Diplomatic notification 2006/5(a):

25/10/2006

Notification 2006/5(a)

35th Meeting of the Ramsar Convention Standing Committee (14-16 February 2007)

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

Preparations for the 35th meeting of the Standing Committee

As required by Resolution VII.1, the Secretariat is pleased to inform that the 35th Meeting of the Standing Committee will be held at the Secretariat in Gland, Switzerland, from 14 to 16 February 2007, with meetings of the Subgroups on COP10, Finance and the Strategic Plan, and of the Management Working Group scheduled on 12 and 13 February 2007. Enclosed is a preliminary Programme for the meeting.

Voting members of the Standing Committee are: Benin, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda (Chair and COP9 Host) for Africa; China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea (COP10 Host) and Thailand for Asia; Austria, the Czech Republic, Georgia and Slovenia for Europe; Bahamas (Vice-Chair), Ecuador and El Salvador for the Neotropics; the United States (Chair of the Subgroup on Finance) for North America; and Samoa for Oceania. The Netherlands and Switzerland have the status of Permanent Observers. The official International Organization Partners of the Convention (BirdLife International, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, the International Water Management Institute, Wetlands International, and WWF International) are also invited to attend as observers, as is the Chair of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP).

Members of the Subgroup on COP10 are: Republic of Korea (Chair), Austria, El Salvador, Kenya, Samoa, Switzerland, Thailand, USA, and Wetlands International.

Members of the Subgroup on Finance are: USA (Chair), Benin, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador and Samoa.

The Subgroup on the Strategic Plan comprises Bahamas (Chair), Australia, Benin, Ecuador, Georgia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, UK, USA and BirdLife International.

Members of the Management Working Group are the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee established at COP8, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee established at COP9, the COP8 and COP9 Chairs of the Subgroup on Finance, the COP8 and COP9 Chairs of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, the Secretary General ex officio, BirdLife International and WWF International representing the International Organization Partners, and representatives of the following Contracting Parties: China, Japan, Malawi, the Russian Federation, Samoa, Switzerland, Syria and Viet Nam.

All other Contracting Parties are welcome 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 Secretariat would be grateful if Contracting Parties wishing to attend the meeting as Observers and those non-Contracting Party countries seeking Observer status at the meeting would notify their intention to participate in that capacity by 30 December 2006 so that working papers may be dispatched (by electronic means) when finalised. Working documents will also be available from the Ramsar Convention Web site (www.ramsar.org/sc/key_sc_index.htm). Registration forms for the 35th meeting of the Standing Committee are available upon request from: loetscher@ramsar.org or fax no. +41 22 999 0169.

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 14-16 February 2007, but not at any Subgroup meetings which may be convened.

Likewise, financial constraints prevent the Secretariat from providing financial support to assist Observer States in attending. Such support can only be offered to one delegate from eligible voting members of the Standing Committee, upon request.

Contracting Parties unable to attend the meeting as Observers are invited to offer views and opinions, as appropriate, to the Representative(s) from their region, or to transmit them directly to the Secretariat.

The Secretariat 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 to the Permanent Mission of ... the assurance of its highest consideration.

Gland, 24 October 2006

Encl: Draft agenda

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