AD HOC JOINT WORKING GROUP: The Ad hoc Joint Working Group of the Stockholm, Rotterdam and Basel conventions held three meetings to prepare joint recommendations on enhanced cooperation and coordination among the three conventions. The first meeting was held from 26-28 March 2007 in Helsinki, Finland. At that meeting the group agreed on a non-exhaustive list of objectives and guiding principles to be applied in its future work. The second meeting, held from 10-13 December 2007 in Vienna, Austria, agreed to focus its work on four themes: organizational issues in the field; technical substantive issues; information management and public awareness issues; and administrative issues. The Working Group adopted a recommendation at its third meeting (25-28 March 2008, Rome, Italy), which has been submitted to COP9.

OEWG6: The sixth session of the OEWG took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 3-7 September 2007. The meeting considered several issues, including: the development of a work plan on e-waste for 2009/2010; the ESM of mercury wastes; ship dismantling; the interpretation of paragraph 5 of Article 17 of the Basel Convention; the revised technical guidelines on ESM of used tyres; and illegal traffic, reviewing the outline of an instruction manual for the legal profession. In total, the Group adopted 28 decisions.

COMMITTEE FOR ADMINISTERING THE MECHANISM FOR PROMOTING IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE: The Committee held its fifth and sixth sessions on 8-9 September 2007 and 28-29 February 2008, respectively. In addition to implementing its work programme for the biennium 2007-2008, the Committee considered how it could better use its full capacity in the future. The Committee reviewed the activities that it had undertaken since its establishment, identified possible limitations and developed its proposed work programme for the biennium 2009–2010.

OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON MERCURY: The First Meeting of UNEP’s Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) to Review and Assess Measures to Address the Global Issue of Mercury was held from 12-16 November 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand. The OEWG discussed options for enhanced voluntary measures, and new or existing international legal instruments on mercury. Delegates agreed on tasks to be undertaken during the intersessional period, including analysis on, inter alia: financial considerations of a free-standing convention, a new protocol to the Stockholm Convention and voluntary measures; technology transfer; implementation options; organization of response measures; meeting demand for mercury if primary production is phased out; major mercury containing products and processes with effective substitutes; and funding.

UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GMEF: The tenth special session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum was held in Monaco in February 2008. Among other things, the GC/GMEF adopted a decision on chemicals management, including mercury and waste management. The Basel Convention Secretariat was asked to provide further input on waste management by the end of May 2008 to be presented to the 25th session of UNEP Governing Council in February 2009.

Earth Negotiations Bulletin