Review of financial information

Legal assistance paper

All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time the advice was produced. However, the materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and may have been superseded by more recent developments. They do not constitute formal legal advice or create a lawyer- client relationship. To the extent permitted any liability is excluded. Those consulting the database may wish to contact LRI for clarifications and an updated analysis.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Date produced: 08/12/2018

What options are there to put forward language that captures the spirit of a review without formally using the ‘review’ phrase, to allow Parties to consider the information being communicated under Article 9.5? Are there, for instance, other international (environmental) law agreements that may have relevant examples of other mechanisms to ‘review’ commitments?

Advice:

There are a number of synonyms for review such as analysis, evaluation, assessment, appraisal, examination, investigation, scrutiny, study or audit. In the common English language ‘study’ may be the most acceptable but it denotes examination rather than evaluation. In the following we have examined a number of international agreements and indicated where other language has been used to describe a review process. This includes mechanisms and concepts in international relations (such as a clearing house) that carry out review functions.

One particular way to maintain the spirit of review would be to have a form of monitoring and evaluation. For example, the Protocol on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological and Landscape Diversity (Table 1, No. 1) provides for a mechanism to report to an implementation committee who is tasked to“collect, assess and analyse informationand monitor compliance.

Several treaties also provide for parties to ‘examine’ and ‘evaluate’ effectiveness.  For instance, the Protocol on Heavy Metals (Table 1, No. 9), provides for the executive body to “evaluate progress towards meeting the objectives of the present Protocol” and “evaluate whether additional emission reductions” are warranted. The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (Table 1, No. 6), requires the secretariat to “gather and evaluate information” that furthers the objectives and implementation of the Agreement and arrange for appropriate dissemination of such information. In addition, transparency of information communicated can add a further level of scrutiny. Several treaties provide for public access to both information submitted and evaluation findings.

Aside from language, most of the mechanisms require ‘review’ by a secretariat or executive body. Other mechanisms, such as a clearing-house, have been used in the Cartagena Protocol for example (Table 1, No. 5) for exchange of information to assist the implementation of the Protocol. However, the information itself is not reviewed for effectiveness. The Tehran Convention for Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea (Table 1, No. 10) has a more facilitative process between parties “to collect, compile and evaluate data”, which could be closer to the idea of a party-led roundtable on finance information.

 

Table 1: ‘Review’ Mechanisms in International Agreements

No.International agreementReview mechanism
1.Protocol on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological and Landscape Diversity

 

Article 28: Monitoring of compliance with obligations

1. The Parties shall regularly report to the Conference of the Parties on measures related to this Protocol and the results of the measures taken. The Conference of the Parties shall determine the intervals and format at which the reports must be submitted.

2. Observers may present any information or report on implementation of and compliance with the provisions of this Protocol to the Conference of the Parties and/or to the Carpathian Convention Implementation Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “Implementation Committee”).

3. The Implementation Committee shall collect, assess and analyse information relevant to the implementation of this Protocol and monitor the compliance by the Parties with the provisions of this Protocol.

4. The Implementation Committee shall present to the Conference of the Parties recommendations for implementation and the necessary measures for compliance with the Protocol.

5. The Conference of the Parties shall adopt or recommend necessary measures.

2.Protocol on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

 

Article 24: Monitoring of compliance with obligations

1. The Parties shall regularly report to the Conference of the Parties on measures related to this Protocol and the results of the measures taken. The Conference of the Parties shall determine the intervals and format at which the reports must be submitted….

3. The Implementation Committee shall collect, assess and analyse information relevant to the implementation of this Protocol and monitor the compliance by the Parties with the provisions of this Protocol.         

4. The Implementation Committee shall present to the Conference of the Parties recommendations for implementation and the necessary measures for compliance with the Protocol.

5. The Conference of the Parties shall adopt or recommend necessary measures.

 

Article 25: Evaluation of the effectiveness of the provisions

1. The Parties shall regularly examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the provisions of this Protocol.

2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol may consider the adoption of appropriate amendments to this Protocol where necessary in order to achieve its objectives.

3. The Parties shall facilitate the involvement of the local authorities and other relevant stakeholders in the process under paragraph 1.

3.Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)Article VIII Measures to be Taken by Parties

7. Each Party shall prepare periodic reports on its implementation of the present Convention and shall transmit to the Secretariat:

(a) an annual report containing a summary of the information specified in sub-Paragraph (b) of Paragraph 6 of this Article; and

(b) a biennial report on legislative, regulatory and administrative measures taken to enforce the provisions of the present Convention.

8. The information referred to in Paragraph 7 of this Article shall be available to the public where this is not inconsistent with the law of the Party concerned.

 

Article XII The Secretariat

2. The functions of the Secretariat shall be:

(d) to study the reports of Parties and to request from Parties such further information with respect thereto as it deems necessary to ensure implementation of the present Convention;

4.Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean

 

Article 15 Conference of the Parties

5. The Conference of the Parties shall examine and promote the implementation and effectiveness of the present Agreement. To that end:

(a) it shall establish by consensus such subsidiary bodies as it deems necessary for the implementation of the present Agreement;

(b) it shall receive and consider reports and recommendations from subsidiary bodies;

(c) it shall be informed by the Parties of the measures adopted to implement the present Agreement;        

(d) it may formulate recommendations to the Parties on the implementation of the present Agreement;

 

Article18 Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance

2. The Committee shall be of a consultative and transparent nature, non-adversarial, non-judicial and non-punitive and shall review compliance of the provisions of the present Agreement and formulate recommendations, in accordance with the rules of procedure established by the Conference of the Parties, ensuring the significant participation of the public and paying particular attention to the national capacities and circumstances of the Parties.

