What is FCTC COP? (part 3)
Governance: who prepares the COP sessions and the work mandated for each session?
- BUREAU OF THE COP
See: Bureau of the Conference of the Parties (who.int)
- Composed of a President and 5 Vice Presidents elected at the end of each COP session, for the following COP.
- Each represents one of the 6 WHO regions.
- Any Party can become President or Vice-President of the COP. To do so, the Parties need to express interest to the Regional Coordinator, before the COP session.
- Following negotiations and consensus within the region, the Regional Coordinator submits the final nominees to the COP.
- Holds meetings between COP sessions; supervises inter-sessional work, including of working groups / expert groups established by the COP.
- Consults with FCTC Secretariat to define agenda for COP sessions.
- Provides guidance to the Secretariat in preparation of reports, recommendations and draft decisions submitted to the COP.
- Reviews applications of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) that apply for the status of observer to the COP; makes recommendations to the COP in this regard.
- Plays a key role during COP sessions (works with Regional Coordinators and FCTC Secretariat to direct discussions among delegates).
Subsidiary bodies and working / expert groups
The COP may establish such subsidiary bodies as are necessary to achieve the objective of the Convention, such as the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on a Protocol on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
The COP also may establish working groups or expert groups with the mandate to elaborate guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of different treaty provisions, as has been done to create the guidelines on Articles 5.3, 8, 11, etc.
Although there have been only eight sessions of the COP so far, several Parties have managed to get elected for more than one mandate (there is currently no limit on mandates for the Bureau):
Work in the intersessional period
In the two-year period between regular sessions of the COP – known as the intersessional period – the Bureau meets three times to undertake its work, such as:
- prepare, in collaboration with the Convention Secretariat the provisional agenda for each session of the COP,
- provide guidance to the Convention Secretariat on implementation of the work plans and budgets adopted by the COP
- prepare reports, recommendations and draft decisions submitted to the COP.
- review the applications of nongovernmental organisations which apply for the status of observer to the COP and makes recommendations in that regard.
All the functions of the Bureau are described in Rules 6, 9, 19 and 21-24 (see: RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES).
Regional coordinators (see also “Regional groups and coordinators”, below)
Regional coordinators attend meetings of the Bureau in an observer capacity and perform the following functions:
(a) Liaise with the officer of the Bureau representing the region and facilitate consultations with the Parties in the region between the sessions of the Conference of the Parties with a view to informing the work of the Bureau and keeping Parties informed of the Bureau’s work;
(b) receive working documents or proposals of the bureau and ensure that they are circulated to the Parties in the region;
(c) collect and send comments on such documents or proposals to the officer of the Bureau;
(d) and act as a channel for the exchange of information, including a copy of invitations to the meetings for the implementation of the Convention, and coordination of activities with other regional coordinators.
See Rule 24quater https://www.who.int/fctc/cop/who-fctc-rules-of-procedures-2019.pdf
The meetings of the Bureau are usually held in Geneva, Switzerland, which is where the Convention Secretariat is headquartered.