A legally binding instrument on mercury was reached only after a long process of preparation and negotiation, which began in 2009, when the UNEP recognized the need to develop a global mercury treaty, through an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) supported by the UNEP Chemicals Branch as Secretariat.
The initial mandate – later perfectly respected – was to conclude the negotiations by the 27th ordinary session of the UNEP Governing Council (UNEPGC) in 2013. The work was completed thanks to five sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which began its own works in June 2010 in Stockholm to conclude them on January 19, 2013 in Geneva, when the representatives of the various governments reached the final agreement on the legally binding text of the so-called Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The text approved in Geneva was opened for signature by the acceding States at the diplomatic conference held in Minamata and Kumamoto, Japan, from October 9 to 11, 2013.
For more information you can visit the website of the Convention.