On Wednesday, Standing Committee Chair Carolina Caceres (Canada) welcomed all participants online to the 73rd meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES SC73). She thanked participants for attending under such unusual circumstances and across all time zones, and expressed gratitude to the Secretariat for finding options to move the Standing Committee’s mandate forward. Chair Caceres extended condolences to those who had lost loved ones to the pandemic. In wishing everyone a good morning, afternoon and evening, she called for short and focused interventions, delivered slowly and clearly.
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero provided welcoming remarks and commended participants’ diligent work though challenging times, particularly those who have worked from home while managing to maintain team cohesion. She noted early indications of some 800 participants from 97 parties equated to the largest participation in the history of the SC. She drew attention to the well-attended regional briefings that took place online last week and asked for feedback on these new work modalities.
During the three-hour meeting, SC73 participants discussed:
- Rules of Procedure in an online context;
- a language strategy for the Convention, with the consideration of including Arabic, Chinese, and Russian or the option to have an incremental language strategy that aims to identify, with the help of interested parties, those documents that should be translated as a priority;
- the current activities of the Animals and Plants Committees;
- the draft guidance to assist Chairs of working groups established by the Committees; and
- CITES input to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, emphasizing that CITES views should be considered in the negotiations on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the possibility of setting up an intersessional working group to collect such views.
Discussions on the CITES input to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will continue on Thursday.