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The Fifth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC5)

The fifth session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee organized by UNEP to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury was held in Geneva from 13 to 18 January, 2013. After tough negotiation, agreement was reached on the content of the instrument at the last moment, i.e. the early morning of 19 January. The committee agreed that the instrument should be named the Minamata Convention on Mercury to memorize the mercury pollution event in Minamata, Japan in 1950s and 1960s and remind all parties to pay high attention to mercury pollution. With MEP as the lead and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Energy Administration, China Food and Drug Administration, China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation, Peking University and Tsinghua University as members, the Chinese government delegation attended the meeting.
The content of the convention was balanced and practical as a whole and specific arrangements were made for mercury production, circulation, use and pollution control. The convention restated the principal of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and made arrangements for financial mechanism and technical assistance.
The Chinese delegation attended the plenary session and the meetings of bureau members, technical contact groups and the legal group, actively coordinated position with other countries and led relevant negotiations on important topics. The delegation played a positive and constructive role in promoting negotiation on key topics and made contribution to the success of the meeting, which was highly appreciated by all parties.
According to relevant arrangement, in October this year, a diplomatic conference will be held in Japan at which the mercury instrument would be opened for signature.

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