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SC69B | IWC Scientific Committee meeting 2024

Registration | Venue | Travel | Documents | Visas | Childcare

Dates & Venue

The next Annual Meeting of the IWC Scientific Committee (SC69B) will take place in person, from 22 April – 3 May 2024, at the Hotel Rikli Balance, Bled, Slovenia. Monday 22 April will be dedicated to Plenary sessions and discussions on the Southern Ocean Sanctuary review. Sub-committees will meet from Tuesday 23 to Monday 29 April. Tuesday 30 April will be for compiling reports and the final three days (1-3 May) will be used to complete Plenary business. The report from last year's meeting SC69A can be found here.


The following pre-meetings have been planned (to run simultaneously):

  • A 2-day pre-meeting (20-21 April) on Southern Hemisphere Right Whales - for additional information, please contact: Els Vermeulen or Ken Findlay
  • A meeting of the Abundance Steering Group (ASG) contact: Geof Givens or Leslie New

Further details will be notified in due course.


We are pleased to announce that online registration for SC69B is now open.
Delegates are urged to register here as soon as possible in order to gain access to meeting materials and receive notifications of intersessional meetings and other SC meeting information. Once registration has been completed and approved, you must provide a passport-sized photo (jpg or png) to the Secretariat in order to receive your ID badge. Confirmation of registration approval will be sent by email to the address you provide during registration. Only those who have an approved registration will gain access to the meeting online resources and will be able to attend the meeting in-person.
Please note that failure to provide a photo before the meeting will result in delays when collecting your badge at onsite registration.
For technical assistance with the online registration process please contact it.support@iwc.int. For general enquires on meeting attendance, please contact secretariat@iwc.int 


Please check with your local advisory service for relevant vaccinations and travel restrictions and ensure you have the appropriate travel and medical insurances and ID documentation in place before you travel.

NOTE: Slovenia has 2-pin type F EU-style electricity sockets (230V) - please bring the appropriate adapters for your devices. The Secretariat does not provide these

The nearest airports to the conference venue are:

Hotel Accommodation

The following accommodation options have been negotiated for participants: 
 Prices per room per day, bed and breakfast
  Single standard room Single lake view room Double standard room Double lake view room
Rikli Balance Hotel 4* superior 158 EUR 179 EUR 178 EUR 212 EUR
Hotel Park 4* 146 EUR 173 EUR 162 EUR 194 EUR
The prices include: 
  • Rikli Balance Hotel: bed & breakfast, wireless internet access, use of the swimming pool, VAT.
  • Hotel Park: bed & breakfast, wireless internet access, use of the swimming pool, VAT.
  • Obligatory surcharges: tourist tax (3,13 EUR per pers. per day) and admin. fee (1,00 EUR per pers. per check-in) 


Currently there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place in Slovenia, please visit https://www.gov.si/en/topics/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/ for more information. Details of COVID-19 Measures in place at the venue hotel can be found here https://www.sava-hotels-resorts.com/en/hygiene-standard-plus

All participants must ensure they have appropriate travel and medical insurance in place before travelling.

Meeting SharePoint site

The Sharepoint site for the meeting is here. Please use this link to upload primary papers.
Please note that this site is only accessible to registered meeting participants.

Meeting documents

Primary Papers: Please submit these papers (i.e., those not previously published, in press or submitted to other fora) online via this link  (Only for approved participants). Document numbers will be assigned by the Secretariat. For help with the submission of papers, please contact documents@iwc.int.  All papers must be of strict relevance to the topics identified in the SC69B meeting’s draft agendaDuring the submission process, authors must submit a brief summary, limited to 300 words. The summary should be suitable for inclusion in the sub-committee report, not be a repeat of the Abstract and should be written in the third person (referencing the paper) and highlighting only the main finding(s) of relevance to the Committee’s agenda. The paper will not be accepted without this summary. Papers deemed not relevant to the agenda by the appropriate sub-committee convenor, in consultation with the SC Chair, will also not be accepted.

