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CITES COP-11
Photos and RealAudio of 10 April
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10 April:
Delegates convened in a morning Plenary to hear an address by Kenyan President Daniel Moi. Following the President's address, the Plenary considered strategic and administrative matters, including the revised Rules of Procedure and the election of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Chairs of Committees I and II and the Budget Committee. Regional Groups representing Oceania, Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and Central and South America met in the afternoon.

Address to Plenary by President of Kenya
Kenyan President Daniel Moi entering the Plenary Hall
President Moi identified the biggest challenge in the new millennium as ensuring that CITES both adapts to new areas and emerging issues, and creates synergies with other relevant treaties, especially trade instruments. He hoped COP-11 would provide adequate safeguards against further species loss, and invited Parties to revise and improve ineffective resolutions to avoid abuses flowing from misinterpretation of CITES.
RealAudio excerpts of Moi's speech

Leaving the UN compound: President Moi saluted a brass band playing the Kenyan national anthem (right), and was entertained by traditional dancers (below).

 

 
Plenary

Rule 12 (publicity of debates) generated extensive debate on whether NGOs should participate in meetings of the committees and working groups.

The US delegation stated that accredited observers should participate. On Rule 29 (complaints), the US noted that the Bureau might be bogged down trying to resolve disputes between observers instead of those between Parties, and noted a SC proposal to establish a mediator to resolve disputes between observers. With regard to when a sanction of expulsion is considered, he said the SC agreed that the COP should take the final decision, after consideration of the Bureau's recommendation.
RealAudio excerpts of US intervention and Chair Hepworth's response

ISRAEL decried the numerous secret votes taken at COP-10 and requested the SC, in its intersessional meetings before COP-12, review Rule 25 (methods of voting) to ensure transparency and accountability.
JAPAN expressed its support for secret votes, citing the undue pressure that comes from the presence of NGOs with "very powerful influences." He said NGOs should therefore not participate in meetings of the committees and working groups.
DENMARK objected, adding that Japan's suggestion to restrict NGO participation could tempt them to consider merging parts of Rule 12 text to further the enhancement of transparency.
Election of the Chair

Standing Committee Chair Robert Hepworth (on the right) announced the SC's nominations of Bagher Asadi (Iran, center) as Chair of COP-11 >

Chair Asadi acknowledged the meeting's heavy agenda and said he expected delegates to adopt a "problem-solving attitude." He added that the success of the conference means achieving the best optimal outcomes on issues and disputes. He then introduced, and delegates adopted, the Agenda (Doc. 11.3 Rev. 1) and the Programme of Work (Doc. 11.4 Rev. 1).
Before introducing several strategic and administrative matters, newly elected Chair Asadi was presented with a photo album from COP-10 by Simon Khaya Moyo, Zimbabwe Minister of Mines, Environment and Tourism (left and above).
Miscellaneous: doing the rounds with Dr. Töpfer
The Executive Director of UNEP was a busy man on the first day of CITES-11... among his callings, clockwise starting above: an early morning chat with Veit Koester (Denmark), escorting President Moi, receiving input from Dr. Richard Leakey (who was part of President Moi's entourage, second from the left) and attending a press briefing.
From left to right: Willem Wijnstekers, CITES Secretary-General; Dr. Klaus T�pfer, Executive Director of UNEP; Bagher Asadi, Chair of CITES COP-11 and Micheal Williams, UNEP Press Officer, during a lunch-time press briefing.

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