The Conference of the Parties met for the first time in Brussels on 22-24 November 2000 and has been meeting on a regular basis every two years since.
At each Conference of the Parties, a Bureau is elected from amongst the country representatives to help guide the work of the Convention between meetings of the Conference of the Parties.
The Conference of the Parties has four main tasks.
- To review the implementation of the Convention;
- To advise countries on issues concerning prevention of, preparedness for, and response to industrial accidents with transboundary consequences;
- To establish a programme of work for the activities under the Convention and;
- To establish the subsidiary bodies (such as the Working Group on Implementation and the Working Group on Development) needed to address matters related to the implementation and development of the Convention.
The Conference of the Parties works in accordance with its rules of procedure adopted at the first meeting. Rule 22 was amended at the fourth meeting (see paras. 12-13 of meeting report) and rules 22-23 at the ninth meeting (see pages 8-9 of addendum to meeting report).