Legally binding instrument on mercury

At its 25th session, the Governing Council agreed to elaborate a legally binding instrument on mercury. It asked UNEP to convene an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) with the mandate to prepare the legally binding instrument, commencing its work in 2010. The first session of the committee will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 7 to 11 June 2010.

To inform the INC the Governing Council at its 25th session requested the Executive Director of UNEP to develop a study on various mercury emitting sources (“The paragraph29 study”).

To prepare for the work of the intergovernmental negotiating committee, the Governing Council established an Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group to discuss the negotiating priorities, timetable and organization of the intergovernmental negotiating committee. The meeting was held in Bangkok from 19 to 23 October 2009. Regional meetings to prepare for the negotiations have also been held.

Previously, an Ad-hoc Open Ended Working Group to review and assess measures to address the global issue of mercury was established by GC decision 24/3. The first meeting of this earlier working group was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2007. The second meeting took place from 6 to 10 October, 2008 at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Reports and other meeting documents may be obtained by clicking on the links above.