Apr 162012

There’s information in D’Arcy’s letter to officials, at http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=5163.

The official website:  http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Mercury/Negotiations/tabid/3320/Default.aspx

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The Negotiating Process

In February 2009, the Governing Council of UNEP agreed on the need to develop a global legally binding instrument on mercury.

The work to prepare this instrument is undertaken by an intergovernmental negotiating committee supported by the Chemicals Branch of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics as secretariat.  The goal is to complete the negotiations before the twenty-seventh regular session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in 2013.

Participation in the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) is open to all Governments. Intergovernmental organizations and representatives from the civil society may also take part as observers.

The committee operates under the rules of procedure adopted at its first session. As its first act the committee elected Mr. Fernando Lugris (Uruguay) Chair of the committee, as well as nine vice-chairs that together form the Bureau of the INC.

It is planned that the work of the intergovernmental negotiating committee will be carried out over five sessions:

Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the text will be open for signature at a diplomatic conference (Conference of Plenipotentiaries), which will be held in 2013 in Japan.

Regional meetings are being organized to assist Governments in their preparations for the negotiating sessions.

Extra budgetary resources are needed to fund the negotiations process. A “Mercury Club” has been established to recognize support received from Governments and others.

A representative from civil society has presented a sculpture to the intergovernmental negotiating committee symbolizing the irreversible consequences of mercury contamination and the important responsibility that Governments have in reaching an effective agreement to reduce and eliminate mercury emissions in the environment.  The sculpture, entitled “Pez-Peste”, was specially created and donated by the Argentine artist Nicolas Garcia Uriburu. The sculpture will be used as a symbol for the ongoing negotiations and will follow the committee throughout the negotiations process.

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