Minutes of the 23rd Meeting of the Standing Committee


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(18 May 1999, San José, Costa Rica)

Minutes of the 23rd Meeting of the Standing Committee

Participants: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Slovakia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda. Observer: United States; BirdLife International, IUCN, Wetlands International, World Wide Fund for Nature; Ramsar Bureau.

Agenda item 1: Election of officers

Decision SC23.1: The Standing Committee elected Mr. Stephen Hunter, Head, Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia as Chair for the next triennium, and Mr. Paul Mafabi, Manager, National Wetlands Programme, Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, Uganda, as Vice Chair.

Agenda item 2: Election of Subgroup on Finance

Decision SC23.2: The Standing Committee chose Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Japan, and Mexico to serve on the Subgroup on Finance, and chose Armenia to serve as Chair.

Agenda item 3: Clarification of Bureau’s approach to the regional status of Israel

1. The Secretary General reported that Israel had expressed its intention of working with the Regional Coordinators for both Asia and Europe, in accordance with its interpretation of Resolution VII.1 and its formal announcement of its wish to participate in the European region under paragraph 5. He sought the Standing Committee’s guidance on how the Bureau should manage those relations.

2. The Standing Committee advised that nothing in Resolution VII.1 implies that a Party, by deciding to participate in the activities of an adjacent region, loses any of its rights in its original region. The Bureau was instructed to accommodate Israel’s wishes in this respect.

Agenda item 4: The next meeting of the Standing Committee

3. The next meeting will take place at the Bureau in Gland during the week of 29 November to 3 December 1999. The Bureau will circulate a proposed agenda at least three months in advance.

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