Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (COP4) will be held in two segments.
According to the Bureau of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, while the online segment holds from November 1 to 5, 2021, an in-person segment takes place in the first quarter of 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
The summit was originally scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia, from November 1 to 5, 2021.
“Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and related travel restrictions prevent the organisation of the COP in its usual format. More specifically, the Indonesian Government will not allow large-scale gatherings, including an international conference, until the end of 2021 due to the travel and social distancing restrictions introduced in response to the pandemic,” said COP4 President, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, and Executive Secretary of the Convention, Monika Stankiewicz.
The pair stated that, after considering possible options and in consultation with National Focal Points from all regions, the Bureau decided, at its fifth meeting held on April 14, 2021, to organise COP4 in two segments: a first segment to be conducted online within the period of November 1 to 5, 2021 and a second segment to be conducted in-person in the first quarter of 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
They added: “The timing of the two segments will allow to keep momentum in decision-making and to avoid potential overlap with other international meetings in the remaining quarters of that year. The exact date of the in-person segment of the COP4 will take into account, among others, the timing of the resumed in-person session of UNEA-5 from February 28 to March 2, 2022 and the special session of the UNEA-5 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme on March 3 and 4, 2022.
“The online segment of COP4 will include consideration of the Convention’s programme of work and budget for biennium 2022-2023 and a few time-sensitive items. During the second segment of the COP, which will also be under the Indonesian Presidency, the Conference of the Parties will consider and/or resume consideration of all remaining items of the meeting.
“Indonesia is confident that it will be possible to organise an international conference in Bali in the first quarter of 2022. Indonesia is committed, in collaboration with the Secretariat, to undertake all necessary safety measures to ensure safe participation in the in-person segment of COP4 in 2022.
“Indonesia and the Secretariat will continue to monitor the evolution of COVID-19 related restrictions as they may further impact the organisation of the in-person segment of the COP, keeping the Bureau abreast, and will prepare contingency planning as required.”
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.