The fiftieth session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-50), and the Associated Sessions of the four Committees (Finance and Administration; Economics, Statistics and Markets; Forest Industry; and Reforestation and Forest Management) opened on Monday, 3 November 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. In the morning, delegates heard opening statements from the ITTO Executive Director, the ITTC-50 Chair, the Director General of the Japanese Forestry Agency, the Deputy-Mayor of the City of Yokohama, and ministers from Suriname, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, and Gabon. Delegates also heard a keynote address from Bharrat Jagdeo, the former President of Guyana.
In the morning, the Council addressed organizational matters, including ascertainment of quorum for the meeting, redistribution of votes, and adoption of the meeting’s agenda, while postponing approval of the admission of observers.
In the afternoon, after noting the reports of the Informal Advisory Group and the panel that reviewed applicants for the position of Executive Director, the Council heard presentations from the six candidates shortlisted by the panel.