"Kyrgyz State Secretary of the Ministry of Industry Mr. Batyrkul Baetov announces the conditional closure of the world's last exporting mercury mine"

Bangkok, Tuesday 20th October 2009 - After two years of intensive training and related assistance from UNITAR, through its Chemicals and Waste Management Programme, the State Secretary for Industry of the Government of Kyrgyzstan announced the conditional closure of the world’s last remaining exporting mercury mine.
This announcement, which was made during a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, lead and organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is the culmination of two years of work with UNITAR, in partnership with UNEP and the Governments of Switzerland and the United-States of America. The project, entitled “Development of an Action Plan to Address Primary Mercury Mining in Kyrgyzstan”, comprised intensive activities to assist all Ministries, Agencies and stakeholders outside of government to reach a decision on closure by considering alternatives that better protect human health and the environment from the hazardous impacts of mercury.
This decision feeds into upcoming international negotiations for the development of a legally-binding instrument to control mercury – a highly toxic element that is still used around the world.
For more information please go to: www.unitar.org/cwm/mercury