The Intersessional Work Programme was created by the States Parties at the First Meeting of the States Parties in May 1999. At this meeting, the States Parties recognized the importance of having Standing Committees of Experts in between "sessions", on issues related to the operation of the Convention.
Subsequently, on the basis of a President's Paper, the States Parties established the Intersessional Work Programme, made up of the five committees each meeting twice between Meetings of the States Parties.
At the Second Meeting of the States Parties in September 2000, on the basis of President's Paper on Revisions to the Intersessional Work, the States Parties made some adjustments.
Another important related development that took place at the Second Meeting of the States Parties was the establishment of a Sponsorship Programme to ensure more widespread representation at meetings of the Convention.
This President's Paper identified these areas most directly related to the core humanitarian objectives of the Convention as being the following:
At the Third Review Conference, the States Parties "agreed that informal Intersessional Meetings will be held each year, preferably after the 30 April deadline for submitting transparency information, and that they could comprise a thematic segment and a preparatory segment. It further stated that "These meetings need not be more than two days long, permitting them to be scheduled during the same week as the meetings of other Conventions or activities".
In addition, the Conference agreed to establish the following mechanisms, thereby replacing the five Standing Committees established by decisions taken at previous Meetings of the States Parties and Review Conferences:
At the Fourth Review Conference, the States Parties agreed to "maintain the informal nature of the Intersessional Meetings and consider on an annual basis the option of either a) adding a thematic segment during the two-day intersessional meetings or b) adding a day of thematic discussions to allow topics that are relevant to the Convention to be addressed, including the status of the implementation of the Oslo Action Plan. The President will consider and decide on these options in consultations with the Coordinating Committee."