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Highlights and images of main proceedings for 2 December 2021

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International Tropical Timber Council – ITTC

The penultimate day of the Fifty-seventh Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-57) and the Associated Sessions of its four Committees focused on the appointment of the Organization’s next Executive Director (ED) and the new financing architecture for projects.

Both Producer and Consumer countries have spent the last two days caucusing among their groups, as well as holding a question-and-answer session with the candidates for the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) ED position. It was thus hoped that members could elect a candidate by consensus. Instead, having heard that Francisco Souza (Brazil) had withdrawn his candidacy, a request was made to go straight to a special vote.

It transpired that the Producer caucus had spent much time hearing everyone’s views and tried to reach a consensus, but it did not seem likely. A Producer delegation then requested a vote. What resulted was an interesting exercise in the legalities and procedures of the governing bodies of multilateral agreements.

Since a quorum is needed for any decision or vote to be valid, the challenge was to have enough delegations online at the same time. While quorum was achieved this morning, when the call for a vote was made, there was no quorum in the afternoon. This resulted in an “indicative vote,” from which many members abstained. In the end, the there was no result, and members will have to find a way forward on Friday, either through consensus or voting. They will also have to ensure a quorum can be reached so the decision will be valid.

In contrast, the discussion on the implementation of the new financing architecture yielded more positive results. Members largely welcomed the work that had been undertaken thus far, recognizing that the change to using a programmatic approach is still in its early days. This was also reflected in the pledges that were subsequently made, where a number of projects received either full or partial funding under this new approach.

Delegates also finalized the ITTC-57 draft decisions in the Chair’s Open-ended Drafting Group.

They also participated in the Chair’s Open-ended Drafting Group to consider the draft decisions that will be adopted tomorrow.

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