Diplomatic notification 2000/4: Agenda for the 25th Meeting of the Standing Committee

19/07/2000

Notification 2000/4

Agenda for the 25th Meeting of the Ramsar Convention Standing Committee, 23-27 October 2000

The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) presents its compliments and has the honour to refer to the following:

As required by Resolution VII.1, the Ramsar Bureau is pleased to inform that the 25th meeting of the Standing Committee will be held at the Ramsar Bureau in Gland, Switzerland, from 23-27 October 2000. Enclosed is the Draft Agenda and Programme for the meeting.

Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 October will be devoted to meetings of the Subgroup on Finance, the Subgroup on the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP8), and the Subgroup on the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008. The plenary meetings of the Standing Committee will be held from 25-27 October 2000.

Voting members of the Standing Committee are: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia (Chair), Costa Rica, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Slovak Republic, Spain, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uganda (Vice Chair). The Netherlands and Switzerland have the status of Permanent Observers. The official International Organization Partners of the Convention (BirdLife International, IUCN, Wetlands International, and WWF International) are also invited to attend.

All other Contracting Parties are entitled to attend as observers, and, as indicated by COP7 Resolution VII.1 (paragraph 13), "countries which are not Contracting Parties but have expressed an interest in joining the Convention may be also admitted as observers".

The Bureau will be grateful if Contracting Party Observers and those non-Contracting Party countries seeking Observer status at the meeting would notify their intention to participate in that capacity by 15 September 2000, so that working papers may be dispatched when finalized. It should be noted that, due to financial constraints, the working papers for the Standing Committee, with the exception of the draft agenda and programme, are produced in English only. Simultaneous interpretation in the three official languages (English, French and Spanish) will be provided during the plenary sessions on 25-27 October 2000, but not at the Subgroup meetings.

Likewise, financial constraints prevent the Bureau from providing financial support to assist Observer states in attending. Such support can only be offered to the voting members of the Standing Committee from developing countries and those in economic transition.

Those Contracting Parties which are unable to attend the meeting as Observers are invited to note the enclosed Agenda and, as appropriate, offer views and opinions on the issues and matters that will be under discussion to the Regional Representative(s) from their region, or to transmit them to the Ramsar Bureau.

The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands respectfully requests that the content of the present Note be communicated to the competent national authorities and avails itself of this opportunity to renew the assurance of its highest consideration.

Gland, 3 July 2000

Encl: Draft Agenda and Programme

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