CITES Members Decide Against Transparency of Voting

CITES-logo2Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP16)

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  • CITES ‘Committee I’ has begun its discussion on Shark- / Ray- Proposals.

  • The first important decisions have been made :

    Due to opposition mainly from China,

    two proposals to improve transparency of voting

    during CoP meetings were REJECTED.

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The following has been published by the ‘ iisd Reporting Service ‘ :

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

( … )

COMMITTEE I DISCUSSION ON SHARK- AND RAY- PROPOSALS

Sharks and Stingrays:

Committee I Chair Caceres introduced the document (CoP16 Doc.61 (Rev.1)). NEW ZEALAND presented on the main activities of the Sharks Working Group since CoP15 and introduced two draft decisions as well as proposed amendments to Resolution Conf.12.6 (Rev.CoP15) on conservation and management of sharks. The first draft decision directs the Secretariat to: request parties to submit information on domestic laws and regulations concerning sharks; make this information available on the CITES website; and collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a single resource on current Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) measures for sharks. The second draft decision, for which he suggested minor wording changes, directs parties to engage with the work of CMS. He also noted the Secretariat’s suggestion to either delete Decision 15.85 on freshwater stringrays or transfer it to Resolution Conf.12.6 (Rev. CoP15).

COLOMBIA, as well as AUSTRALIA, supported retaining text on freshwater stingrays within Resolution Conf.12.6. CHINA suggested deleting the final clause of operative paragraph six in Resolution Conf.12.6, citing duplication with operative paragraph eight. IRELAND on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, HONDURAS and COLOMBIA agreed to the proposed draft decisions and resolution amendments. CMS and FAO reported on synergies with CITES. IUCN proposed additional text on the need for details specifying the nature of reported data on sharks. NEW ZEALAND agreed to deleting the final clause of operative paragraph six, as suggested by CHINA, but suggested adding the text proposed by IUCN to operative paragraph eight. MEXICO requested time to review the proposed textual revisions.

The Committee agreed to the proposed draft decisions, including the amendments by the Secretariat and New Zealand, and also agreed to delete the final clause of operative paragraph six in Resolution Conf. 12.6. Chair Cacares proposed, and parties agreed, to delay decisions about the wording of operative paragraph eight until the following day.

( … )

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

COMMITTEE I DISCUSSION ON SHARK- AND RAY- PROPOSALS

Sharks and Stingrays: Committee I Chair Caceres introduced document COP16 Doc 16.Com I.1 on proposed amendments to Resolution Conf.12.6 (Rev.CoP16) on conservation and management of sharks (class Chondrichthyes).  NEW ZEALAND reminded delegates of its proposal to add “data reporting” to operative paragraph eight in Resolution Conf.12.6 (Rev.CoP15).  Parties agreed to the addition.

( … )

VOTES ON PROPOSALS TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY

Proposal to improve transparency of voting during meetings of the CoP: ( PDF )

IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, reiterated the importance of transparency. The SC Chair called for a vote on Colombia’s proposed amendment, to increase the threshold for countries to request a secret ballot from 10 to 40. CHINA proposed and 10 parties supported a vote by secret ballot. Colombia’s proposed amendment was not accepted, with 67 voting against, 60 in favor and 4 abstaining.

The SC Chair then asked for a vote on the EU proposal. The proposal recommends amending Rule 25, specifically by deleting the sentence “the Presiding Officer shall ask whether the request is seconded. If it is seconded by 10 Representatives the vote shall be by secret ballot,” and adding that the request for a secret ballot shall immediately be voted upon. It also states that the motion for a secret ballot may not be conducted by secret ballot.

CHINA requested a secret ballot on this vote, which

GUINEA,

NAMIBIA,

JAPAN,

KUWAIT,

ZAMBIA,

THAILAND,

SOUTH AFRICA,

ZIMBABWE,

MOROCCO,

IRAN,

RUSSIAN FEDERATION,

UGANDA,

SINGAPORE,

ALGERIA,

ICELAND,

QATAR,

CUBA,

TANZANIA and others supported.

The proposal was not accepted, as a two-thirds majority was not achieved, with 62 voting against, 62 in favor and 5 abstaining.

Proposed amendment to Rule 25 on Methods of voting – Use of secret ballots:  ( PDF )

MEXICO stressed that the motivation for the proposal was to achieve greater transparency. The US proposed an amendment to the proposal to require 25 votes, instead of 10, as set forth in Rule 25.

The SC Chair called for a vote on the proposal as amended by the US.

CHINA requested voting by secret ballot. The vote was supported by

GUINEA,

GRENADA,

SINGAPORE,

JAPAN,

MOZAMBIQUE,

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA,

CHINA,

VIETNAM,

ALGERIA,

KUWAIT,

ZIMBABWE,

INDONESIA,

ICELAND,

IRAN,

QATAR,

TANZANIA,

GHANA,

RUSSIAN FEDERATION,

BOTSWANA,

UGANDA,

CUBA,

CAMBODIA,

EGYPT,

the PHILIPPINES,

COMOROS and

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, among others.

The proposal was not accepted, as a two-thirds majority was not achieved. 41 voted in favor and 91 against.

Delegates then moved to vote on Mexico’s proposal, which would increase the quorum to one-third for requesting a secret ballot and require that a motion for a secret ballot not be decided by secret ballot.

CHINA asked for a vote by secret ballot.

GUINEA,

EGYPT,

IRAN,

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA,

NAMIBIA,

SOUTH AFRICA,

GRENADA,

KUWAIT,

ICELAND,

THAILAND,

JAPAN,

VIETNAM,

COMOROS,

SAINT LUCIA AND THE GRENADINES,

SINGAPORE,

QATAR,

UGANDA,

INDONESIA,

ZAMBIA,

ALGERIA,

CUBA,

the RUSSIAN FEDERATION,

GHANA,

BOTSWANA,

the PHILIPPINES,

TANZANIA,

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO,

KENYA,

MOROCCO and

CAMBODIA supported the request, among others.

ISRAEL proposed voting on changing the quorum needed for the use of secret ballot first, and then voting on the motion that a secret ballot shall not proceed through secret ballot. MEXICO agreed. CHINA questioned the need for separate votes.

Delegates moved to vote on the question.

The proposal to change the quorum for the secret ballot from ten to one-third was not accepted, as a two-thirds majority was not achieved, with 66 in favor, 64 against and 2 abstaining.

Delegates then moved to vote on the second part of Mexico’s proposal.

NAMIBIA asked whether a two-thirds majority was required on this vote. The SC Chair confirmed. The proposal was not accepted. 67 voted in favor, 50 against and 11 abstained.

( … )

Source: IISD RS “Linkages”

Related Video below :

Uploaded by bornfreefoundation on 06.03.2013 :

Will Travers, Born Free CEO, summarises what many are seeing as an ominous start to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting in Bangkok, with voting by secret ballots being given the green light and thus likely to continue to be abused and leading to a lack of transparency and accountability.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. avatar Angel

    Who wants to be transparent ?
    Who does not want to show their color of votes…
    Why ?

    These meetings should be held by the representatives of NGO’ s from each country. 
    Not by the political representatives of countries who does not give a sxxx about nature and its contends. This is a politics game like UN, nothing is done for real protection.
    Individual countries do a lot better job protecting their immediate oceans than these clowns.  The problem is the migratory species that moves between the oceans and countries. If they stayed at the same place, we would not need these people that can not even be transparent in votes. 
    Hippocrates… 

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