Pilot Training Session on Chairing Meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Glion, Switzerland, from 3 to 5 March 2014

Background: In order to strengthen the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, and build synergies, there is a need to expand the number and diversity of trained, confident and willing chairs for the various meetings of the conventions.  These may include ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the Parties, subsidiary bodies and contact and drafting groups as well as other meetings.

While the three conventions have enjoyed good fortune in the past in finding qualified chairs for their meetings, there are challenges in finding willing and experienced chairs from all regions and in maintaining gender and regional diversity among the chairs.

Organizers

The training was organized by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in cooperation with the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University. The Government of Switzerland has kindly provided the funding for the training course.

Working Language

English was the working language of the training.

Workshop Objectives 

The training addressed practical and procedural issues encountered by chairs of international meetings, encompassing preparations for chairing, rules of procedure, administrative matters related to the operation of various meetings under the three conventions, as well as communication techniques and skills. The training included presentations, case studies and simulation exercises. Senior negotiators who have previously served as chairs shared their experiences, lessons learned, and best practices. 

Objectives of the training included:  

  • Strengthening participants’ knowledge of practical procedures of international meetings; 
  • Guiding participants in improving their substantive knowledge and expertise (e.g., legal, scientific, financial) relevant to meetings to be chaired;
  • Using acquired skills and knowledge to efficiently chair meetings;
  • Determining what preparations are appropriate as a meeting chair;
  • Strengthening communication techniques and skills of potential chairs;
  • Sharing best practices and lessons learned on efficient chairing of meetings; and
  • Strengthening synergies through using best practices and lessons learned across the three MEAs and empowering potential chairs to serve different types of meetings.

Target Audience

The training session targeted government representatives from countries which are Parties to at least one convention. Parties were invited to nominate candidates who would need to submit their applications through appropriate official channels. Candidates were selected by the secretariat based upon the strength of their applications materials, as well as due consideration for balanced regional participation and gender equality.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the training session, please contact Tatiana Terekhova (Tatiana.Terekhova@brsmeas.org). For questions regarding registrations, please contact Stephanie Cadet (Stephanie.Cadet@brsmeas.org).