Highlights and images for 20 October 2023

UN Office at Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

The resumed second part of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15) set a record as the longest meeting in the history of the Convention. Spanning three separate sessions over the past three years, the first part of the meeting was held in Kunming, China, before moving to the second part in Montreal, Canada. The second part of CBD COP 15 resumed in Nairobi, Kenya to complete pending agenda items and to finally close the meeting.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented China from hosting an in-person meeting for all parties in China. In Montreal, the rigorous nature of the negotiations surrounding the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) made it impossible to complete the COP’s agenda, leaving matters related to the election of Bureau officials unresolved. This ultimately necessitated the resumed session in Nairobi.

Zhou Guomei, speaking for the COP 15 President

Zhou Guomei closed the meeting at 1:13 pm.

The resumed second part of the CBD COP 15 held its final day of deliberations concurrently with the tenth meeting of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CP-MOP-10) and the fourth MOP to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising from their Utilization (NP-MOP-4).

Delegates addressed procedural issues, including election of officers, other matters, adoption of second part of CBD COP 15 report, and closure of CBD COP 15.

Election of Officers: Delegates elected substitutes for bureau members to address matters of the Nagoya Protocol, including: Egypt for the African Group; Tajikistan for Central and Eastern Europe; and Cuba for the Latin America and Caribbean Group.

Date and Venue of COP 16: Türkiye shared that their decision to withdraw as COP 16 host was due to the emotional and physical toll resulting from the February 2023 earthquakes, and thanked delegations for their expressions of sympathy and support.

Acting Executive Secretary David Cooper said that following this withdrawal, the Secretariat issued a notification to all states regarding hosting the meeting. He noted that in the absence of an offer, the meeting would be held at the seat of the Secretariat in Montreal, Canada. Russian Federation underlined that the host country should facilitate ease in visa issuance.

On the dates proposed, Cooper informed that COP 16 is scheduled for 21 October – 1 November 2024.

View of the dais during the plenary

View of the dais during the plenary

Other Matters

The Democratic Republic of the Congo emphasized the need for equality within the CBD proceedings, saying the principles of justice and equity should prevail, in both procedural and substantive matters. Zhou Guomei (China), speaking for the COP 15 President, assured delegates that the priority of the Convention was the implementation of the GBF and that all parties’ contributions are key to achieving its goals and targets.

Delegates adopted the meeting reports of the CP-MOP-10, NP-MOP-4, and the CBD COP 15 presented by the Rapporteur Leina El-Awadhi (Kuwait).

Following statements by countries and stakeholders, Guomei closed the meeting at 1:13 pm.