Remarks: Monika Stankiewicz at 2022 BRS COPs

09 Jun 2022

Remarks by Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention, at the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS COPs) on 8 June 2022.

Minamata Convention

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Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you here today and testify to the excellent collaboration between the Minamata Convention secretariat and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm secretariat. Our cooperation has increased during the past intersessional period on a broad array of:

  • programmatic issues, such as mercury wastes and their environmentally sound management; the provision of technical assistance, financial resources, compliance, legal issues and effectiveness evaluation; and
  • administrative issues, in particular with regard to the organization and servicing of our COP, outreach and awareness-raising efforts; and knowledge and information management.

I am very happy that parties recognized this enhanced cooperation and expressed their strong support for it to continue by adopting a decision on the matter at the recent, fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention, in Bali, Indonesia.

Mercury waste was an important area of collaboration. The Minamata Convention requires parties to manage mercury waste in an environmentally sound manner taking into account the guidelines developed under the Basel Convention. Minamata Convention COP-2 invited the Basel Convention COP to update the relevant guidelines, and I am glad to see the updated draft guidelines – to which the Minamata Convention secretariat contributed - presented to this COP. I am also grateful for the contribution of the Basel Convention Secretariat to the work under the Minamata Convention to establish thresholds for mercury waste. We look forward to further cooperation in supporting parties in the sound management of mercury waste.

The collaboration with the BRS secretariat also produced important results in raising the significance of the chemicals and waste cluster in the broader environmental agendas: namely a joint effort on exploratory studies on the linkages of the conventions to biodiversity and to climate change, respectively, which have been submitted to our respective COPs.

As agreed by the Minamata Convention COP at its third meeting, I requested support from the BRS secretariat, on a cost recovery basis, for the organization of both segments of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention and I am grateful for having received it.

The support of the BRS secretariat, as well as the support of other MEA secretariats and UNEP, was an important contribution to the success of COP-4. It has been absolutely inspiring to me to discover how MEAs secretariats support each other.

Looking into future, the implementation of United Nations Environment Assembly resolutions 5/7, on the sound management of chemicals and waste, and 5/8, on a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution is one – important - example where our Minamata Convention and BRS conventions respective work and mandates will converge.

Through implementation of these UNEA resolutions we will further raise the significance of the chemicals and waste cluster in the broader environmental agendas and make the necessary progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and to addressing the three planetary crises of pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change.

Thank you.

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