IndyACT Assists Arab Governments in Mercury Control

IndyACT Assists Arab Governments in Mercury Control
With the support of the International Zero Mercury Working Group, IndyACT is organizing an Arab consultative workshop in Beirut on 4 and 5 November 2010, in preparation for the second round of international negotiations on establishing a global and legally binding instrument on mercury. 
The workshop is attended by delegates from more than ten Arab countries in addition to the League of Arab States, and representatives from a large number of Arab and Lebanese NGOs active in the field of chemicals management and following up global mercury negotiations, as well as a number of foreign and Lebanese experts. 
This activity is part of IndyACT’s initiative to coordinate between various Arab countries and Arab non-governmental organizations. IndyACT attended the first round of negotiations held in Stockholm in June 2010, where Arab delegations expressed positive public positions and endorsed the establishment of a global and legally binding mercury treaty, and expressed their willingness to move forward positively in the negotiations to reach this goal. 
“Mercury is a toxic substance that poses a serious threat to human health and the environment, and therefore it is necessary to keep pace with international negotiations on this matter with the required seriousness from the beginning”, said Dr. Naji Kodeih, IndyACT's Zero Mercury campaigner. “Each country should be prepared to ensure that these negotiations will protect its society from this dangerous substance”, added Kodeih. 
Non-governmental organizations, including IndyACT, are preparing to play an active role in the negotiation process through international alliances in order to achieve the major objectives of the treaty, i.e. the protection of human health and the environment from the risks of mercury. Arab governments need to make sure that the negotiations do not sway in the interest of some advanced industrial countries at the expense of developing and Arab countries or vice versa, in terms of effects and implications on economic and social situations. Achieving this requires the follow-up of bilateral communications, research and consultation at negotiation groups’ level and at the Arab level in general under the umbrella of the Arab League. 
For more information:
Ali Fakhry – IndyACT’s Communication Director
E-mail:, Tel: 00961-1-447192,
Mobile : 00961-71-421593 

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