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, third and fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2008, 2011 and 2012, respectively. Since then, the Tehran Convention interim Secretariat (TCIS) has been located within UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe in Geneva, Switzerland. At the fifth Conference of the Parties, in Ashgabat 2014, the Contracting Parties signed a decision on the location and arrangements of the Convention Secretariat. Following this decision, UNEP will administer the Secretariat of the Convention and establish its office in the Caspian Sea region as of 2015. The office will be located in Baku, Azerbaijan, and rotate among the Caspian littoral countries in a four-year cycle.
The core financial support to the Tehran Convention process and the Secretariat is provided by national contributions of the five Contracting Parties, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the European Union through its Environment and Natural Resources Thematic Programme (ENRTP) and UNEP.
The Secretariat 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, negotiating ancillary protocols, monitoring and information sharing and the preparation and updating of National Convention Action Plans. The Secretariat contributes to the coordination with donors and promotes the implementation of the ancillary Protocols to the Tehran Convention.