Report of the 18th Meeting of the Standing Committee, 27 March 1996


18th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Brisbane, Australia, 27 March 1996

Report of the 18th Meeting of the Standing Committee

Host of 1999 Conference
Costa Rica (M. A. Gonzalez)
Senegal (S. Sylla, A. N’diaye)
Host of 1996 Conference
Alternate: Uganda (P. Mafabi)
Australia (B. Phillips)
Malaysia (V. Danabalan)
Switzerland (A. Antonietti)
Alternate: Islamic Republic of Iran
UK (G. Donald)
(M. Rouzbahani, M. R. Salamat)
IUCN (J.-Y. Pirot)
Eastern Europe
Wetlands International (M. Moser)
Hungary (L. Lakos)
Alternate: Russian Federation (S. Tveritinov)
Contracting Parties
Mexico (E. Cubero, H. Berlanga)
Uruguay (R. Cal Johnston)
Trinidad & Tobago ( N. Nathai-Gyan)
Alternate: Panama (K. Díaz)
Invited NGOs
North America
BirdLife International (D. Pritchard)
The USA (M. Jones, G. Cintron)
WWF International (B. Gujja)
Alternate: Canada (J. McCuaig, C. Rubec)
Secretary General (D. Blasco)
Papua New Guinea (G. Kula)
Administrator (J. Tucker)
Alternate: New Zealand (P. Cromarty)
Rapporteur (D. Peck)
Western Europe
Germany (F. Dieterich)
France (Alternate, Western Europe)

Agenda Item 1: Election of Chair and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee

Decision 18.1: On the motion of the USA, seconded by New Zealand, Hungary was elected by acclamation to serve as Chairperson of the Standing Committee for the next triennium. On the motion of Senegal, seconded by Malaysia, Uruguay was elected by acclamation to serve as Vice-Chair for the next triennium.

Agenda Item 2: Permanent Subgroup on Finance

Decision 18.2: Following the decision of the 6th Conference of the Parties, a permanent Subgroup on Finance was established and Australia, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation, Uganda, Uruguay, and the USA were chosen to serve upon it. The USA was unanimously elected as Chair of the Subgroup. It will work chiefly by correspondence between meetings of the Standing Committee and meet just before Standing Committee meetings. The Chair of the new Subgroup expressed appreciation to Mr Graham Donald of the UK for his handling of the budgetary discussions during the COP and will seek his advice during the coming triennium.

Agenda Item 3: Date of the Next Meeting

Because it is hoped to coordinate the next meeting of the Standing Committee with a 25th Anniversary celebration in the host country, which should involve the Swiss Federal Councillor responsible for the environment as well as ambassadors in Geneva, the date must be reconciled with the Federal Councillor’s schedule, as well as with the IUCN World Conservation Congress (Montreal, 13-23 October) and the 3rd COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Buenos Aires, 4 November onward).

Decision 18.3: The next Standing Committee meeting was tentatively set for 29-31 October in Gland, with the Subgroup on Finance meeting on the 28th.

Agenda Item 4: Any Other Business

The UK

expressed concern about the large number of recommendations and resolutions received from the floor late in the Conference. These have not had the benefit of much time for reflection, especially when Contracting Parties might wish to seek advice from home, and they serve to overstretch the resources of the STRP, the Bureau, and the Standing Committee without the context of an overall set of priorities. The Committee should seek a means of allowing late initiatives but keeping them to a minimum.

Hungary (the Chair)

expressed appreciation for the work of the UK as chair of the Subgroup on Finance and invited the UK to continue to attend the meetings of the Standing Committee in an observer capacity. The Chair also expressed her appreciation to the other members of the Standing Committee, and to the Secretary General and the staff of the Bureau, for support throughout the past triennium and for a successful Conference of the Parties.

Rapporteur: Dwight Peck, Ramsar.

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