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LEF participated in the Diplomatic Conference on the Minamata convention on mercury

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The Lebanese Environment Forum has attended the meetings convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Kumamoto, Japan: Mercury Treaty Preparatory Meeting in 7 and 8 October, 2013 and the Diplomatic Conference (Conference of Plenipotentiaries): 9 – 11 October, 2013

The Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries adopted the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Kumamoto, Japan, with one head of State, 48 State ministers and other high-level representatives of countries in attendance. The Final Act and the Convention were opened for signature, after which 86 countries and the European Union signed the Convention, and 23 countries signed the Final Act only. Participants heard initial country statements and in the evening, attended a reception at Kumamoto Castle, hosted by the Government of Japan, the Prefecture of Kumamoto, and the Kumamoto City. UNEP Chemicals launched the website of the Convention ( to track progress towards entry into force.

The Conference of Plenipotentiaries continued to hear country statements about the adoption and signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Many countries paid tribute to the victims of Minamata Disease, underscoring the significance of the Minamata Convention for contributing to the sound management of mercury.

The Conference heard the remaining statements from countries, IGOs and NGOs. An additional five countries signed the Convention, bringing the total of signatories to 92.

The Lebanese Environment Forum, represented by Eng. Rebecca Baissari, has participated also in the “International Toxics Metal Skillshare” in Minamata, Japan hosted by IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) in 3 and 4 October, 2013, where 42 representatives of NGOs participated from 26 countries and  in the ” International Minamata Symposium” in 5 and 6 October, 2013 convened by IPEN and Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution – CACP).  IPEN presented its recently adopted Minamata Declaration on Toxic Metals to Minamata Disease Victims Group leader Shinobu Sakamoto and the larger Minamata community.

The Symposium provided an opportunity for Minamata community members and leaders and IPEN representatives to exchange information from around the world about mercury pollution and its tragic effects. Experiences were shared and strong alliances were forged throughout the 2-day meeting, which included very touching and heartfelt presentations. The meeting ended with a renewed sense of determination to work to improve the international Mercury Treaty and to continue current efforts to prevent and address dangerous mercury pollution.

IPEN is a global network of people and public interest organizations, which respects and enjoys a wide diversity of cultures, skills and knowledge. It a common commitment to achieve a toxic-free future where chemical production, use and disposal does not harm people and the environment. IPEN brings together leading public interest groups working on environmental and public health issues in over 100 countries to take action internationally to minimize and, whenever possible, eliminate hazardous, toxic chemicals.

For more information about Minamata convention on mercury click here

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