02 Mar 2022
Venue: Online | Webex
This Executive Briefing on the second segment of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4.2) was organized by the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Permanent Mission of Indonesia, within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network.
About the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
Minamata Parties are fully gearing up to meet in Bali, Indonesia, from 21 to 25 of March 2022 for the second segment of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4). The Minamata Convention Secretariat is working closely with the Indonesian government to ensure that safety becomes the main pillar of an event where concrete and tangible results are paramount.
Under the presidency of Indonesia, the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention is being held in two segments: a first segment was conducted online from 1 to 5 November 2021 and a second segment is taking place in-person from 21 to 25 March 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. The side events to COP-4 are taking place online, from 7 to 11 March 2022. In-person regional preparatory meetings will be held on 19 and 20 March 2022.
At this executive briefing, the Minamata Convention secretariat outlined the items of the COP-4 agenda to be considered during the resumed session and provide an overview of logistical aspects such as the organization of work, practical arrangements, and other technical matters related to the participation in the in-person segment.
Welcome and Introduction
H.E. Amb. Febrian Ruddyard | Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, World Trade Organizations, and Other International Organizations in Geneva
The Minamata Convention COP4 is held in two segments. First, the online part (COP-4.1) was held from 1 to 5 November 2021, and then COP-4.2, taking place in Bali from 21 to 25 March 2022 in a hybrid modality under the presidency of Indonesia.
During COP-4.1, decisions have been taken on many substantive issues:
- The Program of Work and Budget for 2022,
- The Financial Resources Mechanisms,
- The Global Environment Facilities,
- The National Reporting Mechanism, and
- The Effectiveness Evaluation.
On the same length, COP-4.2 will address all agenda items of the Fourth Meeting. As mandated by Article 22 of the Minamata Convention, COP4 must establish an agreed Framework for Effectiveness Evaluation before the 6th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention (16 August 2023). Another important agenda item is the procedure for amending Annexes to the Convention text that contain important elements for the reduction and scale out of the use of mercury in many aspects of daily life. COP-4.2 also aims at strengthening the Convention, accruing financial resources, improve capacity-building and technology-transfer arrangements. and establish technical guidelines on important issues such as artisanal mining, releases of mercury issues.
This meeting comes also to show that the pandemic and other impelling events should not stop the efforts to eliminate mercury since it is essential for the well-being of future generations. Mutual support is fundamental to the implementation of the Convention, therefore it is only with close cooperation that in Bali we will make Mercury History.
Monika Stankiewicz | Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury
In two weeks, Parties to the Convention will meet in Bali to consider and decide the next steps to fight mercury pollution, a matter of elevated importance for people in all corners of the world and to the collective efforts to preserve biodiversity and halt climate change effects. Active participation will be granted both for parties physically present and for those who will join online. The merits to the organization and facilitation of the in-person format are of the Host Country.
Parties will consider proposals to amend the Convention to cover a broader scope of mercury production and products, based on the best available scientific and technical information. Parties are expected to finalize arrangements to enable future COPs to evaluate how well the convention works, i.e. whether agreed measures bring the results supposed to bring.
Additionally, the financial mechanism of the convention will be evaluated, and the Secretariat of Parties can actively engage in support of other types of funding to the Minamata Convention and Chemicals and Waste. Financial mechanisms’ revision will also include specific National Programs administered by the Secretariat, currently being strengthened to use full potential and attract additional donor funding for parties to receive timely and direct support of the implementation for their ambitious convention.
Additional items on the agenda are:
- National Reporting on Mercury Waste and Mercury Emissions to Land and Water;
- A new Secretariat initiative on Mainstreaming Gender,
- International Cooperation (including anticipation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework),
- Program of Budget and Program for the Next Year.
For a young treaty like the Minamata Convention, each Conference of the Parties shapes the future, and the future we want is one where mercury is no longer excavated from the ground, where mercury-free alternatives are widely available and used, and emissions of mercury from human-related activities are addressed. For this to happen we must see a larger picture and context of our work in which we recognize that not all parties have the same capabilities, resources and possibilities and where a human-centered approach is adopted.