5.Cartagena Protocol

 

Article 20. Information Sharing and the Biosafety Clearing-House

1. A Biosafety Clearing-House is hereby established as part of the clearing-house mechanism under Article 18, paragraph 3, of the Convention, in order to: …

(b) Assist Parties to implement the Protocol, taking into account the special needs of developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition as well as countries that are centres of origin and centres of genetic diversity.

3. Without prejudice to the protection of confidential information, each Party shall make available to the Biosafety Clearing-House any information required to be made available to the Biosafety Clearing-House under this Protocol, and: …

4. The modalities of the operation of the Biosafety Clearing-House, including reports on its activities, shall be considered and decided upon by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol at its first meeting, and kept under review thereafter.

 

Article 33. Monitoring and Reporting

Each Party shall monitor the implementation of its obligations under this Protocol, and shall, at intervals to be determined by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol, report to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol on measures that it has taken to implement the Protocol.

 

Article 35. Assessment and Review

The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol shall undertake, five years after the entry into force of this Protocol and at least every five years thereafter, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Protocol, including an assessment of its procedures and annexes.

6.Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds

 

ARTICLE VIII Agreement Secretariat

The functions of the Agreement secretariat shall be:

(e) to gather and evaluate information which will further the objectives and implementation of the Agreement and to arrange for appropriate dissemination of such information;

(f) to invite the attention of the Meeting of the Parties to matters pertaining to the objectives of this Agreement;     

to gather and evaluate information which will further the objectives and implementation of the Agreement and to arrange for appropriate dissemination of such information;

7.Minamata Convention on Mercury

 

Article 14 Capacity-building, technical assistance and technology transfer

4. The Conference of the Parties shall, by its second meeting and thereafter on a regular basis, and taking into account submissions and reports from Parties including those as provided for in Article 21 and information provided by other stakeholders:

(a) Consider information on existing initiatives and progress made in relation to alternative technologies;

(b) Consider the needs of Parties, particularly developing country Parties, for alternative technologies; and      

(c) Identify challenges experienced by Parties, particularly developing country Parties, in technology transfer.

 

Article 22 Effectiveness evaluation

1. The Conference of the Parties shall evaluate the effectiveness of this Convention, beginning no later than six years after the date of entry into force of the Convention and periodically thereafter at intervals to be decided by it.

2. To facilitate the evaluation, the Conference of the Parties shall, at its first meeting, initiate the establishment of arrangements for providing itself with comparable monitoring data on the presence and movement of mercury and mercury compounds in the environment as well as trends in levels of mercury and mercury compounds observed in biotic media and vulnerable populations.

3. The evaluation shall be conducted on the basis of available scientific, environmental, technical, financial and economic information, including:

(a) Reports and other monitoring information provided to the Conference of the Parties pursuant to paragraph 2;

(b) Reports submitted pursuant to Article 21;

(c) Information and recommendations provided pursuant to Article 15; a

(d) Reports and other relevant information on the operation of the financial assistance, technology transfer and capacity-building arrangements put in place under this Convention.

8.

 

Land-Based Sources ProtocolArticle 8 Monitoring

Within the framework of the provisions of, and the monitoring programmes provided for in article 12 of the Convention, and if necessary in cooperation with the competent international organizations, the Parties shall carry out at the earliest possible date monitoring activities and make access to the public of the findings in order:          

(a) Systematically to assess, as far as possible, the levels of pollution along their coasts, in particular with regard to the sectors of activity and categories of substances listed in annex I, and periodically to provide information in this respect;

(b) To evaluate the effectiveness of action plans, programmes and measures implemented under this Protocol to eliminate to the fullest possible extent pollution of the marine environment.

9.Protocol on Heavy Metals

 

Article 10 REVIEWS BY THE PARTIES AT SESSIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE BODY

3. The Parties shall, at sessions of the Executive Body, review the sufficiency and effectiveness of the obligations set out in the present Protocol.

(a) Such reviews will take into account the best available scientific information on the effects of the deposition of heavy metals, assessments of technological developments, and changing economic conditions;

(b) Such reviews will, in the light of the research, development, monitoring and cooperation undertaken under the present Protocol:

(i) Evaluate progress towards meeting the objective of the present Protocol;

(ii) Evaluate whether additional emission reductions beyond the levels required by this Protocol are warranted to reduce further the adverse effects on human health or the environment; and

(iii) Take into account the extent to which a satisfactory basis exists for the application of an effects-based approach;

10.Tehran Convention

 

 

Article 18. Co-operation Between the Contracting Parties

3. In fulfilment of their obligations as set in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, the Contracting Parties shall work, inter alia, jointly or individually:

(a) to collect, compile and evaluate data in order to identify sources that cause or likely to cause pollution of the Caspian Sea and to exchange information among the Contracting Parties, as appropriate;