The UN Mercury Conference in Stockholm drew to a close on Friday in a positive atmosphere. The internal power struggle within the EU, which had cast dark shadows over the conference earlier in the week, failed to have the negative effect on the meeting that many had feared. The participating countries, including the USA and China, have all adopted a positive stance to the target of a binding global agreement on mercury by 2013.
The work done on mercury by the Nordic countries and the Council of Ministers was positively received at the conference. The UN drew attention to the Nordic Council of Ministers earlier in the week when it was awarded the highest diploma by the Mercury Club set up by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Stockholm negotiating meeting, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, was the first in a total of five on the path towards a global agreement. The second will be held in Chiba, Japan, early next year.