Agenda and Substantive Matters for COP-4.2
Claudia ten Have | Senior Policy and Coordination Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat
The Minamata Convention is in place primarily to keep mercury underground, secondly to reduce the use and presence of mercury in the economy, industry and society. The overall aim of the Convention is then to reduce any mercury emission detrimental to both the environment and human health.
All Members of the Convention have pledged to a series of Control Measures (Articles presented in the slides) to achieve this overall objective. These are supported by other equally important support measures as they enable the work of parties, like financial resources, capacity-building (more in the slides).
One of the features of the Minamata Convention is its specificity: it sets out specific timelines and deadlines by which certain actions are to be taken. Among these deadlines, 2020 is the date for the phase-down of certain products to which mercury is added; for still active mercury mines to be closed; for evaluation of reports and plans parties have committed to at the national level to implement the sense of the Convention.
The Convention was created in 2013 but came into force in August 2017, followed by COP1, COP2 and COP3, all held in Geneva. It was then decided for the COP to meet biannually, except for this year’s occurring on two dates. COP4 will indeed decide when and where COP5 will be held. Looking back at the past accomplishments of previous COPs to understand better what will be addressed at COP-4.2:
COP1 put in place guidelines and specific elements for parties to be able to operationalize the commitments they made to the Convention concerning:
- Consent to Trade Format;
- Best Practices for Emission Control of Mercury to Air;
- Financial mechanism- regulated by the Global Environmental Facility Trust Fund (GEF) and the Specific International Programme (SIP) ;
- National Reporting Program and Timing.
COP2 achieved the Agreement on the Interim Storage Guidance
- Contaminated Sites Guidance
- Two waste threshold management (unconcluded)
Agenda Items for COP4:
- Revision of the Annexes A on Products and B on Processes to the Convention Text, as it is required after a certain time the convention has come into force. (to be discussed on Monday 21 March).
- Put into Place and Maintaining Inventories And Releases Of Mercury Guidance (to be discussed on Tuesday 22 March).
- Customs Code Usage (to be discussed on Tuesday 22 March).
- Revision of the Guidance related to Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) agreed by COP1 and to be revised and updated as more information has been made available through the Global Mercury Partnership (to be discussed on Tuesday 22 March).
- Revision Financial Reporting Mechanism to monitor and receive regular reports on the financial mechanisms (GEF and SIP). ( To be discussed on Tuesday 22 March)
- National Reporting – currently very successful (89% reporting rate), showing a very healthy indicator of the ownership of parties to the commitment. ( To be discussed on Tuesday 22 March)
- Effectiveness Evaluation, a periodic consideration responding to the question “does the overall Convention fulfil its mandate and objective” (to be discussed on Monday 21 March). Thanks to the two-parts format of the COP, progress made in relation especially to Effectiveness Evaluation has been advanced through inter-sectional consultation during the period.
- Conclusion of the Waste Thresholds agreed at COP1 (to be discussed on Tuesday 22 March).
COP4 will meet from Monday to Friday with the usual UN setting (Plenary Setting, Smaller Groups – Regional and Bureau Meetings occurring also the weekend preceding the COP. Some Side-Events will also be held both during the COP week and in the previous one to increase outreach.
Programme for Budget and Work will be discussed on Wednesday 23 March. On Thursday 24 March Capacity-Building; Technological and Technical Assistance; Gender and Secretariat affairs will be addressed.
Eisaku Toda | Senior Programme Management Office, Minamata Convention Secretariat
The side-events to the COP-4.2 will take place online during the week from 7 to 12 March from 11 to 18 CET. A total of 26 events will be hosted and coordinated by countries in partnership with NGOs and IGOs. All slots are already taken, except for one on Gender, and registration will be opening soon on the official website.
