Minamata Convention on Mercury
The Minamata Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. It was agreed at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Geneva, on 19 January 2013 and was signed on 10 October, 2013, in Kumamoto, Japan. For its entry into force, 50 ratifications are required.
The major highlights of the Minamata Convention on Mercury include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, control measures on air emissions, and the international regulation of the informal sector for artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
The Interim Secretariat of the Convention is in charge of the Chemicals Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme in Geneva.
The sixth period of sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee, responsible to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury, was held from 3 to 7 November 2014 in Bangkok.
Colombia and the Minamata Convention
As recognition to the participation of the process of negotiation, the UNEP gave to the country the “Mercury Club Bronze Award” during the 5th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which took place in Geneva in January 2013.
Colombia signed the Treaty on 11 October 2013, in Kumamoto. At the present time, internal procedures are carried out for the respective ratification.
The implementation of the Convention is a competency of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.