Public interest advocates welcomed the results of a global meeting convened to take decisions on the threats posed by mercury to human health and environment. On 6-10 October 2008, the 2nd UNEP Open Ended Working Group (OEWG2) on Mercury agreed on the elements that would form part of a global framework on mercury, in preparation for the UNEP Governing Council (GC) in February 2009, where it will be decided whether a global legally binding instrument on mercury will be developed. The UNEP GC had given the mandate to the OEWG to review and assess options for enhanced voluntary measures and new or existing international legal instruments. The OEWG2 completed its work, and will send a report to the GC including:
- A comprehensive set of elements to be part of a global framework
- Two options for global frameworks on mercury – a legal and a voluntary one.
- If a legal framework is agreed, it will be a free-standing instrument rather than being part of an existing framework.