Some examples of side-events:
- Promoting implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury with a synergetic approach in the ECOWAS and SADC region | Switzerland and UNITAR
- Technical Cooperation between Indonesia and Japan for the Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury | MOEF (Indonesia) and MOEJ (Japan)
- Specific International Programme: results and impacts of five projects from around the world | Minamata Secretariat
- Community-based actions to combat mercury contamination: experiences and lessons learnt from GEF Small Grants Programme | UNDP and GEF
- Role of Science Policy Interface in strengthening implementation of Minamata Convention | UNEP
- Development and Experience with the Use of Voluntary Custom Codes | GMP Product Partnership
H.E. Amb. Muhsin Syihab | Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on Inter-institutional Relations, Republic of Indonesia
The topic of this intervention is the ongoing Initiative to address Trade in Illegal Mercury (Bali Declaration to Combatting Illegal Trade of Mercury). Proposed last year by Indonesia as President and host of COP4, this non-binding political declaration has undergone two out three written consulting stages and is due to be concluded at COP-4.2. The Bali Declaration has three main objectives:
- In the short-term, to mainstream the issue and urgency.
- In the mid-term, to forge a strong international cooperation and collaboration to combat illegal trade of mercury.
- In the long-term, to establish a universally accepted global governance of illegal trade of mercury.
Currently, the Bali Declaration is under the third written submission phase, inserting comments and inputs from parties, observers, the Secretariat and NGOs. In terms of content, the distributed second consolidated draft text currently follows this structure:
- Eight preambular paragraphs covering backgrounds, international reports, relevant conventions and general principles.
- Twelve operating paragraphs – ranging from domestic, regional to international levels- proposing cooperation for effective strategies and actions to curb the illegal trade of mercury. Examples include encouraging economically viable mercury alternatives, capacity-building, technical assistance, technology transfers and health literacy for youth education. Observations and comments from all parties are still welcomed and encouraged to be submitted before the 16 March 2022 deadline through the modalities described on the official website.
The final draft is planned to be distributed before the begin COP-4.2. Preparations for a small ceremonial launching event for the Bali Declarations are ongoing and will take place during COP-4.2.
The Indonesian Government is sharing its vision of an urgent need for international cooperation to combat the illegal trade of mercury. As an outcome of the COP-4.2 of the Minamata Convention we hope that all parties and observers will support the declaration and to continue working together for its implementation. COP4, the first COP not to be held in Geneva, will serve as a momentous occasion to launch the Bali Declaration. It will send strong signals to the international communities that despite its young age, the Minamata Convention is adaptive and agile in addressing the global challenges of mercury.
As President and host of COP-4.2, Indonesia has undertaken careful preparations to minimize the impact of the global pandemic situation.
Information from the Host Country Indonesia on COP-4.2
Sayid Muhadhar | Secretary, Directorate General of Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substance Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia
- Diplomatic and service passport holders from countries signatories of the agreement between Indonesia’s Government and several countries on short visit visa-free for diplomatic and service passport holders. Further information and the list of agreements on Mutual Visa Exemption between the Republic of Indonesia and Foreign Countries can be found https://kemlu.go.id/portal/en/read/32/halaman_list_lainnya/pelayanan-visa-diplomatik-dan-dinas. Contact: email@example.com
- Diplomatic and service passport holders who are not exempted from the agreement as well as UNLP holders should contact the Embassies or Consulates of the Republic of Indonesia accredited to or stationed in the respective member countries. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delegates with ordinary passport will have to go through a special mechanism due to the visa issuance restrictions and pay the e-Visa fee USD 50 + IDR 200.000 (USD 14) . Contact: email@example.com
- Delegates residing in a country where there is no Indonesia Mission, can use the following link for identifying the nearest Indonesian Mission: https://kemlu.go.id/portal/en/page/29/kedutaan_konsulat.
- For more information on required documents for visa application, please visit the Host Country website on COP-4: https://cop4minamata.menlhk.go.id/protocol/visa-arrangement/.
- Delegates are strongly recommended to fly directly to Bali (I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali) when possible. If flying to Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport is the most suitable option, The COP-4 Organizing Committee strongly suggests a minimum of 5-hours transit time in Soekarno-Hatta Airport to allow sufficient time in processing health control procedures as well as all required documents prior departure to Bali.
