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 Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings
 
Background

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 documents FCCC/SBI/2014/8, paragraphs 200-225 and 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.

Arrangements for the Lima Conference, including the high-level segment and the possible elements of the provisional agendas for COP 20 and CMP 10 were discussed at SBI 41 in June (More information is available at FCCC/SBI/2014/8, paragraphs 203-207)

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.

At SBI 41 in June, Parties agreed to recommend to the COP that future sessions of the COP and the CMP, including those for 2019, commence on a Monday with work being completed on the Friday of the second week. The SBI also agreed to recommend to the COP that future sessional dates for the May/June sessions of the subsidiary bodies should commence on a Monday and that, in order to enhance efficiency and time management, work should be completed one day earlier so as to finish on the Thursday of the second week. The SBI further recommended that all meetings, at the May/June sessions of the subsidiary bodies, taking place on a Saturday, be completed by midday in order to enhance the efficiency, timeliness and transparency of work. (More information is available at FCCC/SBI/2014/8, paragraphs 208-214).


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).

At SBI 40, Parties discussed the organization of the intergovernmental process and affirmed the need to consider this matter with a sense of urgency.  It stressed the principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness as well as the importance of effectiveness, credibility and legitimacy. In this regard, the SBI requested the secretariat to prepare two documents for consideration at SBI 41:  one on frequency and organization of sessions and one on adjusting the timing of the election of the President. (More information is available in document FCCC/SBI/2014/8, paragraphs 215-221).

Additional information on engagement of observer organizations can be found in document FCCC/SBI/2014/8, paragraphs 222-225).

 


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