The Conference of Parties is a statutory conference held every two years to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the International Convention against Doping in sport in line with its provisions.
Responsible for ensuring the overall implementation of the International Convention against Doping in Sport, enacted by the General Conference of UNESCO in October 2005, the Conference of the States Parties to this Convention is held every two years at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.
This Conference feeds several objectives, including providing a platform for discussion and debate on public policy in the fight against doping, ensuring harmonization, coordination and effectiveness of the global legal and policy framework against this scourge.
In addition to the 174 countries that have ratified the Convention as of 1 August 2013, all Member States of UNESCO have been invited to participate in the fourth session.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is also invited in an advisory capacity, with the presence of key partners which will participate as observers, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) and various intergovernmental and international sports organizations.
This conference constitutes the main framework for monitoring and assessing the implementation of the Convention, its fourth session provides a unique opportunity to ascertain the policies and programs of fight against doping in sport developed by governments at the national level.
Through a specific system for monitoring the Convention established by UNESCO - which was the first of its kind in monitoring and evaluation of United Nations conventions - individual reports will be presented.
Based on an online questionnaire and analysis tool ("Anti-Doping Logic"), this system is made available to governments and anti-doping authorities, to identify strengths and weaknesses, country by country, for detection, deterrence and prevention of doping in sport. It also helps to ensure that the measures taken by governments are in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, which entered into force in 2007.
At the previous session of the Conference, held in November 2011, the analysis of the responses provided by the 99 States who completed the online questionnaire was thus possible to consider that 74% of them were in conformity with the Convention.
To encourage monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, the Conference had decided that only States that responded to the questionnaire could now benefit from the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, for which it is also authority to supervise. This Fund, established in 2008 to develop the capacity to fight against doping in the world, has to his credit more than $ 3.2 million USD and has funded more than 80 national and international projects.
As of 1 August 2013, the analysis of answers given to the questionnaire revealed a contrast between on the one hand measures taken at the national level, and on the other, the multiplication of scandals related to doping during the past months. In spite of a very encouraging progression of the States having satisfied the Convention’s requirements (69% of the countries having answered the online survey), the measures taken by the latter seem indeed still far from the expected effectiveness. The answers provided by the governments however give very interesting indications on the fact that the needs related to education and training of sportsmen, sportswomen and coaches need to be taken more into account.