Amalgam was center stage at last month’s 3rd conference of the parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury – from beginning to end.
On opening day, the environment minister of Indonesia dramatically announced that its president would sign an order in 2020 ending amalgam use totally. Not to be outmatched, the European Union explained a process it will undertake next year that could result in a recommendation to phase out amalgam. Then the entire African region asked for a worldwide deadline for amalgam use.
Our team was honored to assist government delegations – even as the negotiations stretched into the night…and didn’t end until 5:00 am in the morning. A consensus was finally reached on the last day when the parties decided…
(1) accelerated steps must be taken by each country against amalgam use
(2) the UN staff of the Minamata Convention Secretariat will write a report about measures that successfully reduce and phase out amalgam use before the next conference of the parties. Thus, the amalgam issue will return to center stage at the 4th conference of the parties, with the momentum of all countries phasing down use and some of them phasing out use.