There are four principal categories of obligations under the UNCCD and its regional implementation annexes:
- The common obligation of all Parties, including those unaffected by desertification, are spelled out mainly in articles 3, 4, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. They relate principally to international cooperation in implementing the UNCCD at all levels, particularly in the areas of the collection, analysis and exchange of information, research, technology transfer, capacity building and awareness building, the promotion of an integrated approach in developing national strategies to combat desertification, and assistance in ensuring that adequate financial resources are available for programmes to combat desertification/land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought.
- Country Parties affected by desertification in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Northern Mediterranean and Central and Eastern Europe undertake to prepare national action programmes and to cooperate at the regional and subregional levels.
- Other affected country Parties have the option of preparing action programmes following the provisions of the Convention, or more generally of establishing strategies and priorities for combating desertification.
- Developed country Parties have, under article 6, article 20 and other articles, specific obligations to support affected countries (particularly affected developing countries) by providing financial resources and by facilitating access to appropriate technology, knowledge and know-how.
- Parties are obligated (article 26) to report on measures they have taken to implement the Convention. Parties which have prepared National Action Programmes are obliged under article 10 to provide regular progress reports on their implementation.
By acceding to the UNCCD, a Party would have full powers in negotiating at sessions of the Conference of the Parties. This would allow to, among other aspects:
- participate in an intergovernmental normative and political process addressing desertification, land degradation and drought;
- influence policies and support mechanisms that target sustainable land management;
- participate in scientific collaboration focusing on various aspects of desertification, land degradation and drought.