Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement

Following the acceptance by the COP (decision 16/CP.1) of the offer by the Government of Germany of February 1995 to host the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany (pdf-icon A/AC.237/Misc.45), the Government of Germany, the United Nations and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded a Headquarters Agreement, which entered into force in October 1997 (FCCC/CP/1996/Misc.1).

Since then, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) has regularly reviewed the implementation of the Headquarters Agreement. The Host Government and the Executive Secretary have each reported to the SBI at every session initially and at regular interval later. In addition, since the thirty-sixth session of the SBI (May 2012, Bonn, Germany), the secretariat has kept Parties informed on an on-going basis through the Implementation Updates on the UNFCCC web-site.

The topics considered under this sub-item traditionally include: the legal status and treatment of participants to UNFCCC meetings in Germany; the legal status and treatment of the secretariat, its staff, affiliates and associated family members; the office accommodation of the secretariat; and the provision of a conference centre for use by the United Nations.

Recent developments

In September 2013, about half of the secretariat's staff moved into its new office premises on the United Nations Campus in Bonn. The remaining staff, currently staying in the secretariat's old headquarters five kilometres away, is scheduled to move into a newly built Annex building on the United Nations Campus in 2018.

In June 2015, during the forty-second sessions of the subsidiary bodies, the World Conference Centre Bonn was officially inaugurated. Located immediately adjacent to the United Nations Campus, the World Conference Centre Bonn is designed to meet the standards for United Nations meetings and conferences with up to 5,000 participants.

The SBI last considered the implementation of the Headquarters Agreement at its forty-second session (June 2015, Bonn, Germany). It acknowledged the special efforts and investments by both the Host Government and the host city of Bonn to provide adequate conference facilities to the Parties and office accommodation to the secretariat. It encouraged the Host Government to continue to provide support for the operation of the conference centre as a permanent forum for the intergovernmental process. It requested the secretariat to maximize the combined use of the new office and conference facilities for UNFCCC sessions and meetings in order to reduce costs and further enhance the services available at the seat of the secretariat. It encouraged the Host Government and the secretariat to maintain a process of close and regular consultations.

The SBI will review the implementation of the Headquarters Agreement again at its forty-sixth session (May 2017, Bonn, Germany).