Secretary-General's statements

Debriefing of Thunderball and Operation Demeter V Opening remarks of CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero 26 November 2019, Shenzhen, China Your Excellency Mr Ni Yuefeng, Minister for China Customs Your Excellency Mr Zhuang Guotai,, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment Your Excellency Mr Li Chunliang, Vice Administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration Mr Yang Hong, member of the Standing Committee of CPC of Shenzhen Mr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, Excellencies, special guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Under the theme Fighting Transboundary Environmental Crime 13 November 2019, Bangkok, Thailand   Madame Ambassador Rødsmoen Distinguished Award Winners Ladies and Gentlemen May I begin by warmly thanking the organizers for inviting me to this esteemed gathering, which recognizes and celebrates excellence in fighting transboundary environmental crime. I very much regret that I cannot be with you in person today.
Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES Closing remarks of CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero Geneva (Switzerland), 28 August 2019 Chair, Alternate Chair, Chairs of Committees I and II, esteemed delegates, dear colleagues, It was a remarkable experience for me to be here at my first CITES COP as Secretary-General.  We had an enormous agenda at COP18, and there is so much I could say about what we have accomplished. But in the interest of time, I would like to highlight just several broad accomplishments that I believe will help to shape our work over the years to come.  
Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES Opening remarks of CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero Geneva (Switzerland), 17 August 2019 Su excelencia, Consejero Federal del departamento federal de asuntos interiores, Señor Alain Berset; señora Inger Andersson, Directora ejecutiva del programa de las Naciones Unidas para el medio ambiente; sra Carolina Caceres, presidenta del Comité permanente de CITES; excelencias, estimados delegados, damas y caballeros,
World Ranger Day 2019 Message from CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero 31 July 2019 On World Ranger Day 2019, let’s join up to reflect upon the important role and selfless work of park rangers around the world in their fight to protect wildlife! World Ranger Day honours park rangers across the world who have been injured or lost their lives in the line of duty, and also celebrates the role rangers play in protecting our natural resources, including wild animals and plants.
14 June 2019, Baku, Azerbaijan Good afternoon, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to have been invited by the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization to give a keynote address at the IT Conference. My sincere apologies for not being there with you this week but I had prior commitments that made it difficult to travel to Baku. I am sure you have been enjoying the great Azerbaijani hospitality they are well known for, and which I am very sorry to have missed.
Following my messages and the updates of the Secretariat dated 21 April, 26 April, 3 May, 10 May and 17 May, where we expressed our compassion for the people of Sri Lanka for the impacts of the heinous acts committed in their country on 21 April 2019, announced the postponement of the meeting and the process in which the Secretariat engaged to address as soon as possible the delay in carrying out the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, I wish to confirm the new dates and venue of the meeting to Parties and Observers: The 71st meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties and the 72nd meeting of the CITES Standing Committee will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 16 to 28 August 2019 at the following address:
We share our planet with millions of species of wild animals and plants. We drink the same water as they do, enjoy (or survive) the same weather, and breathe the same air. Every year on World Environment Day, we acknowledge the need to protect our natural environment for the benefit of humankind. But let us at the same time also remember how our actions affect other species and the ecosystems that they create. Wildlife faces many threats. According to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which was released last month, the main direct drivers of species extinction are (in descending order) changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms (including hunting, fishing and logging), climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. To ensure the survival of wild animals and plants we must reduce the impact of each of these hazards.
22 May 2019 International Day for Biological Diversity is a day to celebrate all the forms of life with which we share this planet. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity for humankind. This year’s theme, “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”, underscores the extraordinary benefits that are derived from biodiversity that provide for our very existence. Food and medicine are among the most common use of the over 36,000 species of wild plants and animals that are protected by CITES through the regulation of international trade.
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.