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Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings
 
Background

Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Convention and Article 14, paragraph 2 of the Kyoto Protocol provide that the functions of the secretariat shall be, inter alia, to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) 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.

The background document for SBI 44 is pdf-icon FCCC/SBI/2016/2.
 
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.

By decision 23/CP.21, COP 21 accepted with appreciation the offer to the Kingdom of Morocco to host COP 22 and CMP 12, subject to the successful conclusion of a Host Country Agreement. Pursuant to the same decision, the Executive Secretary is continuing consultations with the Kingdom of Morocco to negotiate and finalize a Host Country Agreement no later than at SBI 44.

The secretariat has undertaken a technical mission and confirmed to the Bureau of COP 21 and CMP 11 that the process of preparing for the conference is advancing well. The Bureau of COP 21 and CMP 11 has therefore confirmed that the logistical, technical and financial elements for hosting the sessions of the Marrakech Conference are in place. Preparations for the sessions are under way and further information will be provided during SBI 44.

Under this agenda item, the draft elements of the provisional agendas of COP 22 and CMP 12, as well as suggestions concerning the organization of the work of the COP, the CMP, the subsidiary bodies and arrangements for the high-level segment will be discussed. 

In Warsaw, the COP decided to convene a biennial high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance starting in 2014 and ending in 2020. The second high-level ministerial dialogue will be convened in Marrakech. (Decision 3/CP. 19, paragraph 13).

In Paris, the COP mandated two other events to be convened during COP 22 - a facilitative dialogue to assess the progress in implementing decision 1/CP. 19, paragraphs 3 and 4 (Decision 1/CP. 21, paragraph 115) and a high-level event on enhancing climate action (Decision 1/CP. 21, paragraph 120). Further information on these events would be provided in due course.

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 23/CP.21 noted that 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 and that the President of COP 24 and CMP 14 would come from the Eastern European States.

The SBI will be invited to discuss these future sessional periods. It will also be invited to recommend dates for the sessional periods in 2021. 

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. In addition, SBI 40, 41 and 42 considered issues such as:

(a) The frequency and organization of sessions (including biennial COP/CMPs)
(b) Alternating COP/CMP sessions between host countries and the seat of the secretariat
(c) Arrangements for high-level segments, including engagement of ministers
(d) Adjusting the timing of the election of the President.

Background on these issues can be found in the SBI 41 documents pdf-icon FCCC/SBI/2014/11pdf-icon FCCC/SBI/2014/12, paragraphs 121-132 of pdf-icon FCCC/SBI/2014/21 and paragraphs 30 - 48 of FCCC/SBI/2015/2.

At SBI 42, the secretariat was requested to provide information for consideration at SBI 44 on a 10-year calendar for the organization of the intergovernmental process, including any budgetary considerations and implications, covering the following scenarios:

(a) Annual COP/CMP sessions alternating between a host country and the seat of the secretariat;
(b) Biennial COP/CMP sessions, including the option of alternating between a host country and the seat of the secretariat.

The SBI agreed to further consider at SBI 44 the issue of the frequency and organization of sessions and the issue of adjusting the timing of the election of the President. Further information can be found in paragraphs 23 – 35 of document FCCC/SBI/2016/2.

SBI 40 recalled the conclusions adopted at SBI 34 on various ways to engage observer organizations in the intergovernmental process and requested the secretariat to provide, subject to the availability of resources, a report every two years on the implementation of these conclusions. An update on the implementation of the above-mentioned SBI conclusions in the period 2014–2015 is contained in Table 2 of document FCCC/SBI/2016/2. Further information on the engagement of observer organizations can be found in paragraphs 36 – 44 of the same document.