Washington, DC - The United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Uruguay will co-sponsor a high-level ceremony, September 24, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly at which several countries are expected to join the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global convention to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The Convention, negotiated under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for parties to control and reduce mercury emissions to the air; reduce or eliminate the use of mercury in certain products and industrial processes; address the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining; and reduce the supply of mercury by, among other things, ending primary mercury mining.

Ambassador Richard Erdman, Senior Adviser to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (UN) and Acting U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council, will represent the United States. UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, will moderate the event.