Conference of the Parties

The Parties (member States) to CITES are collectively referred to as the Conference of the Parties. Every two to three years, the Conference of the Parties meets to review the implementation of the Convention. These meetings last for about two weeks and are usually hosted by one of the Parties. The meetings are often referred to as ‘CoPs’. They provide the occasion for the Parties to:
  • review progress in the conservation of species included in the Appendices;
  • consider (and where appropriate adopt) proposals to amend the lists of species in Appendices I and II;
  • consider discussion documents and reports from the Parties, the permanent committees, the Secretariat and working groups;
  • recommend measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention; and
  • make provisions (including the adoption of a budget) necessary to allow the Secretariat to function effectively.

On a more informal level, the meetings provide an opportunity for participants to make or renew relationships and to discuss problems and successes. Meetings of the Conference of the Parties are attended not only by delegations representing CITES Parties but also by observers. These include representatives of States that are not party to CITES, of United Nations agencies and of other international Conventions. Observers from non-governmental organizations involved in conservation or trade are also allowed to participate at the discretion of the Parties. Although they may participate in the meeting, they have no vote (see Article XI). Members of the public may also attend as visitors, although they are not able to participate in the discussions.

Click here to find out more about the meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties are available on this site.

Dates and venues of meetings of the Conference of the Parties

CoP16 Bangkok (Thailand), 3-14 March 2013
CoP15 Doha (Qatar), 13-25 March 2010
CoP14 The Hague (the Netherlands), 3-15 June 2007
CoP13 Bangkok (Thailand), 2-14 October 2004
CoP12 Santiago (Chile), 3-15 November 2002
CoP11 Gigiri (Kenya), 10-20 April 2000
CoP10 Harare (Zimbabwe), 9-20 June 1997
CoP9 Fort Lauderdale (United States of America), 7-18 November 1994
CoP8 Kyoto (Japan), 2-13 March 1992
CoP7 Lausanne (Switzerland), 9-20 October 1989
CoP6 Ottawa (Canada), 12-24 July 1987
CoP5 Buenos Aires (Argentina), 22 April - 3 May 1985
CoP4 Gaborone (Botswana), 19-30 April 1983
CoP3 New Delhi (India), 25 February - 8 March 1981
CoP2 San José (Costa Rica), 19-30 March 1979
CoP1 Bern (Switzerland), 2-6 November 1976