New ratification as Minamata city unveils plan to celebrate Convention’s entry into force


The governments of Palau, Thailand, Slovenia and Viet Nam on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 21-23 June, 2017 deposited their instruments of ratification for the Minamata Convention on Mercury becoming the 66th, 67th, 68th and 69th future Party to the Convention bringing the total ratification to 69.
Similarly, the government of Japan on Friday unveiled plans to celebrate the entry into force of the Convention on July 1, 2017 at the Minamata Disease Archives, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Kumamoto, Japan.
The celebration event put together by the United Nations Environment Programme, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, Kumamoto Prefecture, Minamata city will draw foreign and local participants to the day-long event.
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.
The Minamata Convention enters into force on 16 August 2017 as the requirement was fulfilled on May 18, 2017. To commemorate this historic step, United Nations Environmental Programme (UN Environment), Ministry of the Environment, Japan, Kumamoto Prefecture and Minamata City will hold “Celebrating Event for the Minamata Convention on Mercury – Voice from Minamata towards the Entry into Force –” in Minamata City, Kumamoto, Japan.
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” to be lead by Mr. Hiroshi Nishida, Mayor of Minamata City, and other speakers.
Ahead of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP1) confirmed to take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, the interim secretariat to the convention is organizing a series of regional meetings in preparation for COP 1 to be held in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean in the month of July 2017.