The Conference of the Parties is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.
To date the Conference of the Parties has held 13 ordinary meetings, and one extraordinary meeting (the latter, to adopt the Biosafety Protocol, was held in two parts). From 1994 to 1996, the Conference of the Parties held its ordinary meetings annually. Since then these meetings have been held somewhat less frequently and, following a change in the rules of procedure in 2000, will now be held every two years.
The Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) was held in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2016. The Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 - 29 November 2018.