on the meeting’s website and in-session documents (such as conference room papers) will be available electronically via the COP-5 webpage. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets.

    Suggested actions for participants to support greening COP-5

    Participants who organize their own travel to and from Geneva are encouraged to take the following actions:

    1. Calculate the CO2 emissions related to their travels, using the ICAO flight emissions calculator;
    2. Offset their emissions, using the United Nations carbon offset platform and sending a copy of the attestation to the Secretariat at mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org to help track progress in achieving climate neutrality of COP-5;
    3. Replace short flights with rail trips, where possible;
    4. Opt for direct routes that avoid additional emissions associated with multiple take-offs and landings;
    5. Voluntarily lower the flight class to avoid the higher footprint of business class trips;
    6. Use sustainable transportation, including buses, biking, walking, or carpooling for local trips where possible;
    7. Shift meals to plant-based, locally produced, in-season, or eco-certified alternatives where possible;
    8. Seek out accommodations that have a green guest program or have earned an eco-certification;
    9. Stay at accommodations that are within walking distance of the meeting venue;
    10. Reduce food waste and other waste;
    11. Bring refillable drinking containers (cups, mugs, bottles) to be used at the Café/Restaurant and hydration stations;
    12. Download any electronic documents for use onsite. Printed copies will not be provided, but participants will be able to recharge their devices;
    13. Participate in the venue's recycling program.

     

    The following items will be available at the COP venue. Please consider suggested actions to reduce waste and make COP-5 greener.

    Items

    Composition

    Disposal

    Suggested Actions to #greeningCOP5

    Water cups

    Paper

    Recycling

    1. PREVENT: bring your reusable cup/mug/bottle
    2. REUSE: reuse them as many times as possible
    3. RECYCLE: dispose of the paper cup in the paper recycling bin

    Hot drink cups

    Bamboo

    Incineration

    1. PREVENT: opt for reusable cups of the cafeteria or bring your own reusable mug/cup
    2. RECOVERY: dispose of the bamboo cup in the waste bin for incineration

    Sandwich wrap

    Polylactic Acid and paper

    Incineration

    1. RECOVERY: dispose of the sandwich wrap in the waste bin for incineration

    Paper napkin

    Paper

    Incineration

    1. PREVENT: only use if needed
    2. RECOVERY: dispose of the paper napkin in the waste bin for incineration

    Packaging for snacks

    Plastic (type)

    Incineration

    1. PREVENT: opt for healthier and unpacked snacks such as seasonal and local fruits
    2. RECOVERY: dispose of the plastic packaging in the waste bins for incineration

    Drink bottles

    Glass

     

    1. RETURN: to the café/restaurant, as glass bottles are reusable

    Drink cans

    Aluminum

    Recycling

    1. RECYCLING: dispose of aluminum cans in the aluminum recycling bin

    Glass containers

    Glass

     

    1. RETURN: to the café/restaurant, as glass containers are reusable

    Porcelain plates

    Porcelain

     

    1. RETURN: to the café/restaurant, as porcelain plates are reusable

    Stainless steel cutlery

    Stainless steel

     

    1. RETURN: to the café/restaurant, as stainless-steel cutlery is reusable

    Disposable cutlery

    Polylactic Acid

    Incineration

    1. PREVENT: opt for reusable stainless-steel cutlery, where possible
    2. RECOVERY: dispose of the cutlery in the waste bins for incineration

    Cocktail verrines

    Polylactic Acid

    Incineration

    1. PREVENT: opt for reusable alternatives if available
    2. RETURN: to the café/restaurant, as verrines can be washed and reused if not broken or damaged
    3. RECOVERY: if broken or damaged, dispose of the verrines in the waste bins for incineration

    Food waste

     

    Incineration

    1. PREVENT: any food waste
    2. RECOVERY: dispose of any food waste in the waste bins for incineration

     

    Thank you for your effort to #greeningCOP5!

    For more information, please contact Maria Irene Rizzo, Associate Expert, at irene.rizzo [at] un.org.

    *These actions are drawn from the document “United Nations Ozone Secretariat Event EMS Green Travel and Event Tips”, the 2023 Environmental Management System (EMS) Action Plans developed by the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention of Mercury and the Greening the 2023 COPs webpage of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

    Health

    First-aid and emergency medical services are available at the Geneva International Conference Centre.

