enb. Summary of the Fifty-Fourth Session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Four Committees



The fifty-fourth session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-54) and the Associated Sessions of its four committees met at the headquarters of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in Yokohama, Japan, from 5-8 November 2018. Nearly 150 delegates from 33 of the 74 member countries of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), as well as observers from the private sector, civil society, and regional and international organizations, took part in the discussions.



Throughout the week, delegates convened in the fifty-second sessions of the Committee on Economics, Statistics and Markets and the Committee on Forest Industry, and the Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management, to approve new projects, review projects and pre-projects under implementation, hear final reports on completed projects, and select projects for ex-post evaluations. The thirty-third session of the Committee on Finance and Administration also took place, with a focus on proposals for revitalizing ITTO’s financing architecture and resource mobilization strategies.



Delegates further engaged in substantive discussions on various policy topics that informed the selection of priority themes to be taken up in 2019. The Annual Market Discussion, convened under the auspices of the Joint Committees and focusing on experiences in promoting investment in tropical timber industries fed into these discussions. For the first time at an ITTC session, a panel discussion on gender took place, which addressed how to enhance the role of women in achieving ITTO’s objectives.



Revising the process of selecting candidates for ITTO Executive Director (ED) took up much of the time, with several lengthy consultations in the caucuses as well as informal contact groups to resolve the issue of whether to adopt regional rotation—in addition to qualifications—as a core principle. During the closing session on Thursday, delegates eventually accepted the proposal that the next ED should come from a Producer country, enabling the Council to adopt the decision.




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