The Conference of the Parties (COP) was established pursuant to article 15 of the Convention. It is the governing body of the Basel Convention and is composed of governments of countries that have accepted, ratified or acceded to it. The implementation of the Convention is advanced through the decisions it takes at its meetings.
The Conference of the Parties reviews and evaluates the implementation of the Convention. It considers and adopts, as required, amendments to the Convention and its annexes, and promotes the harmonization of appropriate policies, strategies and measures for minimizing harm to human health and the environment by hazardous wastes and other wastes. It also adopts the programme of work and budget of the Convention for each biennium.
The Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention has established the following subsidiary bodies:
- Open-ended Working Group; and
- Committee for Administering the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance.
Ordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties are usually held every other year and are governed by the rules of procedure and financial rules. Additionally, the Secretariat has developed two guidelines for rules of conduct at the meetings.