Many multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) establish a body to monitor the agreement.
Often the body is composed of states that are party to the agreement (i.e. have signed, ratified or otherwise agreed to adhere to the agreement). These may be called Conference of the States Parties, Meeting of States Parties, or a similar name. There may also be a secretariat to support the work of the governing body.
There are many more MEAs than listed in this guide. In addition to broad conventions like the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), there are agreements on specific topics, such as the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, as well as on certain regions, Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. These are not monitored by UN bodies, but by specialized organizations established by the conventions.
Not all MEAs are monitored by UN bodies.
UN member states may or may not be parties to a convention.
To find the states parties, check the status of each convention:
The UN Enviromental Programme (UNEP) usually provides secretariat support for UN MEA treaty-monitoring bodies and leads UN-system coordination on MEAs. The following are three examples of UN bodies at work on this topic.
Many MEAs call for national reports from states parties about the status of implementation of the convention's provision in the national context. The Conference of the Parties may review the reports as well as take other actions.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. The Conference of the Parties is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP.
The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are dedicated to the protection of the earth's ozone layer.
The Convention on Biological Diversity has 3 objectives: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.