Governance Branch

The Governance Branch is responsible for governance aspects of the work of the Secretariat including the BRS conventions and bodies, legal issues, compliance, international cooperation, partnerships, synergies, gender, and institutional aspects of the Basel and Stockholm regional centres.

The Branch is responsible for the overall management of the meetings of conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, regional preparatory meetings and interaction with and meetings of the Bureau of each Conference of the Parties. This responsibility extends to the standing subsidiary bodies, namely the Open-ended Working Group and the Implementation and Compliance Committee of the Basel Convention, Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention, and Persistent Organic Pollutant Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention. In doing so, the Branch coordinates the organization, running and follow-up of the meetings, including the management of relevant documentation for the meetings. The Branch is also responsible for technical assistance activities aimed at improving the chairing and participation during the meetings of conventions’ bodies.

The Branch is responsible for the legal and other governance and policy aspects of the work of the conventions. This includes legal advisory functions to conventions bodies, legal issues with respect to the implementation and further development of the conventions such as country contacts, legal clarity, amendment-related issues, liability and compensation, compliance, legal information, legislation, controlling international trade, preventing and combating illegal traffic and trade, and issues pertaining to the enforcement of the conventions.

The Branch is responsible for the overall coordination of the international cooperation activities of the Secretariat which include cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreement secretariats, IGOs and NGOs. This includes serving the focal point for coordination with the Minamata Convention and with UNEP. The Branch is also responsible for the overall management of partnerships issues, as well as strategic issues such as the synergies between the conventions, gender, indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals, Basel Convention expert working group on environmentally sound management, Basel Convention strategic framework, and effectiveness of the Rotterdam Convention. Within its areas of competence, the Branch undertakes a range of activities from the provision of information to international cooperation and technical assistance activities.