04 Dec 2012

Venue: International Environment House 2

Organization: Geneva Environment Network

In February 2009, the Governing Council of UNEP agreed on the need to develop a global legally binding instrument on mercury. The work to prepare this instrument is undertaken by an intergovernmental negotiating committee supported by the Chemicals Branch of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics as secretariat. The goal is to complete the negotiations before the twenty-seventh regular session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in 2013.

Participation in the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) is open to all Governments. Intergovernmental organizations and representatives from the civil society may also take part as observers. The committee operates under the rules of procedure adopted at its first session. As its first act the committee elected Mr. Fernando Lugris (Uruguay) Chair of the committee, as well as nine vice-chairs that together form the Bureau of the INC.

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury (INC5) will be held in Geneva, from 13 to 18 January 2013, and will take place at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG). 

Regional consultations to assist Governments in preparing for INC5 will be held from the end of October until mid-December 2012. 

The Geneva Environment Network Secretariat organized a briefing to Permanent Missions by the UNEP Mercury Negotiations Team and the host country on the preparations, process, and main issues to be discussed during the INC5.

Briefing discussion

The powerpoint presentations of Fernando Lugris, INC Chair, and Jacob Duer, Mercury Negotiation Team Coordinator, can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

The INC Chair remembered how efficient he would like the negotatiors to be and that he would like to conclude the negotiations in Geneva. Financial and technical support needs also to be discussed in order to move into action before the entry into force of the new agreement.

The UNEP Mercury Negotiations Team Coordinator gave pratical logistical information on how the negotiators will be working.

The host country remembered the importance given by Switzerland to Chemicals, as host of the major Conventions on Chemicals of Branch, as of UNEP Chemicals Branch and the World Health Organization. Switzerland has also important chemicals industries in its territory. “Swiss breaks” will be planned, as during other INC meetings.


Coffee & Tea

Welcome and Overview of the mercury negotiations until today
Tim Kasten, Chief, Chemicals Branch, UNEP

Preparations for the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC5) to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury

INC5 – opportunities and next steps
Fernando Lugris, INC Chair, Uruguay

INC5 – logistics
Jacob Duer, Coordinator, Mercury Negotiations Team, Chemicals Branch, UNEP
Sheila Logan, Programme Officer, Mercury Negotiations Team, Chemicals Branch, UNEP

Remarks on the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee by Host Country
Gabriela Eigenmann, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland

Question-and-answer session


More information

For more information, visit the UNEP Mercury Negotiations Website.