50 CFR 23.85 - What is a meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP)?
(a) Purpose. Article XI of the Treaty provides general guidelines for meetings of the countries that have ratified, accepted, approved, or acceded to CITES. The Parties currently meet for 2 weeks every 3 years. At these meetings, the Parties consider amendments to the Appendices and resolutions and decisions to improve the implementation of CITES. The Parties adopt amendments to the lists of species in Appendix I and II and resolutions by a two-thirds majority of Parties present and voting. The Secretariat or any Party may also submit reports on wildlife and plant trade for consideration.
(b) CoP locations and dates. At a CoP, Parties interested in hosting the next meeting notify the Secretariat. The Parties vote to select the location of the next CoP. Once a country has been chosen, it works with the Secretariat to set the date and specific venue. The Secretariat then notifies the Parties of the date for the next CoP.
(c) Attendance at a CoP. All Parties may participate and vote at a CoP. Non-Party countries may participate, but may not vote. Organizations technically qualified in protection, conservation, or management of wildlife or plants may participate in a CoP as observers if they are approved, but they are not eligible to vote.
(1) International organizations must apply to the CITES Secretariat for approval to attend a CoP as an observer.
(2) National organizations must apply to the Management Authority of the country where they are located for approval to attend a CoP as an observer.