In 2012, the Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm conventions, as well as the UNEP-part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat, moved from three separate secretariats with a programmatic structure to a single Secretariat with a matrix structure serving the three conventions.
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad.
The text of the Rotterdam Convention was adopted on 10 September 1998 by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Convention entered into force on 24 February 2004. The Rotterdam Convention is jointly implemented by FAO and UNEP.
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Convention entered into force on 17 May 2004, ninety days after submission of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in respect of the Convention.