The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) establishes a secretariat to support the Conference of the Parties (COP), its subsidiary bodies (the SBI and the SBSTA) and their Bureaux. Its mandate is to make arrangements for the sessions of the Convention bodies, to help Parties fulfil their commitments, to compile and disseminate data and information, and to confer with other relevant international agencies and treaties. The permanent secretariat has been hosted in Bonn, Germany, since 1996.
The functions of the UNFCCC secretariat are set out in full in Article 8 of the UNFCCC:
- To make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies established under the Convention and to provide them with services as required;
- To compile and transmit reports submitted to it;
- To facilitate assistance to the Parties, particularly developing country Parties, on request, in the compilation and communication of information required in accordance with the provisions of the Convention;
- To prepare reports on its activities and present them to the Conference of the Parties;
- To ensure the necessary coordination with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies;
- To enter, under the overall guidance of the Conference of the Parties, into such administrative and contractual arrangements as may be required for the effective discharge of its functions; and
- To perform the other secretariat functions specified in the Convention and in any of its protocols and such other functions as may be determined by the Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC, Article 8(2)).
In relation to the Joint Implementation (JI) mechanism, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP) has also requested that the secretariat provide administrative support to the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) to carry out its functions:
The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties ...
- Requests the secretariat to strengthen the services and administrative support provided to the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee as defined by the Committee in its management plan (3/CMP.2, paragraph 11).
In support of the JISC, the secretariat is required to perform the following functions:
In addition to the functions specified in the Joint Implementation guidelines and/or any subsequent decision by the COP/MOP, the secretariat shall, in accordance with these rules, and subject to the availability of resources:
- Receive, reproduce and distribute to members and alternate members the documents of a meeting;
- Receive and translate decisions into all six official languages of the United Nations and make publicly available the full texts of all decisions of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee;
- Assist the Committee fulfilling tasks relating to the maintenance of files and the collection, processing and public availability of information;
- Perform all other work that the Committee may require (Rules of Procedure of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee, Rule 31).