    Delegates with a chronic illness should carry all necessary medication and medical items for the entire duration of the journey, in their original containers, clearly labeled.

    Delegates are advised to seek medical insurance with appropriate cover abroad, i.e. accident, sickness, medical repatriation and death. The United Nations does not cover life or medical insurance for participants. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the participants or of their Governments to obtain adequate insurance prior to travel to Switzerland.

    COVID-19

    It is the responsibility of each participant to familiarize themself with travel restrictions related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country of origin, including for transit and re-entry. The following websites provide information on entry requirements to Switzerland:

    Appropriate precautionary and hygiene measures will be put in place at the meeting venue, in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations and the Government of Switzerland. The COVID-19 situation will be kept under review in the lead-up and during the meeting. The Secretariat strongly recommends that all participants in the meeting of the Conference of the Parties be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Participants with mobility issues requiring special arrangements are invited to contact the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention in advance of the meeting at: mea-minamatameetings [at] un.org

    Further information

    Hotel accomodation

    Participants are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements in advance of the meeting and for covering any associated incurred costs. The Secretariat encourages all Parties to make such arrangements at the earliest possible opportunity.

    An updated list of hotels offering preferential rates to the United Nations is available here.

    List of participants

    A tentative list of participants that attend COP-5 will be prepared by the Secretariat and made available on the Minamata Convention website. Delegates are reminded that the list of participants is based on the information provided by the delegates at the time of registration and that inclusion in the list of participants is conditional upon official registration.

    Currency and rate of exchange

    Swiss Franc (CHF). Average exchange rates, as of 14 June 2023: 1 US dollar~ 0.9043 CHF, 1 Euro ~ 0.9767 CHF. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants in Switzerland.

    Electricity

    Participants are kindly requested to bring their own power adaptors.

    Voltage: 220 volts.
    Frequency: 50 Hz.
    Plug/socket: C (CEE 7/16), J.

    Time zone

    Switzerland is in CEST time zone (UTC+2).

     

    Regional Meetings

    The dates of the regional preparatory meetings in 2023 are, as follows:

    Regional Group Dates and details Venue
    Africa UN Nairobi Gigiri Complex, Nairobi, Kenya
    Asia-Pacific UNESCAP Bangkok, Thailand
    Eastern European States Yerevan, Armenia
    GRULAC Brasilia, Brazil

    Please continue to check this page for updates on the regional meetings.

     

    UNEP SPP regional meetings  

    The Minamata Convention on Mercury and the UNEP science policy panel on chemicals, waste and prevention of pollution (SPP) have cooperated to hold back-to-back regional meetings. 

    The Minamata COP-5 regional preparatory meetings will be immediately followed by the SPP ad hoc Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) meetings, whose aim is to undertake strategic discussions to prepare for the second session of the OEWG, scheduled for 11-15 December 2023 in the Dead Sea, Jordan (see full schedule of OEWG meetings here).  

    Both bodies worked collaboratively to ensure efficiency in the use of resources and consistency in the application of environmental positive practices for meetings. 

    Online events
    Introduction and calendar
    COP-5 events are an informal platform for Parties and observers to share information and bring knowledge to advances in technology, research, and policy to the attention of Parties and to the global community that the Convention serves. Two types of COP-5 events are offered: online events and Knowledge Lab sessions.
    Online events are 1-hour in duration, and take place virtually using the WebEx platform. The online events are scheduled for the week of October 9 to 13. Check the full calendar here.
    Monday 9 October
    Save the date and register now:
    Tuesday 10 October
    Save the date and register now:
    Wednesday 11 October
    Save the date and register now:
    Thursday 12 October
    Save the date and register now:
    Friday 13 October
    Save the date and register now:
    Organizers’ tasks and responsibilities
    It should be noted that organizers of the online events will be fully responsible for the following tasks and responsibilities:
    • Organizing and promoting the event (a final decision on format will be taken at a later stage).
    • Inviting panelists and speakers.
    • Covering any expenses related to the participation of the panelists and speakers, e.g., communications allowance, etc. (if and as relevant).
    • Mainstreaming the event beyond the Minamata Convention website so that it secures as broad an audience as possible.
    • Preparing a short final report with a summary of the outcomes of the event for the purpose of being published on the Minamata Convention website.
    • Giving due consideration to any media / social media activities relating to events, in cooperation with the Secretariat media team.
    NOTE: Online Events seek to take account of global time zones. Organizers are expected to strictly keep to the schedule.
    Online events will be limited to 60 minutes in duration, conducted using the WebEx platform and will be broadcasted on the Convention’s YouTube channel. Organizers must make sure that all the panelists join at least 15 minutes before their respective events and test their Audio-Video settings.

