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The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP2) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury took place from 19-23 November 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to the start of the conference, NGOs (national and international), including a representative from NAPE held strategy meetings in preparation to the conference from 17th -19th. The Minamata Convention bans new and phases out existing mercury mines, contains measures to control trade, releases, and air emissions, and regulates the informal sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

The COP2 was attended by over 900 delegates from all over the world, from both parties and non-parties to the convention. Delegates were able to agree on permanent arrangements for a stand-alone Secretariat, based in Geneva. COP2 also adopted decisions on, among others:

  • cooperation with the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions;
  • rules of procedure for the Implementation and Compliance Committee;
  • mercury waste thresholds;
  • harmonized customs codes;
  • contaminated sites;
  • interim storage;
  • capacity building, technical assistance, and technology transfer; and
  • effectiveness evaluation.

The COP made significant progress on substantive issues and successfully worked through many of the technical issues, but still left discussions on open burning, a review of the financial mechanism, as well as a review of Annexes A (mercury-added products) and B (manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used), to be dealt with at COP3. COP3 will be held between 25th -29th November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland under the Chairmanship of Africa. Dr. David Kapindula from Zambia becomes the President of COP3.