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Background Introduction

The 21st session of UNEP Governing Council held in Nairobi, Kenya from 5 to 9 February 2001 stated that scientific studies had established that mercury cycled on a global scale. The 22nd session of UNEP Governing Council held in Nairobi, Kenya from 3 to 7 February 2003 focused on the serious influence of mercury and its ability in moving/cycling on a global scale on human health and the environment and confirmed that strong cooperation was carried out on the regional level to assess the risks of mercury and its compounds and formulate strategies and actions to tackle mercury and its compounds. The 23rd session of UNEP Governing Council held in Nairobi, Kenya from 21 to 25 February 2005 continued to urge all countries to develop goals and to take national actions, as appropriate, with the objective of identifying exposed populations and ecosystems and reducing anthropogenic mercury releases which affect human health and the environment. The 24th session of UNEP Governing Council held in Nairobi, Kenya from 5 to 9 February 2007 recognized the need to further take long-term international actions to reduce the risks posed by these chemicals to human health and environment.
On February 20th, 2009, the 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council made an important decision on world mercury pollution control. Five sessions of intergovernmental negotiating committee meeting were scheduled to convene from 2010 to the beginning of 2013 when the 27th session of the UNEP Governing Council was to be held, where the negotiations are expected to conclude with the adoption of an international legally binding instrument on mercury problem (hereinafter referred to as international mercury convention). The decision symbolized that the international community had reached a high degree of consensus and the mercury problem was formally put on the priority agenda of global environmental protection.
The draft international mercury convention includes the following provisions: convention targets; reduction of mercury supply and improvement of capacity in environmentally sound storage of mercury; reduction of mercury demand related to use in products and production processes; reduction of international trade of mercury; reduction of atmospheric emissions of mercury; treatment of mercury-containing waste, and remediation of existing contaminated sites; awareness raising and information exchange to increase knowledge; capacity building and technical and financial assistance arrangement; convention compliance.

 

 
 
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