On the last day of the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP14), President Wu Zhimin put delegates on notice that 11 draft resolutions were still pending and urged parties to be efficient and flexible, particularly on minor changes or editorial issues. Seven draft resolutions were adopted with minor or no amendments, reflecting the hard work of parties to find consensus; four required continued discussion.
After the lunch break, parties reported that agreement had been reached on all remaining draft resolutions, with two generating additional discussion before adoption—one on integrating wetland conservation and restoration, sustainable use and management into national sustainable development strategies, and the other on the status of Sites in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Zimbabwe announced its offer to host COP15, which was received with a round of applause. During plenary’s approval of the daily reports prepared by the Secretariat, the collegial spirit of the meeting seemed temporarily in jeopardy. France and Slovenia requested appending, as an annex to the report, the full text of their statements made during the High-level ministerial segment, saying the simultaneous interpretation resulted in omitting portions of their text related to aggression by Russia and support for Ukraine. China objected and noted they had posted the full statements online. Consistent with his efforts throughout the meeting to encourage parties to find consensus, COP President Wu Zhimin proposed further consultations among the relevant parties with an alternative for including the information in the report.
During closing statements, delegates heard from observers, including Youth Engaged in Wetlands, who welcomed the COP14 decision on strengthening Ramsar connections through Youth. The COP14 President expressed his warm appreciation for all involved and closed the Conference, thanking the delegates and adding, “Without your smiling faces, I would not be so confident as I was.”