Resolution Conf. 16.2

Financing and the costed programme of work for the Secretariat for the triennium 2014-2016

 
RECALLING that the financial amendment to the Convention, adopted in Bonn in 1979, entered into force on 13 April 1987;
 
ALSO RECALLING Resolution Conf. 15.1 adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Doha, 2010);
 
HAVING NOTED the 2010-2011 actual expenditures incurred by the Secretariat (document CoP16 Doc. 8.1);
 
ALSO HAVING NOTED the preliminary report on the Implementation of the costed programme of work for 2012 presented by the Secretariat [document CoP16 Doc. 8.2 (Rev. 1)];
 
HAVING REVIEWED the proposed costed programme of work for the triennium 2014-2016, submitted by the Secretariat (document CoP16 Doc. 8.3);
 
ACKNOWLEDGING the Memorandum of Understanding between the Standing Committee of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme concerning Secretariat Services to and Support of the Convention, effective 1 September 2011;
 
NOTING the increase in the number of Parties to the Convention, as well as species included in its Appendices, and NOTING the need for greater assistance to the Parties to achieve more effective implementation, the necessity to provide adequately for implementation of all Decisions and Resolutions of the Conference of the Parties as well as the Strategic Vision: 2008-2020 as revised at the 16th meeting, and the resulting increasing expenditure incurred by the Secretariat;
 
RECALLING paragraph 203 of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as ‘Rio+ 20’) entitled The future we want, highlighting the importance of CITES;
 
RECOGNIZING the value of and expressed need for enhanced financing for CITES implementation to assist Parties in more effectively meeting the objectives of the Convention;
 
REITERATING the CITES Strategic Vision and stressing the importance of full and effective implementation of CITES as a significant contribution towards achieving the relevant Aichi Biodiversity Targets;
 
NOTING that decisions of the Parties, directed to the Secretariat, have an impact on the operation and expenditures incurred by the Secretariat;
 
THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION
 
EXPRESSES its appreciation to the Government of Switzerland as the Host Country for its support to the Secretariat, and INVITES it to consider further opportunities to support the CITES Secretariat in a manner that is comparable to the other convention secretariats based in Switzerland;
 
ACCEPTS and APPROVES the report of expenditures against the costed programme of work for the years 2010 and 2011, as endorsed by the Standing Committee at its 61st and 62nd meetings (Geneva, August 2011 and July 2012 respectively);
 
ACCEPTS and APPROVES the report of expenditures against the costed programme of work for the year 2012;
 
ACCEPTS and APPROVES the new format of the costed programme of work and the budgetary presentations for the triennium 2014-2016, as proposed by the Secretariat and endorsed by the Standing Committee, on the recommendation of its Finance and Budget Subcommittee, at its 62nd meeting;
 
NOTES with appreciation the two budget proposals submitted by the Secretariat for the triennium 2014-2016 budget period and REQUESTS the Secretary-General to prepare budget proposals in the same format for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its 17th meeting, including, as a minimum, a zero nominal growth budget scenario and a zero real growth budget scenario and, in consultation with the Standing Committee, if necessary, a third scenario;
 
DECIDES that the implementation of the costed programme of work for the triennium 2014-2016, in Annex 1, shall be covered by the Trust Fund budget (CTL), in Annex 2, in the amounts of USD 5,836,735 for 2014, USD 6,018,089 for 2015 and USD 6,655,307 for 2016 and by the Support to CITES Activities Trust Fund (QTL), in Annex 3, and ADOPTS the scale of contributions for 2014-2016 as contained in Annex 4;
 
NOTES that many Parties expressed their concern and regret that the Trust Fund (CTL) budget does not contain adequate finances for all the priorities identified by the Parties for the triennium 2014-2016, and CALLS ON the Parties to ensure that this does not become standard practice in future budgets;
 
REQUESTS the Secretariat to carefully monitor exchange rate fluctuations and adjust levels of expenditure, where necessary; and DECIDES that the Secretariat, as a last resort, can request the Standing Committee to drawdown from the Trust Fund balance on an exceptional basis;
 
REQUESTS the Secretariat to maintain an operating cash reserve of not less than 15 % of the average annual budget to ensure financial liquidity and AUTHORIZES the Secretariat, in consultation with the Standing Committee, to draw additional funds from the CITES Trust Fund balance at the end of each year, provided that it is not reduced below the operating cash reserve specified above;
 
TAKES NOTE of the funding estimates of the Trust Fund for Support to CITES Activities (QTL) for the 2014-2016 budget period and URGES the Secretariat, where activities that are to be externally-funded are concerned, to seek funds, preferably non-earmarked, for the implementation of activities identified in the costed programme of work;
 
APPROVES the Terms of Reference for the Administration of the Trust Fund, in Annex 5, for the budget period beginning on 1 January 2014 and ending on 31 December 2016;
 
INSTRUCTS the Standing Committee to review the Terms of Reference for the Administration of the Trust Fund and, if necessary, make proposals at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties for any necessary changes;
 
DECIDES that:
 
a)    contributions to the Trust Fund (CTL) are based on the United Nations scale of assessment, as amended from time to time and adjusted to take account of the fact that not all members of the United Nations are party to the Convention;
 
b)    any other basis of calculation of contributions shall not be used without the consent of all Parties present and voting at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties; and
 
c)    any change in the basic scale of contributions that would increase the expected contribution of a Party does not apply to that Party without its consent, and that any proposal to change the basic scale of contributions from that currently in use shall only be considered by the Conference of the Parties if notice of such proposal has been communicated by the Secretariat to all Parties at least 150 days before the meeting;
 
