Secretary-General's statements

I wish to inform Parties and interested stakeholders about the latest developments for CITES CoP18 that was scheduled to be held from 23 May to 3 June 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the postponement as announced on 26 April via Notification to the Parties No. 2019/025. The Government of Sri Lanka has proposed alternative dates for CoP18 in Colombo of 1-13 September 2019. In line with United Nations practices, the Secretariat is, therefore, working with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) to assess the security situation on the ground with Sri Lankan colleagues, UNDSS officials and the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the country. We expect the assessment at the end of May 2019.
Seventh session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7) (delivered by CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero on behalf of BLG members) UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France, 29 April 2019   Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention on Wetlands)
The Secretariat regrets to announce that the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18), originally scheduled to take place from 23 May to 3 June in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as the associated 71st and 72nd meetings of the Standing Committee, are being postponed. This decision has been taken out of respect for the victims of the recent attacks and the recognition by the Standing Committee, the Secretariat and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security of the time needed for the Government of Sri Lanka to address the current situation in the country.
The Secretariat expresses its heartfelt condolences to the people of Sri Lanka for the loss of lives and many injuries following the bomb blasts that struck churches and hotels today.     The Secretariat is in contact with the Sri Lankan Government and is monitoring the situation closely.   The security implications for CoP18 are being evaluated. Further information will be provided as soon as possible and in the meantime the Secretariat thanks Parties and observers for their patience and understanding. The Secretariat is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the conference and all participants.   Ivonne Higuero CITES Secretary-General 21 April 2019
21 March 2019, Chiang Mai, Thailand Honorable Minister General Surasak Karnjanarat, distinguished delegates from ASEAN member States, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, It is an honour and a privilege to join you at this very timely Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade. Thank you for your invitation, Excellency, and I take this opportunity to congratulate Thailand as the 2019 Chair of ASEAN. You have put in place excellent arrangements for this meeting, last night was spectacular, and we at the Secretariat are fortunate to have experienced the generosity of Thailand, as hosts for two of our Conference of the Parties. As you know, wildlife crime poses a threat to the survival of some of the world’s most charismatic species and, equally, to many lesser-known species, often with devastating economic, social and environmental consequences.
Ivonne Higuero, CITES Secretary-General The 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will take place at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 23 May to 3 June 2019. This will be the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in South Asia since CoP3 held in New Delhi, India way back in 1981.
It is a privilege and an honour for me to address you as I officially assume the office today as the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and to be the first woman to have been chosen to lead its Secretariat. I am grateful for the confidence shown in me by the United Nations Secretary-General to ensure that the critical work of such a long-established Convention continues to be serviced efficiently and effectively by the Secretariat.
John E. Scanlon 6 April, 2018 Perhaps due to my background as a lawyer, I always regarded CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as a remarkable international legal agreement. A well-crafted and targeted founding text, a body of resolutions that had enabled the Convention to evolve over time, committed Parties and highly engaged stakeholders, all with a deep technical knowledge of the Convention.
“Customs Enforcement: Securing Trade and Travel” Keynote address by John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES 19 March 2018   Committee Chair, Abigail Bradshaw, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.
Just seven years ago in India’s magnificent Manas National Park, there were no tigers to speak of, just a few remnants of a population wiped out after decades of civil unrest that left the park’s wildlife vulnerable to persecution.

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