Article 24 of the Convention establishes a secretariat, lists its functions and provides that the first COP shall "designate the secretariat from amongst those existing competent international organizations which have signified their willingness to carry out the secretariat functions." Discussion focused on the list of attributes of the secretariat, its location, and choice of an organization to carry out secretariat functions.
LIST OF ATTRIBUTES: India, supported by Norway, stated that the secretariat should not be composed of a small number of experts, but should engage in informal consultations with scientific agencies and NGOs at the regional and national levels. Australia proposed that ease of accessibility to governments and NGOs be added to the list of attributes. Brazil added that one of criteria should be the organization's ability to implement the sustainable use and equitable sharing of resources. Sweden added that the head of the secretariat should be responsible only to the COP and that the budget of the secretariat should be separate to ensure autonomy.