Conference of Parties

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The Convention has two governing bodies: the Conference of Parties and the Intergovernmental Committee.

The Conference of Parties is the plenary and supreme decision-making body of the Convention, while the Intergovernmental Committee works under the authority of the Conference of Parties to promote the objectives and implementation of the Convention.

Once a State has ratified the Convention and it has entered into force, it becomes a member of the Conference of Parties, which meets in ordinary session every two years in June. It may also meet in extraordinary session if it so decides or if the Intergovernmental Committee receives a request to that effect from at least one-third of the Parties. 

Functions of the Conference

The functions of the Conference of Parties include:

  • Electing the Members of the Intergovernmental Committee;
  • Receiving and examining reports of the Parties to the Convention transmitted by the Intergovernmental Committee;
  • Approving the operational guidelines prepared by the Intergovernmental Committee;
  • Taking whatever other measures necessary to further the objectives of the  Convention. 
  • Article 22 of the Convention outlines in detail the main responsibilities of the Conference of Parties.

Observer countries, representatives of international organisations and civil society can participate in the meetings of the Conference of Parties as indicated in its Rules of Procedure

All the documents from the sessions of the Conference of Parties, including Resolutions, working and information documents are available for consultation.