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Bureau of the COP and the CMP

What is the Bureau of the COP?

The Bureau supports the COP and the CMP through the provision of advice and guidance regarding the ongoing work under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, the organization of their sessions and the operation of the secretariat, especially at times when the COP and the CMP are not in session. The Bureau is elected from representatives of Parties nominated by each of the five United Nations regional groups and small island developing States.

The Bureau is mainly responsible for questions of process management. It assists the President in the performance of his or her duties by providing advice and by helping with various tasks (e.g. members undertake consultations on behalf of the President). The Bureau is responsible for examining the credentials of Parties, reviewing the list of IGOs and NGOs, seeking accreditation and submitting a report thereon to the Conference.



More Background on the Bureau of the COP

Rule 22.1 of the draft Rules of Procedure (FCCC/CP/1996/2) of the Conference of the Parties being applied provides for a Bureau, comprised of a President, seven vice-presidents, the chairs of the subsidiary bodies established by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention, and a rapporteur.

Functions of the Bureau of the COP

Traditionally, the Bureau is responsible for advising the President and taking decisions with regard to the overall management of the intergovernmental process. The Bureau has overall responsibility for questions of process. Bureau members often consult with their regional groups on issues. The Bureau is not a forum for political negotiations.

The Bureau is mainly responsible for questions of process management. It assists the President in the performance of his or her duties by providing advice and by helping with various tasks (e.g. members undertake consultations on behalf of the President). The Bureau is responsible for examining the credentials of Parties, reviewing the list of IGOs and NGOs, seeking accreditation and submitting a report thereon to the Conference.

The secretariat often seeks advice and guidance from the Bureau on relevant matters

Presidency and membership of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties

  • The Bureau of the COP consists of pdf-icon 11 members (161 kB) comprising: the President, Vice-Presidents, the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies and the Rapporteur.
  • Each of the five regional groups is represented by two Bureau members, with one member from the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS).
  • Members are elected for an initial term of one year and may serve for not more than two consecutive terms of one year. They remain in office until their successors are elected.
  • It is customary to invite a representative of the host country of the next COP to attend meetings of the Bureau if that Party is not already represented on the Bureau.

Presidency and Rapporteur

  • The post President and Rapporteur are subject to rotation among the five regional groups. When a COP is held at the invitation of a host country, it is customary to elect as President a Minister from that country, taking into account the principles of rotation.
  • In the absence of an offer by a Party to host a COP, the session is held at the seat of the secretariat, and the region next in the line of rotation nominates a Minister for the Presidency.
  • The President exercises such powers as are conferred by the rules of procedure (Rule 23). The president's main duties are to provide political leadership, to consult on issues and to chair meetings of the Bureau and the COP Plenary.

Meetings of the COP Bureau:

Meetings of the Bureau are convened by the President and are usually held:

  • On a regular basis during COPs;
  • Once during the sessions of the SBs, and
  • Between sessional periods as needed (typically once or twice per year).

The agendas for Bureau meetings are prepared by the Executive Secretary under the guidance of the President.