Article 18, paragraph 7 of the Rotterdam Convention and Rule 7, paragraph 1 of the rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention provide for representation as observers at meetings of the Conference of the Parties by:
- The United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State not party to the Convention; and
- Bodies or agencies, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, qualified in matters covered by the Convention, and which have informed the Secretariat that they wish to be represented as an observer at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
The procedure for application for admission as an observer does not apply to those entities represented by observers in accordance with rule 6 of the rules of procedure (United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency and any State not Party to the Convention) - decision RC-6/14. Observers representing such entities are invited to consult the relevant meeting page for specific meeting registration information.
Bodies or agencies that have not previously been represented as observers at meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and wishing to be represented as such are required to submit the application and accompanying information to the Secretariat in the format adopted by the Conference of the Parties.
Bodies and/or agencies are required to submit to the Secretariat the completed form for application for admission as an observer and information as follows:
- Information describing the body or agency;
- Information on the affiliation of the body or agency with non-governmental organizations or institutions;
- Information on the programmes and activities undertaken by the body or agency/qualification in matters covered by the Convention;
- Description of any network and/or membership system.
The form and information required were approved by the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention at its sixth meeting (May 2013).
Procedures and processes of the Secretariat
The Secretariat screens the applications to confirm that they are complete and in conformity with the relevant criteria. Applications submitted by bodies and agencies requesting admission as observers will be presented for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its next ordinary meeting.
In the event that anybody or agency wishes to attend a meeting of a subsidiary body established under the Rotterdam Convention, e.g. the Chemical Review Committee, prior to their application being reviewed by the Conference of the Parties, such body or agency may be represented as an observer at the meeting of the subsidiary body on a provisional basis. The application for admission at meetings of the bodies established under the Rotterdam Convention will be considered at the next ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties, without prejudice to any decision of the Conference of the Parties or any relevant rules on admission of observers at meetings of that subsidiary body.