The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the "supreme body" of the Convention, that is, its highest decision-making authority. It is an association of all the countries that are Parties to the Convention.
The COP is responsible for keeping international efforts to address climate change on track. It reviews the implementation of the Convention and examines the commitments of Parties in light of the Convention's objective, new scientific findings and experience gained in implementing climate change policies. A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by Parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention.
The COP meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise. The COP meets in Bonn, the seat of the secretariat, unless a Party offers to host the session. Just as the COP Presidency rotates among the five recognized UN regions, that is, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others, there is a tendency for the venue of the COP to also shift among these groups.
The Secretariat, also known as the Climate Change Secretariat, services the COP, the SB-s, the Bureau and other bodies established by the COP. Its mandate is laid down in Article 8 of the Convention:
Specific tasks of the secretariat include preparing official documents for the COP and the SB-s, coordinating in-depth reviews of Annex I Party national communications and compiling GHG inventory data. It also carries out tasks that are specified in the program of work that is adopted by the COP and other tasks decided by the COP.
The secretariat also services the bodies established by the Kyoto Protocol. The growth in technical work since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol (e.g. on reporting guidelines and the LULUCF sector) has led to increasing the technical expertise within the secretariat.
The secretariat is institutionally linked to the United Nations and administered under United Nations rules and regulations (see also chapter 4). Its head, the Executive Secretary, is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in consultation with the COP through its Bureau, and currently holds the rank of Assistant-Secretary-General. The Executive Secretary reports to the Secretary-General through the Under-Secretary-General heading the Department of Management on administrative and financial matters, and through the Under-Secretary-General heading the Department for Economic and Social Affairs on other matters. The secretariat is accountable, through the Executive Secretary, to the COP.
Every two years, the Executive Secretary proposes a program budget, setting out the main tasks to be performed by the secretariat in the coming two-year period and the funding needed to carry out this work.
In August 2006, Mr. Yvo de Boer (The Netherlands) was appointed Executive Secretary. Mr. de Boer succeeds Ms. Joke Waller-Hunterm, (The Netherlands) who served as Executive Secretary from 2002 to 2005. She succeeded the first Executive Secretary, Michael Zammit Cutajar (Malta), who headed the secretariat from the beginning of the climate change negotiations in 1991 until his retirement in January 2002.
The secretariat moved from its initial location in Geneva, Switzerland to Bonn, Germany in August 1996 after COP 1 had accepted an offer by Germany to host it there.
|Government Building #3, room # 533
Republic Square, Yerevan 0010
Republic of Armenia
Tel: +374 (10) 583920, 583932
Fax: +374 (10) 583933