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First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Mercury

12 - 16 November 2007 | Bangkok, Thailand.

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Flags outside the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand.
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Web coverage:

Monday, 12 Nov | Tuesday, 13 Nov | Wednesday, 14 Nov | Thursday, 15 Nov | Friday, 16 Nov

Highlights for Thursday, 15 November 2007

The First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) to Review and Assess Measures to Address the Global Issue of Mercury convened for its fourth day on Thursday, 15 November at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

During the morning plenary, delegates continued their discussions on the issue of the need to increase knowledge on areas such as inventories, human and environmental exposure, environmental monitoring and socioeconomic processes, and additional response measures were added.

In the late morning delegates heard reports from the Secretariat on activities under the UNEP Mercury Programme including: the development of a report on atmospheric emissions; cooperation with the Basel Convention; work on enhancing outreach and risk communication for at-risk populations; and on the UNEP Mercury Programme Partnerships.

During the afternoon, delegates convened in plenary and considered the issue of intersessional work to be completed by the Secretariat prior to the second meeting of the OEWG. The EU, the African Group, the US and Australia jointly with New Zealand, introduced conference room papers (CRPs) on intersessional work for consideration by delegates. In the ensuing discussion, delegates exchanged general views on the activities proposed in the CRPs in relation to the group’s mandate. In the late afternoon, delegates discussed specifically intersessional work on the: analysis of sources, supply, demand and elasticity; further analysis on implementation of a legally-binding instrument and voluntary options; analysis of response measures; financial consideration of technological support; and guidance on best available technology and best environmental practice. Delegates agreed to establish a contact group to merge agreed elements of the CRPs into one document for consideration during plenary on Friday. The contact group convened at the close of plenary and worked late into the night.

John Roberts, OEWG Chair opened the morning session.

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Vivian Radegonde, Seychelles, called for increased capacity building for developing countries in mercury monitoring. Henrik Hallgrim Eriksen, Norway, said partnerships can help address mercury in the short-term. Robert Ntakamulenga, Tanzania, discussed the intersessional work of the Secretariat.
Vivian Radegonde, Seychelles, called for increased capacity building for developing countries in mercury monitoring. Henrik Hallgrim Eriksen, Norway, said partnerships can help address mercury in the short-term. Robert Ntakamulenga, Tanzania, discussed the intersessional work of the Secretariat.

Garden in the UN conference center. Delegates during a break.
Garden in the UN Conference Center. Delegates conversing during a break.

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Franz Perrez, Switzerland, said his country is considering proposing partnerships on inventories. Keiko Segawa, Japan, offered to share its expertise in alternatives to mercury-containing batteries and lamps. John Whitelaw, UNEP Chemicals discussed the role of the Secretariat in the intersessional period.
Franz Perrez, Switzerland, said his government is considering proposing partnerships on inventories. Keiko Segawa, Japan, offered to share its expertise in alternatives to mercury-containing batteries and lamps. John Whitelaw, UNEP Chemicals, discussed the role of the Secretariat in the intersessional period.

NGO meeting
NGO delegates exchange ideas during a break. Side event on mercury releases from coal combustion.

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Abiola Olanipekyno, Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, discussed the proposals for intersessional work. Stephan Böhse-O'Reilly, HEAL Otavio Trindade, Brazil, supported the conference room paper submitted by the African Group.
Abiola Olanipekyno, Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, presented the proposal on intersessional work for the Secretariat. Stephan Böhse-O'Reilly, HEAL, discussed necessary financial resources to address the global mercury problem. Otavio Trindade, Brazil, supported the conference room paper submitted by the African Group.

The ENB team at work. The Internet Cafe in the UN Conference Center.

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Web coverage:

Monday, 12 Nov | Tuesday, 13 Nov | Wednesday, 14 Nov | Thursday, 15 Nov | Friday, 16 Nov

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