The first Conference of Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP 1) was held in Geneva, Switzerland between Sept. 23 and 29. Nearly 1,050 delegates from 163 countries, intergovernmental organizations, and international organizations attended the meeting. Vice Minister Zhai Qing presented at the meeting as head of the Chinese delegation with members from MEP, MFA, MIIT, MLR, MOC, NEA, CAS, Tsinghua University, and Peking University.
Zhai addressed a ministerial roundtable when he shared the efforts of the Chinese Government in strengthened control of pollution from mercury and other heavy metals, with the improvement of environmental quality at the center. He pointed out that China has made preparations for the implementation of the mercury convention before it entered into force, and incorporated the implementation objectives and tasks into the 13th Five-Year Plan for Ecological Environment Conservation.
China as one of the developing countries is still confronted with great challenges in the implementation of the mercury convention, said Zhai. Therefore, China is ready to enhance cooperation with the international community, and achieve the objectives set out by the convention. At the sidelines of the COP 1, Zhai met separately with UNEP Director General Erik Solheim and UNIDO Director General Li Yong, and exchanged views on deepening bilateral cooperation.
The Chinese delegation has been enthusiastically involved in the conference agendas and the discussions of topics, and played a constructive role in delivering the outcomes of the conference. The COP 1 deliberated and adopted the terms of the reference for the conference of parties and the financial regulations of the convention, the setup and location of the Secretariat, and the work plans.
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