The State of Kuwait Signs the Minamata Convention: Ambassador Al-Otaibi Determined to Contribute to Pursuit of Elimination of Toxic Mercury

The Diplomatic Conference for the Minamata Convention on Mercury, organized by the United Nations Environment Program was held in Kumamoto City, in the southwestern Kyushu region of Japan from October 9 to 11.

The conference was highlighted by adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury on October 10. H.E. Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi was bestowed the full power of the State of Kuwait by H.H. Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait and signed the Convention and the Final Act representing the State of Kuwait.

The convention is set not allow the participant countries the manufacture, import or export of mercury-added products after the phase-out date of 2020. It also urges the participant countries to make efforts to decrease the discharge of mercury into the air, water and land and to pursue measures of proper storage and disposal of mercury.

On the day, total 86 countries and the European Union signed the Convention. H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi commented that he is so proud of the fact that the State of Kuwait joined ranks of the original signatories of this historically significant convention. The ambassador referred to the fact that the convention was named after a city in Kumamoto Prefecture where thousands of people have suffered from the diseases caused by the emission of wastewater containing poisonous substances such as mercury by a chemical plant in in the region.

H.E. Mr. Al-Otaibi further commented that the State of Kuwait is determined to pursue all the means to prevent environmental pollution that causes damages to human and the nature as well not only for the sake of people living in and around Kuwait but also for all the people sharing the environment of the globe.

Around 1,000 delegates from about 140 nations were present at the diplomatic conference.