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Third Session of Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee Prepares a Global Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury

Wednesday, 23 November 2011
The third session of Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC3) was held from 31 October to 4 November 2011 at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Over 500 participants representing governments, UN agencies, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.

The primary purpose of this important session was to conduct negotiations on the draft text of a global, legally binding, instrument on mercury, implementing a comprehensive and suitable approach to this issue. The draft text was prepared by the Secretariat on the basis of the views expressed by parties at INC2 and during the intersessional period .A global, legally binding, instrument on mercury is expected to be the most effective vehicle for ensuring the protection of human health and environment from anthropogenic releases of mercury and its compounds.

INC3 was the third of five sessions that have been scheduled to take place before the 27th session of the United Nations Environment Programme Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (UNEP GC/GMEF) in 2013, where the negotiations are supposed tobe concluded.

After a week of lengthy contact group discussions, the Meeting finalized the provisions of a new draft text   dealing with such important issues as, supply, international trade on mercury, products and processes,  artisanal and small-scale gold mining, emissions and releases, storage wastes and contaminated sites,  financial resources and technical and implementation assistance, awareness-raising , research and monitoring , and communication of information,  institutional arrangements,  settlement of disputes and  further development of the Convention. It is to be noted that provisions related to issues with strong legal flavour, such as institutional arrangements, settlement of disputes and final provisions, were formulated by the Legal Group established at INC2.

The provisions in the new draft text are intended to strike a balance between the need for clarity and the need to reflect the full range of party views. The full range of party views is indicated in the new draft text through the use of brackets, multiple options and other appropriate means. At this point it is worth mentioning that the most controversial substantive issues facing the INC3 process were apparently the issues of the financial mechanism and voluntary versus mandatory control measures.

 Finally, the Committee concluded its proceedings by requesting the Secretariat to provide a revised draft text based on the plenary negotiations, the reports of INC3 contact groups and the work of the Legal Group.


Source:UNEP, IISD Reporting Services
For further information:
http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/enb2808e.pdf

http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Mercury/Negotiations/INC3/tabid/3469/Default.aspx


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