Joint session of the 31st meeting of the Animals Committee and 25th meeting of the Plants Committee: Remarks of Secretary General, Ivonne Higuero
Thank you Chair, hello to all!
Madam Chair of the Plants Committee,
Mister Chair of the Animals Committee
Members of the Animals and Plants Committees,
Distinguished delegates and participants,
It is my honor to welcome you to the first joint online session of the Animals and Plants Committees.
I want to begin by congratulating our Chairs, Mathias Lörtscher and Flore Koumba. They have done a brilliant job leading us through the first days of AC31 and PC25. They have laid the solid ground needed for the substantial discussions that will take place next week, in the more than 20 working groups established thus far.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to all the members of the Animals and Plants Committees, delegates and participants for their valuable contributions over the last days. We are conscious of the adaptability and flexibility you have shown, mindful of the challenges inherent to online meetings. This is much appreciated.
Both Committees this week had their first experiences with meeting and operating in this new environment for CITES. We have by far exceeded participation records of past AC PC meetings and have had 3500 views across our YouTube channels. Ms. Koumba has also acted as our first francophone PC Chair, just as we celebrate the Plants Committee’s 25th anniversary!
In this joint session, our Chairs will guide us through items that are of shared interest for the Committees, the CITES experts and its extended family.
After today’s session, dear colleagues, you will have made strategic contributions to strengthen the implementation of the Convention in matters relating to its Strategic Vision, species listed in Appendix I, capacity-building, and synergies with IPBES.
I trust you will be able to add to your achievements by providing significant contributions to advance on an ambitious and exciting new framework for further guidance on non-detriment findings and on identification materials and capacity building. It is my hope that such contributions will raise visibility of the importance of CITES’ contributions towards the conservation of our planet’s wildlife.
The CITES community is known for its enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for conservation. This will be confirmed next week in the outcomes of the working groups. With this in mind, once again, I kindly seek your flexibility to provide views that, wherever possible, can be resolved in plenary, noting that the schedule for next week is starting to look crowded and, in spite of our progress on biotechnology issues, we are falling short of co-chairs willing to be cloned.
I am immensely grateful for your hard work, the efforts of the Chairs and for my colleagues in the Secretariat who have been working tirelessly to ensure good meetings. Bon courage today and thank you Chairs!
Watch the Secretary-General's remakrs and the full joint session of the Animals and Plants Committee meetings on this link.