Joint Press Release



1.     His Excellency Mr. Suwit Khunkitti of the Kingdom of Thailand, officially opened and delivered the Welcoming Address to the ASEAN Ministers who are responsible for CITES on the occasion of the ASEAN Ministerial Session on CITES, Bangkok, Thailand, on 11 October 2004.


2.     The Ministers of the ASEAN Member Countries who are responsible for the implementation of CITES, met, under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Suwit Khunkitti, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kingdom of Thailand.


3.         The Ministerial Session was conducted in conjunction with the first CITES CoP held in Southeast Asia—the CITES CoP13. ASEAN regards this important international conference as recognition of the work that ASEAN countries have carried out in recent years in promoting the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the ASEAN region.


4.         As an overarching consensus among ASEAN Member Countries, the Statement covers a wide range of needs, issues and concerns – from scientific research and trade monitoring, which provide the baseline data that is necessary for informed decision-making, to information sharing which is a key component of an ASEAN-wide enforcement network.


5.         The ASEAN Statement on CITES is remarkable not only because it brings together a diversity of nations or because of its singular focus on the trade in wild fauna and flora, but because it will provide an essential and solid foundation for further action and commitments in our region – on national, bilateral, sub-regional and regional levels. ASEAN Member Countries regard the ASEAN Statement on CITES as the way of encouraging and facilitating closer engagement among neighbors to combat illegal trade, which is a challenge that extends well beyond the borders and jurisdiction.


6.         In realizing the adopted Statement, an ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in wild fauna and flora is being formulated. Indonesia will spearhead the development of the action plan, which will outline specific and concrete actions and commitments in the coming months.


7.         ASEAN hopes to lead by example in striving to improve CITES implementation and enforcement on a regional level with a broad scope and a long-term strategy in mind.


8.         The adopted ASEAN Statement is attached herewith.