- The Indonesian COP-4 Organizing Committee will provide ground team to assist delegates upon arrival both at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for delegates who will have to transit through Jakarta. Delegates will be directed towards a dedicated lane and waiting room to undergo the health control procedures and other administrative procedures before moving to their respective official hotels or their scheduled flight to Denpasar, Bali.
- To ensure an optimal level of service, delegates should provide information on their flight schedule via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 7 days prior to departure to Indonesia. The arrival support team will also monitor delegates arrival through flight schedule.
- For more logistical information and the updated administrative arrangements document, please visit the Host Country website on COP-4: https://cop4minamata.menlhk.go.id.
- Hotel Melia Nusa Dua Bali
- Bali Nusa Dua Beach Hotel
- Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua
- Bali Nusa Dua Hotel
Deadline for booking extended until 6 March 2022
Please register your name to book official hotel of your choice through the reservation link at https://cop4minamata.menlhk.go.id/hotels/. For further inquiries delegates may contact Indonesia’s Organizing Committee at email@example.com.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures
- All delegates and committee as well as all personnel involved in the Conference consisting of hotel staff, event staff, transportation staff and others are only allowed to mobilize inside the bubble and are not allowed to re-enter if they leave the bubble. The bubble system is implemented since arrival at either Soekarno Hatta Airport or Ngurah Rai Airport, during the conference, and until departure, with strict health protocol implementation.
- Official hotels with strict health protocol implementation are appointed for all delegates and committee. Shuttle bus services will be provided during the Conference. Satgas COVID-19 will be on duty at each official hotel.
- Every activity must be scheduled to facilitate supervision within the bubble system
The Government of Indonesia has implemented serious measures to ensure safe hospitality to all international participants. The Covid-19 situation in Indonesia is in a downward sloping trend as indicated by daily infections, hospitalizations and death rates. Considering the tourist influxes to Bali, safety measures for international travelling have been in place for quite some time. The City of Bali also registers a high-level of vaccination rate.
The Committee for the COP-4.2 will provide the following health services facilities to participants:
- In house clinic/mini ICU
- three dedicated referral hospitals: BIMC Hospital, Siloam Hospital Kuta and Sanglah Hospitals (for general medical issues and COVID-19 related ones, English speaking staff and closely located to the Convention venue).
Elizabeth Sarah Salmon | Assistant Deputy Director for Multilateral Cooperation with UN Agencies, Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia
Logistical information from the Secretariat
Anna García Sans | Communications and Knowledge Management Officer, Minamata Convention Secretariat
On these last days before the Convention meets, it is important to address the content of the Information for Participants Document, jointly prepared with the Government of Indonesia.
All registered participants have received a unique link for registration while the Secretariat will soon send:
- Connection details to access COP-4.2 in-session documents (the meeting will be paper smart and printed copies will not be distributed)
- Priority pass and details for in-person participation
- Login details for online attendance
- Change of attendance (in-person / online) shall be communicated to the Secretariat
Developing countries and parties with economies in transition can ask for Financial Assistance for participants.
Out of the 800 nominated participants, 90 will attend in person and 10 online while 400 delegates will join in Bali as well.
In person COP-4.2 is supporting online presence. Parties and observers could register additional delegates for online attendance at both Plenary and Contact Groups. Online participants will be able to follow the proceedings of the meetings based on the understanding that delegates of these parties are present in Bali and will be engaging directly in the meeting for that given party. Due to country-specific COVID-19 situations and related travel restrictions, the Secretariat will enable some parties to actively participate online for all meetings (including Regional ones). The Secretariat has also undertaken a contingency plan for any delegate of party or observer who may test positive for COVID-19 upon their departure, arrival, and during COP-4.2, enabling active online participation. Online access to events is accessible for registered candidates on the dynamic schedule.
All events (Plenary Sessions, Contact Groups and Regional Meetings) will be conducted using Interactio. The Plenary Session will be transmitted in all six UN languages.
Before the COP, two technical training sessions will be offered on 14 March (both in the morning and in the afternoon to accommodate different time zones).