The UNEP Governing Council concluded, at its 22nd session in February 2003, after considering the key findings of the Global Mercury Assessment report, that there is sufficient evidence of significant global adverse impacts from mercury to warrant further international action to reduce the risks to humans and wildlife from the release of mercury to the environment. The Governing Council decided that national, regional and global actions should be initiated as soon as possible and urged all countries to adopt goals and take actions, as appropriate, to identify populations at risk and to reduce human-generated releases.
The Governing Council has requested UNEP, in cooperation and consultation with other appropriate organizations, to facilitate and conduct technical assistance and capacity building activities to support the efforts of countries to take action on mercury pollution. In response to this request, UNEP has established a mercury programme within UNEP Chemicals. Organizing regional awareness-raising workshops and developing and disseminating related guidance documents, training materials and toolkits are among the priority activities of the UNEP mercury programme in 2003/2004.
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