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Palau, Slovenia, Viet Nam ratify Minamata Convention

The Governments of Palau, Thailand, Slovenia and Viet Nam have deposited their instruments of ratification, thereby becoming the 66th to 69th future Parties to the Minamata Convention.

Tommy Remengesau

Tommy Remengesau, President of Palau. Photo credit: EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

The depositions were made on Wednesday, June 21; Thursday, June 22; and Friday, June 23, 2017. While Palau deposited on Wednesday and Thailand on Thursday, both Slovenia and Viet Nam did likewise on Friday.

Previously, Iran and Estonia had ratified the Convention, which has already entered into force, thanks to the landmark rash of ratifications on Thursday, May 18, 2017 that triggered the entry into force of the mercury accord, having garnered the required 50 ratifications.

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On that day, the EU and seven of its member States – Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden – deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN Headquarters in New York, bringing to 51 that day the number of future Parties.

As a result, on August 16 2017, the Convention, which aims at protecting human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds, will become legally binding for all its Parties.

To commemorate the historic development, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Ministry of the Environment of Japan, Kumamoto Prefecture and Minamata City will on Saturday, July 1, 2017 hold “Celebrating Event for the Minamata Convention on Mercury – Voice from Minamata towards the Entry into Force ” in Minamata City, Kumamoto, Japan.

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The event includes the first part with the video letters from overseas and the declaration by the Junior High School students in Minamata City calling for the global attention. In the second part, H.E. Mr. Fernando Lugris, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury, will deliver a commemorative speech followed by the “Minamata Talk” lead by Mr. Hiroshi Nishida, Mayor of Minamata City, and other speakers.

The 1st Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (COP1) will gather governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations from around the world in Geneva from September 24 to 29, 2017.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury (“Minamata Convention”) is a new international environmental convention for global community to work collaboratively against mercury pollution. The Minamata Convention aims at achieving environmentally sound mercury management throughout its life cycle. The Convention was adopted at the diplomatic conferences held in Minamata City and Kumamoto City in October 2013.

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