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 Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings

Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Convention provides that the functions of the secretariat shall be, inter alia, to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies and to provide them with services as required. In order to make the necessary arrangements for intergovernmental meetings, the secretariat seeks guidance from Parties.

The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) traditionally includes on its May/June provisional agenda an item on “Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings”. The SBI is generally invited to provide advice or recommendations in the following areas:

1) Preparations for the November/December sessions, including arrangements for the high-level segment and the provisional agendas of the COP and CMP;

2) Preparations for future sessional periods;

3) Organization of the intergovernmental process, including the participation of observer organizations.

For more information see background document FCCC/SBI/2014/6.  

Recent Developments
Preparations for the November/December sessions, including arrangements for the high-level segment and the provisional agendas of the COP and CMP

With a view to making the necessary arrangements for intergovernmental meetings, the SBI traditionally discusses the arrangements for upcoming COP and CMP sessions.

For the Lima Conference, pursuant to decision 28/CP.19, the Bureau is required to confirm that the logistical, technical and financial elements for hosting the sessions are available, in conformity with United Nations General Assembly resolution 40/243. In accordance with the same decision, the Executive Secretary is continuing consultations with the Government of Peru in order to conclude and sign a Host Country Agreement not later than the fortieth sessions of the SBI and the SBSTA. Preparations for the sessions are under way and further information will be provided during SBI 40.

Under this agenda item, the draft elements of the provisional agendas of COP 20 and CMP 10, as well as suggestions concerning the organization of the work of the COP, the CMP and the subsidiary bodies will be discussed.

Furthermore, the possible arrangements for the high-level segment, including for the participation of ministers and other heads of delegation, will be presented for further guidance and views, keeping in mind the positive experiences at recent COP and CMP sessions at which national statements did not run beyond the scheduled time frame.

In Warsaw, the COP also requested that two ministerial dialogues be convened during COP 20 (Decisions 1/CP.19 and 3/CP.19).

Future sessional periods

The SBI has traditionally been invited to discuss the issue of hosting future COP and CMP sessions, as well as sessional dates for future sessional periods, with a view to proposing a draft decision on the matter for consideration and adoption at the COP.

Decision 28/CP.19 accepted the offer of the Government of France to host COP 21 and CMP11. The decision also noted the offer from the Government of Senegal to host COP 22 and CMP 12 in November–December 2016. In keeping with the principle of rotation among regional groups, the President of COP 23 and CMP 13 would come from the Asia-Pacific States. The SBI will be invited to discuss the future sessional periods.

In keeping with the recommendation of SBI 30 that future sessions be scheduled from mid-week to mid-week, where possible (FCCC/SBI/2009/8, paragraph 115),  SBI 40 will be invited to recommend dates for the sessional periods in 2019. 

Organization of the intergovernmental process, including the participation of observer organizations

The SBI has periodically provided Parties with an opportunity to discuss and exchange views on how the organization of their intergovernmental process is functioning and to take decisions on relevant matters, including providing guidance to presiding officers and the secretariat. 

For example, SBI 32 provided guidance on the number of meetings to be held concurrently, ending meetings by 6p.m. under exceptional circumstances continuing for two to three hours (FCCC/SBI/2010/10, paragraphs 164 and 165).

Parties may want to take stock of certain elements of the intergovernmental process, to consider options for making improvements and provide relevant guidance. Parties may recall that at SBI 36 they were invited to submit their views on ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness, planning, as well as the structure of the process to streamline it, including budgetary implications for consideration at SBI 38 (FCCC/SBI/2012/15, paragraph 238). 

As the SBI was not able to agree on its provisional agenda for SBI 38, Parties may wish to discuss the views raised in the above-mentioned submissions as well as the issues outlined in the background document for SBI 38, including the review of the current implementation of SBI conclusions on observer engagement (outlined in document FCCC/SBI/2013/4). 

Additional information on preparations for the Lima Conference, future sessional periods and the organization of the intergovernmental process, including the participation of observer organizations can be found in background document FCCC/SBI/2014/6.  

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