Message to the Senate Transmitting an Amendment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

October 4, 1983

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith, with a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to acceptance, an Amendment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), done at Washington, March 3, 1973. The Amendment provides for accession by regional economic integration organizations to CITES and, upon entry into force, would permit the European Community to become Party to the Convention. Accession of the Community would serve to make application of CITES within the Community an internationally binding obligation and thus enhance implementation and enforcement of the Convention, an objective which the United States strongly supports. The report of the Department of State is enclosed for the information of the Senate in connection with its consideration of the Amendment.

CITES was established to facilitate international conservation, providing for the control and monitoring of international trade in specimens of species endangered or threatened with extinction. The Convention, as currently constituted, provides only for accession of States. The European Community seeks to achieve accession through an Amendment which would open the Convention for accession by regional economic integration organizations constituted by sovereign States which have competence for the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of international agreements in matters transferred to them by their Member States and covered by the convention. In such matters, the organizations would exercise the rights and fulfill the obligations attributed to their Member States. The Amendment, with revisions added at United States instance, was adopted by the CITES Parties at an extraordinary meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, April 30, 1983.

I recommend that the Senate act favorably at an early date on this Amendment, and give its advice and consent to acceptance.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

October 4, 1983.