The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, established pursuant to its Article 23. Through the decisions taken at its meetings, the COP advances the implementation of the Convention, which it is to keep under continuous review and evaluation.
Since the entry into force of the Minamata Convention in August 2017, the COP held its first meeting in September 2017, its second meeting in November 2018 and its third meeting from 25 to 29 November 2019 in Geneva. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, its fourth meeting was organized in two segments: a first segment conducted online within the period of 1 to 5 November 2021 and a second segment conducted in-person within the period of 21 to 25 March 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. The fifth meeting is to take place from 30 October to 3 November in Geneva, Switzerland. Subsequent ordinary meetings of the COP will be every two years.
At its first meeting, amongst others, the COP adopted the Rules of Procedure under which it would operate. It also adopted Financial Rules for itself and any of its subsidiary bodies, as well as financial provisions governing the functioning of the secretariat of the Convention. Both the rules of procedure and the financial rules included outstanding text that was considered further by the COP at its third meeting.
The COP is supported in its work by a Bureau, consisting of a President and nine Vice-Presidents, one of whom acting as Rapporteur. Since COP2, Bureau members commence their term at the closure of the meeting at which they are elected until the closure of the following ordinary meeting of the COP. Each of the five UN regional groups is represented by two Bureau members, elected from among the representatives of the Parties present at the meeting.
The Minamata Convention also establishes as a subsidiary body of the COP an Implementation and Compliance Committee, which, as per article 15, aims to promote the implementation of, and review compliance with, all the provisions of the Convention. The chair of the Committee is a member ex-officio of the COP Bureau.