     

    Knowledge Lab and COP-5 Exhibition
    Introduction and schedule

    Knowledge Lab sessions are 45-minutes in duration, generally with an open space set-up that is envisaged to be simple and straightforward for both organizers and the audience to interact. The Knowledge Labs are also designed to spur discussion and exchange of information during COP-5.  

    The sessions will take place at the COP-5 venue, during the lunch break (14h00 – 14h45 CET), from Tuesday, 31 October to Friday, 3 November. The topics and organizers can be seen from the schedule.

    For the organizer's responsibilities, please read the note for organizers.

    The Secretariat is no longer accepting applications for Knowledge Labs. 

    Monday 30 October
    No Knowledge Labs
      Tuesday 31 October
      Save the date: 14h00 – 14h45 CET
      • VCM from Acetylene Can Be Made Without Mercury (NRDC) Location: Space B, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      • Indigenous Women, Inter-Generational Knowledge & Mercury Contamination (IITC) Location: Space C, Floor 0
      Wednesday 1 November
      Save the date: 14h00 – 14h45 CET
      • Exploring sustainable ASGM technology in Papua New Guinea (Australia & Papua New Guinea) Location: Room 2, Floor B1. See Presentation Materials here.
      • Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic and the Amazon: Monitoring experiences and the implementation and effectiveness evaluation of the Minamata Convention (Inuit Circumpolar Council) Location: Room C, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      • March to Mercury-Free Dentistry, Country by Country, Region by Region (World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry) Location: Space B, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      • Mitigating mercury usage and environmental contamination: A multi-scalar, mixed methods approach for artisanal and small- scale gold mining (Artisanal Gold Council) Location: Space C, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      Thursday 2 November
      Save the date: 14h00 – 14h45 CET
      • Hepatoprotective activity of Mercury containing Lokanatha Rasa with special reference on Hepatocellular carcinoma (Sri Lanka) Location: Space B, Floor 0
      • Tailings Management – Reduce the Mercury concentration on contaminated tailings. Case Study: Colombia (Pure Earth) Location: Space A, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      • Mainstreaming gender in capacity- building projects: practical approaches (Minamata Convention Secretariat) Location: Space C, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      Friday 3 November
      Save the date: 14h00 – 14h45 CET
      • Primary Drivers of Mercury (Hg) Accumulation in Tropical Lake Lantoa, Sulawesi, Indonesia (Australian National University) Location: Space A, Floor 0. Read the full presentation here.
      • Georgian Painters for Mercury Pollution Prevention and Clean up (ICFER, Georgia) Location: Space B, Floor 0
      • Mercury: Bridging Science, Policy, and the Minamata Convention through Doctoral Training (Jožef Stefan Institute) Location: Space C, Floor 0. See Presentation Material here.
      Information on the COP-5 Exhibition

      The Minamata COP-5 Exhibition will provide an opportunity for partner institutions, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and private companies to exhibit their activities, projects and technologies that are available to support the implementation of the Convention.

      Exhibitors are invited to showcase their activities, projects as well as relevant alternative mercury-free technologies. Exhibitors are also be encouraged to share and demonstrate how their work contributes towards attaining the objectives of the Minamata Convention.

      The target audience of the COP-5 Exhibition are delegates, observers, and visitors as well as other representatives from the private and public sector, civil society and media that are invited to attend the fifth meeting of the conference of parties to the Minamata Convention. 

      United Nations rules with regard to the marketing activities by private companies in a United Nations conference centre

      Private companies can exhibit only what is pertinent to the conference they have been invited for and must not at any time neither solicit, transact nor market their services. The exhibition shall be for information purposes only, for the benefit of the participants to the conference.

