Chairs and negotiators under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Meetings of the conferences of the Parties and their subsidiary bodies are presided over by a chair or President. Contact or other informal groups established during a meeting to support the negotiations are also chaired by one or more chairs. The respective rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties, among others, lay out the powers and functions of the chair or President of a meeting.

Each Party participating in meetings of the conferences of the Parties is represented by a delegation consisting of a head of delegation and advisers as may be required. Representatives of Parties also participate in the work of subsidiary bodies where they engage in negotiations on any issue falling within the mandate of the body.

Enhancing the skills and techniques of chairs and negotiators under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, and expanding the number and diversity of trained, confident and willing chairs supports the development of continued and solid expertise among Parties to ensure active and inclusive participation in the various meetings of the conventions and strengthens the implementation of the BRS conventions.

In 2014 the Secretariat initiated activities to train potential chairs of meetings under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. Several rounds of training workshops have been held and a “Training Manual for Chairs of Meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions” developed and published.

The activities were subsequently extended to enhancing skills of negotiators under the three conventions. The activities support the development of continued and solid expertise among representatives of Parties and contribute to ensuring active and inclusive participation in the various meetings under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. In addition, the activities have permitted participation of representatives involved in the work of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution and the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

In 2022, the Secretariat, in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (InforMEA) developed an online training course on “Basic Principles of Chairing and Role of the Chairs of Meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions”. The course is freely available on the InforMEA website upon registration to the InforMEA platform.

The implementation of these training activities has been possible thanks to the generous financial contributions from the Governments of Germany and Switzerland, and from the European Union.

The activities are conducted as part of the capacity development programme and technical assistance plan of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (programme of work activity 13).