The Secretary-General’s statement on the postponement of CoP18

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.

We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all delegates. The Secretariat is monitoring the situation closely in consultation with the Sri Lankan authorities and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. The Conference of the Parties has chosen Sri Lanka as next host Party and we are deeply grateful for the efforts Sri Lanka has made thus far as host.  The Secretariat will be working with Sri Lanka to try and honour this choice in consultation with the UN Department of Safety and Security and the CITES Standing Committee.

Our support and solidarity remain with the people of Sri Lanka and all of those who have suffered losses from these tragic events.

We will make further information about CoP18 available as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Secretariat continues to work on advancing the many substantive issues as mandated by the Conference of the Parties.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Ivonne Higuero
Secretary-General
26 April 2019