      Registration and access at COP-5

      Exhibitors will be issued a guest pass to enter the CICG for the duration for the meeting. The pass entitles exhibitors access to the venue and common areas only. The guest pass will not allow exhibitors to enter COP-5 meeting rooms that are designated for the use of COP-5 parties for discussion and negotiations.

      Exhibitors are to register at the COP-5 registration desk at the CICG during the meeting to secure their guest pass or badge. No prior online registration is needed. 

      Frequently Asked Questions

      • 1. What items are provided by the Secretariat?

      The following items are covered by the Secretariat:
      - Exhibition space
      - 2 Chairs
      - 1 Table
      - 1 pin-up board

      COP-5 Exhibition Booths

      • 2. Are there other costs that COP-5 exhibitors have to cover?

      COP-5 exhibitors will need to pay for the additional items arranged through the CICG that are not provided for by the Secretariat, e.g., TV, laptops, exhibit partitions, etc. For the availability and pricing of the items, COP-5 exhibitors can contact the responsible personnel of the CICG directly, Ms. Lisa Diop at l.diop [at] cicg.ch, with a copy to l.pellandini [at] cicg.ch.

      • 3. Do COP-5 exhibitors need to be accredited observers to the Minamata COPs?

      No. However, they need to register with the Minamata registration team at the CICG and receive a guest badge to access the exhibition area and the common places. Please note that this badge will not allow COP-5 exhibitors to enter the meeting rooms.

      • 4. Will accreditation to Global Mercury Partnership be automatically valid for the Minamata COPs?

      No. The Minamata Convention has a separate accreditation procedure. For more information on being accredited as an observer under the Minamata Convention please click here.

      • 5. Can the exhibitors bring their own banner to identify their booth?

      Yes. COP-5 exhibitors can bring their own banners, information materials, etc., to share with COP-5 participants. The Secretariat strongly encourages COP-5 exhibitors to share in the Secretariat’s Greening the COP efforts, e.g., reducing waste, avoiding the use of plastics, etc. For more information on the initiative please click here

      • 6. Is there a United Nations rule with regard to the marketing activities by private companies in a United Nations conference centre?

      Private companies can exhibit only what is pertinent to the conference they have been invited for and must not at any time neither solicit, transact nor market their services; The exhibition shall be for information purposes only, for the benefit of the participants to the conference.

      • 7. Can the exhibition booth be equipped with an electronic display?

      Yes. In the application form, exhibitors have the option to include items, such as projector or digital monitor, under technical requirements. Exhibitors need to arrange these additional items through the CICG, please see FAQ#2 above. 

      • 8. When is the deadline for confirming a space and ordering additional items?

      6 October 2023

      • 9. Would the booths need to be fully set up for the whole time each day of the Exhibition period?

      Yes. While it is expected that majority of the participants will be arriving on the first two days of the Conference, visitors and guests are expected to turn up during the week and they would benefit from the information and materials provided by the exhibitors.

      • 10. How soon can exhibitors send their exhibit items to CICG?

      Exhibitors can ship their exhibit items 1 week before October 28th. Please coordinate with CICG on when the items will be arriving and be sure to provide a description of the items, including volume. For more information, please check CICG's Exhibitor's Guide 2021.

      • 11. Will there be United Nations security present during the day, and/or a space manager that exhibitors could notify should they need to leave the booth unattended for a short period of time?

      United Nations Security will be present during the day. However, their task is overall security for the participants and attendees. It is the exhibitors’ responsibility to take care of their respective booths. For a short period of time, a request can be placed to the space manager or fellow exhibitors to watch over the booth.

      For more information, please see Information Note for Exhibitors.

       

      Knowledge labs (3 November)

      Knowledge labs

      On the last day of COP-5, our organizers continued to share valuable perspectives with the participants. Friday’s topics covered research progress on mercury accumulation, young generation’s learning and engagement on mercury prevention, and how doctoral training can facilitate the phase-out of mercury.

      The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention highly appreciate the work of all organizers and presenters who have shared these twelve informative, vivid and diverse sessions. Big thanks also to all participants who have engaged in these activities.

      While the COP-5 knowledge labs have come to an end, the commitment to #MakeMercuryHistory continues stronger than ever. Learn more about the Convention and stay updated by subscribing our mailing list.

