I would like to inform Parties, observer
States and Observer Organizations that after careful consideration and with
considerable regret, the UNFCCC secretariat will not hold any physical meetings
in Bonn and elsewhere between 6 March and end of April. This decision is in
response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, and the evolving
situation in Germany.
This exceptional measure aims to contain the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard the health
and safety of participants attending UNFCCC meetings in Bonn and elsewhere, as
well as address the requisite duty of care of and by the secretariat in such
circumstances. At the same time, it seeks to ensure that all mandated UNFCCC
meetings and events have the necessary transparency and inclusiveness that our
This decision has also been taken in recognition of the increasing challenges posed
by travel restrictions and quarantine measures that some countries have imposed
on travellers from Germany. These may result in travellers not being able to
return to their point of departure and/or being subject to mandatory quarantine
upon arrival or in transit.
given the secretariat’s responsibility to prudently manage resources, there is
a risk that funds committed to meetings which could be postponed at short
notice may not be recoverable. This includes funds allocated for
participant travel and DSA where applicable, as well as costs of logistical
addition, some forthcoming meetings require quorum which can be affected by
last-minute cancellations or non-attendance by members or alternates. Lack of
quorum hinders decision-making capacity at the meetings. The secretariat
has already experienced this situation in the past few days.
The secretariat is now working with the elected officials, members and registered
observers of constituted bodies and other mandated events to find suitable
alternative arrangements to meetings scheduled during March and April, such as virtual
meetings, or postponement. Affected participants will be contacted by the
the secretariat, in coordination with elected officials, will continue to
closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and decide on possible additional measures.
The secretariat will also make every effort to ensure that work scheduled to be
undertaken during this period can be carried in the coming months.