All the countries that have ratified the Convention are called “Parties” and together form “the Conference of Parties”. Twenty-four representatives from all regions of the world are elected to an executive body called the “Intergovernmental Committee”. Combined, they are the Convention’s “Governing bodies”. Both are attributed important mandates in assessing and monitoring the implementation of the Convention, and act as a key policy forum on the future of cultural policy and international cooperation. UNESCO provides the Secretariat to the Convention, and is responsible for setting and implementing the agenda of the governing bodies. One of their strategic  functions is to receive and examine quadrennial periodic reports, submitted every four years by Parties to assess progress and achievements in implementing the Convention, as well as to prepare and approve operational guidelines. Civil society organizations, as observers, can place a key role in the debates that shape the decisions taken by the Governing Bodies.

One of the statutory functions of the Convention’s Secretariat’s is also to monitor the implementation of the 1980 Recommendation Concerning the Status of the Artist. Recognizing the central role of artists in the creation and promotion of a diversity of cultural expressions, the 2005 Convention provides a framework for the implementation and monitoring of the Recommendation. To this effect, the Secretariat launches regular global consultation with Member States and NGOs to collect information and data on how they have implemented the 1980 Recommendation and identify persisting challenges.