      To Top

      Knowledge Labs (2 November)

      Knowledge labs

      The three knowledge labs on Thursday 2 guided our participants on discussions with wider topics: the continuing exploration on mercury usage in medical treatments, the new possibilities for mercury tailings management, and how gender considerations have been integrated during the phase out of mercury.

      Friday offers the last three sessions of the COP-5 for participants to delve into more mercury prevention subjects through vivid and insightful sharing. A full schedule can be found here.

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      Knowledge labs (1 November)

      Knowledge labs

      The third day of COP-5 was enriched by a series of informative Knowledge Labs. These included two sessions that delved into artisanal and small-scale gold mining, one lab focused on the Convention's effects on indigenous communities in the Arctic and the Amazon, and one more session discussing the transition to mercury-free dentistry.

      As we move into the latter part of COP-5, we invite you to participate in these enlightening discussions to gain a deeper understanding of the most up-to-date mercury-free practices. For more information on the topics and organizers, please check the knowledge labs schedule.

      To Top

      Knowledge Labs (31 October)

      Knowledge labs (31 October)

      Knowledge labs are designed to spur discussion and exchange of information during the COP-5 of the Minamata Convention.  With a duration of 45 minutes each, these sessions are generally arranged with an open space set-up that is envisaged to be simple and straightforward for both organizers and the audience to interact.

      From heartfelt statements shared by Indigenous women to exciting exchanges regarding mercury-free PVC production, these distinct sessions on Tuesday (31 October) marked the beginning of the twelve knowledge labs during COP-5. For more information on the topics and organizers, please check the knowledge labs schedule.

      To Top

      Mercury in cosmetics – more than what meets the eye

      COP-5 special event

      Consumers are often unaware that skin-lightening products contain harmful chemicals including mercury. Questioning the normalization of skin lightening and confronting the perpetuation of harmful cultural norms was the focus of a special event co-organized by the Global Environment Facility and UNEP, held on Tuesday 31 October at the COP-5 venue.

      With the global cosmetics market expanding, growing 14 percent in 2022, and the majority of skin lighting products exceeding the limits set by the Minamata Convention on Mercury, eliminating the use of mercury within skin lightening products (SLPs) is critical to meet the needs of the Convention.

      Watch the video recording of the event.

      To Top

      A Decade of Global Commitment to Make Mercury History

      10th anniversary event

      On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Minamata Convention, this event shared the views of relevant stakeholders who provided insights into the Convention's progress over ten years, aiming to bring both remembrance and hope, with a focus on the human aspect.

      It featured diverse voices, including representatives from Parties, NGOs, financial mechanism, Indigenous Peoples, and artists engaged in environmental causes, inviting them to reflect on what the Convention means to them.

      Watch the live streaming of the event.

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      Screening of the Minamata film

      Screening of the Minamata film

      The screening of the film Minamata, co-organized with the Geneva Environment Network, took place at the COP-5 venue on Sunday 29 October (18h15 CEST), with the presence of the film director Andrew Levitas, members of the Minamata Disease Mutual Aid Society, and Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz.

      ‘Minamata’ chronicles the efforts of photographer W. Eugene Smith as he documented the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in Japanese coastal communities during the 1970s.

      Watch the live streaming of their opening remarks here.

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      Latin America and the Caribbean regional preparatory meeting for COP-5

      GRULAC meeting

      The Latin America and the Caribbean regional preparatory meeting for #MinamataCOP5 took place in Brasilia, Brazil from 5 to 6 October.

      Big thanks to co-chairs Osvaldo Patricio Álvarez Pérez (Chile) and Cheryl Eugene-St.Romain (Saint Lucia), as well as the current GRULAC-Environment Coordinator, Ana Elizabeth Valdés de Sperisen (Guatemala) for leading the way during the agenda briefings and discussions.

      Learn more about the other COP-5 regional preparatory meetings.

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      Indigenous organizations in Latin America regional preparatory meeting for COP-5

      Indigenous organizations in Latin America meeting

      The meeting of Indigenous organizations in Latin America in preparation for #MinamataCOP5 took place in Brasilia, Brazil on 4 October.

      The meeting was hosted by the Government of Brazil and financial support for the participation of Indigenous organizations came from Australia, Norway and Sweden.

