Global Governance Spotlight 7|2013

The Minamata Convention. Towards a zero mercury world?

Elena Lymberidi-Settimo
Michael T. Bender

October 2013; 4 pages

Global Governance Spotlight 7|2013 (pdf-file)

On 10/11 October 2013, government representatives from all over the world will be meeting in Minamata, Japan, to sign a new environmental agreement. In the 1950ies, Minamata became the arena of mass mercury poisoning by non-treated wastewater of a chemical plant.

The objective of the new mercury convention that has been negotiated since 2009, is to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic mercury emissions.

In the Global Governance Spotlight issue no. 7|2013, Elena Lymberidi-Settimo and Michael T. Bender describe the history of origins as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this new treaty. They end with an appeal to all governments to speedily ratify the convention and to use the time until its entry into force for a variety of measures to prevent mercury emissions.




The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) are launching a new publications series: GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS. The new series aims to identify options for international policy action in an ever more complex world. Furthermore, it presents perspectives from different world regions. The series analyses current developments and challenges against the background of long-term political trends, and it illustrates facts with figures and tables. GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS is issued by a team of co-editors from different world regions. For more information, see our press release.

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Cooperation in a Post-Western World


The Western liberal order finds itself in deep crisis. Global power shifts are accelerating. What does this mean for the future of global cooperation? How can the wish for more national autonomy be reconciled with the need to cooperate in a globalised world? Can new forms of governance contribute to sustaining global cooperation? Michèle Roth and Cornelia Ulbert discuss these questions in the first issue of the new publication series GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS.

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How to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform


The urgently needed UN Security Council reform has been stuck for decades. Without a far-reaching structural change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. But at a time of great power transitions, multipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dangerous trend. Therefore, in GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS 02|2018, Jakkie Cilliers calls for a political and intellectual leap to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform.

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Global Food Governance


After the food riots around the world in 2007/2008, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was reformed. Since then, the CFS has developed into an innovative global policy forum that could be a role model for other Global Governance institutions. In the current evaluation process, however, the CFS also faces a number of challenges. What are the main characteristics of the CFS? How can it prove successful in a changing political environment? Nora McKeon answers these questions in the Global Governance Spotlight 2|2018 and exhorts member governments to value and reinforce this unique policy forum.

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