In line with Article 17 of the Barcelona Convention, UNEP provides secretariat services to the Contracting Parties through its MAP Coordinating Unit, established in Athens in 1982, and led by the UNEP/MAP coordinator, on the basis of a Host Country Agreement between Greece and UNEP. The Hellenic Republic provides financial and logistical support to MAP and accords the Secretariat diplomatic status.
The overall mandate of the Coordinating Unit, as provided for in Decision IG.17/ 5: Governance paper, is to promote and facilitate the implementation of the Barcelona Convention, its Protocols and Strategies, and of the Decisions and Recommendations of the Contracting Parties. It ensures the good functioning of the MAP system, develops and implements the Programme of Work, and supports the Contracting Parties in meeting their commitments under the Convention. The Coordinating Unit organizes and provides the secretariat services for the meetings of bodies established within the MAP framework. It represents the Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention at the international and regional levels and ensures high-level policy and political dialogue with external parties.
The Coordinating Unit also ensures the functioning of the Reporting System and the Compliance Mechanism of the Barcelona Convention and Protocols, and is entrusted with regularly reporting on the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean.
In implementing its Programme of Work, the Coordinating Unit receives the technical support and assistance of the MAP Components in accordance with their individual mandates, and with specific decisions of the Contracting Parties.