Overview

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 .

 

Mandate

Article 15 of the Basel Convention sets out the role and mandate of the Conference of the Parties.

Article 15 - Conference of the Parties

  1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall be convened by the Executive Director of UNEP not later than one year after the entry into force of this Convention. Thereafter, ordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties shall be held at regular intervals to be determined by the Conference at its first meeting.
  2. Extraordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties shall be held at such other times as may be deemed necessary by the Conference, or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within six months of the request being communicated to them by the Secretariat, it is supported by at least one third of the Parties.
  3. The Conference of the Parties shall by consensus agree upon and adopt rules of procedure for itself and for any subsidiary body it may establish, as well as financial rules to determine in particular the financial participation of the Parties under this Convention.
  4. The Parties at their first meeting shall consider any additional measures needed to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities with respect to the protection and the preservation of the marine environment in the context of this Convention.
  5. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under continuous review and evaluation the effective implementation of this Convention, and, in addition, shall:
    1. Promote the harmonization of appropriate policies, strategies and measures for minimizing harm to human health and the environment by hazardous wastes and other wastes;
    2. Consider and adopt, as required, amendments to this Convention and its annexes, taking into consideration, inter alia, available scientific, technical, economic and environmental information;
    3. Consider and undertake any additional action that may be required for the achievement of the purposes of this Convention in the light of experience gained in its operation and in the operation of the agreements and arrangements envisaged in Article 11;
    4. Consider and adopt protocols as required; and
    5. Establish such subsidiary bodies as are deemed necessary for the implementation of this Convention.
  6. The United Nations, its specialized agencies, as well as any State not Party to this Convention, may be represented as observers at meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Any other body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, qualified in fields relating to hazardous wastes or other wastes which has informed the Secretariat of its wish to be represented as an observer at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties, may be admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present object. The admission and participation of observers shall be subject to the rules of procedure adopted by the Conference of the Parties.
  7. The Conference of the Parties shall undertake three years after the entry into force of this Convention, and at least every six years thereafter, an evaluation of its effectiveness and, if deemed necessary, to consider the adoption of a complete or partial ban of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes in light of the latest scientific, environmental, technical and economic information.