EXPECTS Parties to pay their contributions to the Trust Fund (CTL) in a timely manner and in accordance with the basic scale and, whenever possible, ENCOURAGES them to make special contributions to the Trust Funds above their regular contributions;
 
REQUESTS all Parties to pay their contributions as far as possible during the year prior to the one to which they relate or, otherwise, promptly by the beginning of the calendar year (1 January to 31 December) to which the contributions apply;
 
NOTES with concern that a number of Parties have pending contributions to the Trust Fund (CTL), thus affecting adversely the implementation of the Convention;
 
REQUESTS the Secretariat to continue to monitor Parties that have pending contributions to the Convention by:
 
a)    sending reminders twice yearly, with copies to the permanent missions in Geneva; and
 
b)    initiating talks with the permanent missions in Geneva of the Parties with pending contributions for three or more years;
 
URGES all Parties with pending contributions to cooperate with the Secretariat in arranging for the payment of their outstanding contributions without delay;
 
INVITES States not party to the Convention, other governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and other sources to contribute to the Trust Fund in Support of CITES Activities (QTL);
 
DECIDES that the standard participation charge for all observer organizations other than the United Nations and its specialized agencies shall be set at a minimum of USD 600 (except as otherwise decided by the Secretariat as required and following consultation with the Finance and Budget Subcommittee) and URGES such organizations to make a greater contribution, if possible, at least to meet their effective costs of participation;
 
AFFIRMS that:
 
a)    all meetings of the Conference of the Parties and all regular meetings of the Standing Committee, the Animals Committee and the Plants Committee should be held in Switzerland unless a candidate host country pays the difference in costs between its proposed venue and Switzerland; and
 
b)    no more than two regular meetings each of the Standing Committee, and the Animals and Plants Committees should be convened between regular meetings of the Conference of the Parties;
 
DIRECTS the Secretariat to make provision for the payment, if requested, of reasonable and justifiable travel expenses of members, including attendance at the relevant committee meetings, and other expenses of the Chairs of the Standing Committee, the Animals Committee and the Plants Committee, other than members from developed countries;
 
INSTRUCTS the Standing Committee to keep under review the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CITES Standing Committee and the Executive Director of UNEP concerning Secretariat Services to and Support of the Convention;
 
REQUESTS the Secretariat:
 
a)    to make provisions for all the costs the Secretariat incurs, including costs associated with the hiring of temporary staff and consultants, when seeking funds for the implementation of externally-funded projects;
 
b)    in consultation with proponent Parties, when necessary, to advise the Conference of the Parties on proposals with budgetary implications, including staff costs; and
 
c)    in consultation with the Chairs of the Animals and Plants Committees, to assign scientific consultants and define terms of reference for specific science-based projects. Such a process should be implemented in a fashion that would not have a negative impact on the budget but rather effectively utilize the scientific expertise of the Parties which is available to the Secretariat via the Chairs of the technical committees;
 
ENCOURAGES the Secretary-General, in line with UN rules, to use opportunities provided by upcoming vacancies to explore ways to strengthen the capacity of the Secretariat within its assigned budget, including through structural change;
 
ENCOURAGES Parties, in the revision of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans, to integrate CITES objectives and priorities in order to facilitate identification of opportunities for GEF-eligible projects relevant for CITES, including species-based projects;
 
INVITES the GEF Council to note relevant Resolutions and Decisions of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in the development of the GEF Biodiversity Strategy consistent with the GEF’s mandate and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets;
 
DECIDES to convey to the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP) the CITES objectives and priorities in support of the Aichi Targets, and INVITES the CBD CoP to take these into account in providing the broad strategic guidance to the GEF;
 
Within the context of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, CALLS upon Parties, established financing mechanisms, donors, international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders to provide adequate and timely support for the relevant CITES objectives and priorities;
 
DECIDES that:
 
a)    the Secretary-General shall have the authority to make staffing decisions as necessary to implement the priorities of the Parties in accordance with the costed programme of work, provided that they are within the overall budget and taken in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the CITES Standing Committee and the Executive Director of UNEP concerning Secretariat Services to and Support of the Convention;
 
b)    any change in the costed programme of work of the Secretariat deriving from a new Resolution or Decision shall be made only if the source of the necessary additional funds has been identified or if that programme is reprioritized at the time such a Resolution or Decision is adopted by the Conference of the Parties; and
 
c)    the Secretariat, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, shall continue to explore a closer working relationship with the GEF to address CITES priorities within the context of its Biodiversity Strategy, and consistent with the mandates of CITES and the GEF; and
 
REPEALS Resolution Conf. 15.1 (Doha, 2010) – Financing and the costed programme of work for the Secretariat for the biennium 2012-2013, which, however, remains on the record as an indication of the expected levels of annual contributions for Parties that have not paid these amounts.
 

 
 

1. Paragraph 203. We recognize the important role of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), an international agreement that stands at the intersection between trade, environment and development; promotes the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; should contribute to tangible benefits for local people; and ensures that no species entering into international trade is threatened with extinction. We recognize the economic, social and environmental impacts of illicit trafficking in wildlife where firm and strengthened action needs to be taken on both the supply and demand sides. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of effective international cooperation among relevant multilateral environmental agreements and international organizations. We further stress the importance of basing the listing of species on agreed criteria.
Number / Code: 
Conf. 16.2
COP meeting: 
Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties