1. A Conference of the Parties (hereinafter referred to as the “Conference”) is hereby established.
2. The Conference shall discuss common concerns of the Parties and make the decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention. In particular, it shall:
(a) regularly review and support the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols,
(b) adopt amendments to the Convention pursuant to Article 19,
(c) adopt Protocols, including amendments thereto, pursuant to Articles 18,
(d) nominate its President and establish an intersessional executive body, as appropriate and in accordance with its Rules of Procedure,
(e) establish such subsidiary bodies, including thematic working groups, as are deemed necessary for the implementation of the Convention, regularly review reports submitted by its subsidiary bodies and provide guidance to them,
(f) approve a work program, financial rules and budget for its activities, including those of its subsidiary bodies and the Secretariat, and undertake necessary arrangements for their financing pursuant to Article 17,
(g) adopt its Rules of Procedure,
(h) adopt or recommend measures to achieve the objectives laid down in Articles 2 to 13,
(i) as appropriate, seek the cooperation of competent bodies or agencies, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental and promote and strengthen the relationship with other relevant conventions while avoiding duplication of efforts, and
(j) exercise other functions as may be necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Convention.
3. The first session of the Conference shall be convened not later than one year after the date of entry into force of the Convention. Unless otherwise decided by the Conference, ordinary sessions shall be held every three years.
4. Extraordinary sessions of the Conference shall be held at such other times as may be decided either by the Conference at ordinary session or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within three months of the request being communicated to all the other Parties by the Secretariat, it is supported by at least one third of the Parties.
5. The Parties may decide to admit as observers at the ordinary and extraordinary sessions of the Conference:
(b) any national, intergovernmental or non-governmental organization the activities of which are related to the Convention.
The conditions for the admission and participation of observers shall be established in the Rules of Procedure. Such observers may present any information or report relevant to the objectives of the Convention.
6. The Conference shall reach its decisions by consensus.