The Standing Committee is responsible for providing general policy and operational direction to the Secretariat regarding implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and it coordinates and advises the Animals and Plants Committees, as appropriate. It also carries out any activities assigned to it between meetings of the Conference of the Parties and is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of the Secretariat’s budget. The Standing Committee comprises representatives from each of the six CITES geographical regions. The Standing Committee meets annually, as well as immediately prior to and after a meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

For more information on the Standing Committee, visit the CITES website.
To read more on all three CITES committees, view CITES resolution Conf. 11.1 (Rev. CoP17) on Establishment of Committees.

Become an Observer

The 73rd Meeting of the Standing Committee will take place virtually online May 5-7, 2021. The Standing Committee will convene only for three hours every day and, due to time constraints, the number of spoken interventions may need to be limited.

An agenda of the meeting is available on the CITES website.

Due to time constraints and other considerations for this meeting, only one participant per observer organization will be given the possibility to speak during the meeting, and interventions will be at the invitation of the Chair. In light of these constraints, the Secretariat encourages observers to coordinate their interventions prior to the meeting, where possible. The meeting will also be live streamed on the CITES YouTube Channel.

Observers from organizations that have been accredited to attend either of the last two meetings of the Standing Committee (SC71 and/or SC72), do not need to provide evidence of the approval of the State in which it is located, and are invited to register the official representative(s) of their organizations to this meeting and provide their respective contact information. An exclusive registration link will be sent to all official representatives. Representatives must send an official nomination letter from their organizations, addressed to the Secretary-General and sent via e-mail to The deadline for nomination is seven days prior to the start of the meeting, i.e., by April 28, 2021, in accordance with Rule 3 of the Rules of Procedure of the Standing Committee.

Observers from organizations that have not attended either of the last two meetings of the Standing Committee must inform the Secretariat of their desire to be represented at the meeting and should submit the name(s) of their observers to the Secretariat at least 30 days before the meeting, i.e., by April 5, 2021. Observer requests must be accompanied by evidence of the approval from our office (U.S. CITES Management Authority); or in the case of an international non-governmental body or agency, evidence that it has a legal persona and an international character, and a relevant remit and program of activities. The Secretariat will forward all observer requests received and relevant information to the Chair for approval. Organizations requiring approval from our office are urged to send their requests as early as possible and not wait until the deadline. Requests for approval may be sent to and should be sent to us no later than March 31, 2021.

The information provided here and further information regarding the logistics for this meeting can be found in Notification to the Parties No. 2021/02.