The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity was established (Article 24
) to support the goals of the Convention. Its principal functions are to prepare for, and service, meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) and other subsidiary bodies of the Convention, and to coordinate with other relevant international bodies.As a neutral organization staffed by international civil servants, the Secretariat is accountable to the COP and its subsidiary bodies and carries out those tasks that fall under its associated mandate.The Secretariat is institutionally linked to the United Nations Environment Programme, its host institution and, pursuant to decision II/19
, is located in Montreal, Canada since 1996. It currently employs some 70 staff, including short-term staff and consultants. Civil servants of the Secretariat come from around the world. Its head, the Executive Secretary, is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in consultation with the COP through its Bureau.