      Learn more about the COP-5 regional preparatory meetings.

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      Eastern European States regional preparatory meeting for COP-5

      Eastern European States meeting

      The Eastern European States regional preparatory meeting for #MinamataCOP5 took place in Yerevan, Armenia from 18 to 19 September.

      Big thanks to co-chairs Anahit Aleksandryan (Armenia) and COP-5 President Claudia-Sorina Dumitru (Romania) for leading the way during the agenda briefings and discussions.

      Learn more about the other COP-5 regional preparatory meetings.

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      Africa regional preparatory meeting for COP-5

      Africa regional meeting group

      The Africa regional preparatory meeting for #MinamataCOP5 took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 to 13 September.

      Big thanks to co-chairs Roger Baro (Burkina Faso) and Oarabile Serumola (Botswana) for leading the way during the agenda briefings and discussions.

      Learn more about the other COP-5 regional preparatory meetings.

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      Asia Pacific regional preparatory meeting for COP-5

      Asia Pacific regional meeting group

      The first regional preparatory meeting for #MinamataCOP5 just concluded in Bangkok, Thailand (5-6 September).

      A big thanks to the Asia-Pacific co-chairs Syed Mujtaba Hussain (Pakistan) and Saeed A. Alzahrani (Saudi Arabia) for leading the way during the briefings & discussions on the COP-5 agenda.

      Learn more about the other COP-5 regional preparatory meetings.

      To Top
      Streaming
      Monday 30 October - morning session
      Ceremonial Opening 
      • Ms. Katrin Schneeberger, State Secretary, Director of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Switzerland
      • Ms. Elizabeth Mrema, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
      • Ms. Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention
      • Ms. Claudia-Sorina Dumitru, President of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties
      Item 1: Opening of the meeting [statements expected]
      Item 2(b): Organization of work
      Item 2(c): Election of officers
      Item 2(d): Report on the credentials
      Item 3: Rules of Procedure
      Item 4(l): Financial rules
       

        Monday 30 October - afternoon session
        Item 4 (g) (i): Global Environment Facility
        Item 4 (g) (ii): Specific International Programme to Support Capacity-Building and Technical Assistance
        Item 4 (g) (iii): Review of the financial mechanism
        Item 4 (h): Capacity-building, technical assistance and technology transfer
        Item 4 (c): Artisanal and small-scale gold mining
         

        Tuesday 31 October - morning session
        Item 4 (c): Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (cont.)
        Item 6: Programme of work and budget
        Item 4 (j): National reporting
        Item 4 (i): Implementation and Compliance Committee
         

          Tuesday 31 October - afternoon session
          Item 2 (f): Mercury waste: consideration of the relevant thresholds
          Item 2 (k): Effectiveness evaluation
          Item 4 (a): Mercury supply sources and trade
          Item 4 (d): Emissions of mercury
           

            Wednesday 1 November - morning session
            Item 4 (h): Capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer​
            Item 4 (e): Releases​
            Item 4 (m): Gender​
            Item 4 (n): Knowledge management​
            Item 4 (o): Mercury and Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework​
             

              Wednesday 1 November - afternoon session
              Item 5: International cooperation and coordination
              Item 4 (g)(iii): Review of the financial mechanism​ (cont.)
              Reopening of other agenda items​
               

                Thursday 2 November - morning session
                Item 2 (d): Credentials 
                Item 4 (o): Mercury and Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
                Item 4 (k): Effectiveness evaluation
                Item 4 (c): Artisanal and small-scale gold mining
                Item 4 (a): Mercury supply sources and trade

                 

                  Thursday 2 November - afternoon session
                  Item 4 (a): Mercury supply sources and trade (cont)

                   

                    Friday 3 November - morning session
                    Item 2 (c): Election of officers
                    Item 4 (b): Mercury-added products and manufacturing processes: Amendments to annexes A and B
                    Item 4 (a): Mercury supply sources and trade
                    Item 4 (j): National reporting

                     

                      Friday 3 November - afternoon session
                      Item 4 (f): Mercury waste: consideration of the relevant thresholds
                      Item 6: Programme of work and budget
                      Item 7: Venue and dates of the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties
                      Item 8: Other matters
                      Item 9: Adoption of the report of the meeting
                      Item 10: Closure of the meeting