Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Proposals to improve transparency of CITES votes fail

Posted: 7 March 2013. Updated: 7 March 2013

Proposals to make the secret ballot process more open and accountable failed at the 2013 CITES meeting on March 5th when the Parties (national representatives) voted to maintain the current threshold to vote by secret ballot.

During reportedly protracted and ill-tempered discussions, the following proposals were considered and voted on:

  • The only proposal that was approved was a point of order by Japan that changes to Rules of Procedure be approved by two-thirds majority.
  • A proposal by Colombia to require the support of 40 Parties in order to have a secret ballot was rejected.
  • An EU proposal for there to be a majority in order to vote by secret ballot was rejected
  • A proposal by Mexico and Chile to require approval by 25 Parties to allow a vote by secret ballot was rejected
  • A revised proposal by Mexico and Chile to require approval by one-third of Parties to allow a vote by secret ballot was rejected
  • A proposal by Mexico and Chile that the vote on their revised proposal not be held by secret ballot was rejected.

With the exception of the last two proposals votes were undertaken by secret ballot.

It is important that discussions, and votes, on issues concerning the threats to our wildlife, which place them I peril, are conducted in an open and transparent manner. It is of great concern that the Parties have voted to maintain the low threshold 10 Parties that is required to vote by secret ballot.

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