The establishment of a Conference of the Parties (COP) and a Secretariat of the Convention is stipulated in Part VI of the Tehran Convention. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Tehran Convention in 2007 requested UNEP to carry out the functions of the Convention Secretariat ad interim until a Convention permanent Secretariat has been put in place. This request was reconfirmed by the second and third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Since then, the Tehran Convention interim Secretariat (TCIS) has been located within UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe in Geneva, Switzerland. At the fourth Conference of the Parties, a decision of the five Caspian littoral States regarding the location of the Tehran Convention permanent Secretariat (TCPS) in the Caspian region is expected.
The core financial support to the Tehran Convention process and the Secretariat is provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the European Union through its Environment and Natural Resources Thematic Programme (ENRTP) and UNEP. In 2009, the Caspian States pledged to provide financial support to meet the cost of the Convention Secretariat.
The TCIS supports the COP and the implementation of the Tehran Convention in organizational, administrative and technical matters. Amongst others, it assists the littoral states in the preparation and servicing of COPs and regional expert meetings on, inter alia, ancillary protocols, monitoring and information sharing and the preparation of National Convention Action Plans. The TCIS contributes to the coordination with donors and promotes regional negotiations for the possible location and related institutional arrangements of the permanent Secretariat.