For-Info Papers: If you have a report or paper that you believe is particularly relevant which has been previously published, is in press or has been submitted to other fora, please send to convenors@iwc.int, stating which sub-committee(s) the paper is intended for – please DO NOT use the online link above to submit For-Info papers as the Convenors will forward them to the Secretariat documents team for upload. It is your responsibility to ensure that any permissions from the publishers for making these papers available to the meeting participants are met. Please supply a freely accessible web address and/or full reference details for these documents (including a DOI number/web access URL) and indicate who will speak to the paper at the meeting if required to do so. Like primary papers, authors must submit a brief summary of less than 300 words, during the submission process. If this summary is not submitted, the paper cannot be uploaded. For-Info papers do not form part of the official document archive of the meeting but may be referenced in the report of the meeting.
Working Papers: These are short texts, generated during the meeting that are intended only to expedite resolution of disagreements or stimulate debate within the meeting and can only be submitted with the express agreement of the SC Chair or sub-group Chair. Working papers are not retained after the meeting. Under exceptional circumstances the SC Chair may agree to upgrade them to Primary papers


All audio/visual presentations need to be approved by the relevant convenors and notified to the IWC AV team.

Other information 

All of the Commission’s publications (including published meeting reports) and archived papers from recent past meetings, are available here. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the Secretariat archive team.

Copies of all Primary meeting papers not needed for intersessional meetings, will be freely available for download online from the meeting SharePoint site (open only to those who have registered). All Primary papers will be archived publicly in the IWC archive after the close of the meeting.

During the meeting, draft reports and working papers will be circulated to participants only. Please note that only working papers deemed relevant for inclusion in the final agreed Report of the meeting will form part of the official meeting record.

Any papers presented to the SC must not be shared externally until the final SC Report is made public, 21 days after the meeting concludes (RoP M5).


We encourage all delegates who require a visa to start their process as soon as possible.

Slovenia is a member of the Schengen area and entering into one Schengen member state allows persons to travel freely to all Schengen member states. Countries within the Schengen area are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Click here for general information on the Visa policy.

Visa Exemptions

Citizens of certain countries must hold a short stay visa. The EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement. There are national derogations from the visa requirements for certain travellers.

Holders of a valid Schengen visa

Foreign nationals holding a valid visa issued by any Schengen country may also enter Slovenia, they only need to take into account the Schengen visa restriction limiting a holder's stay to up to 90 days within a period of any 180 days. Third country nationals who are holders of a valid residence permit or a long-stay visa of any Schengen country are also allowed to enter Slovenia for up to 90 days within a period of any 180 days.

Holders of service and diplomatic passports

There are national derogations from the visa requirements for holders of service and/or diplomatic passports of certain countries. If you are a holder of a diplomatic or service passport, you may verify if you need a visa here (check: Sheet 1.Exemptions Article 6(1): you are visa-exempted for Slovenia if there is a "yes" in the column SI). Note: if you transit through other Schengen countries, you need to verify the visa regime for those countries as well. If there is no visa-free regime for the transit countries, you will need to obtain a visa at the Consulate of the relevant transit Schengen country.

If you do not hold a valid visa or if there is no visa exemption

The first step is to inform the IWC Secretariat by email of your need for a visa, including the following information (name, address, nationality, affiliation, date of birth, passport number). The Secretariat will forward your data to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, which will then issue an invitation letter for you. This invitation letter is required for the visa procedure (see below).

If you are not in possession of a valid Schengen visa, you can apply for one at any Slovenian diplomatic mission or consular post, or at the missions of other Schengen countries with which Slovenia has concluded agreements for issuing short stay visas. There are more than 140 such missions all over the world:

Some countries have neither a Slovenian embassy nor a visa agreement with missions of other Schengen countries, in which case the applicant needs to apply for a visa at the nearest Slovenian embassy. Applicants from these countries are advised to immediately inform the Secretariat about this situation, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia will try to facilitate the visa procedure.

Visa fee

Regular visa fee is EUR 80 Based on the agreements between the EU and certain countries, a reduced visa fee of EUR 35 or even an exemption from the fees can be applied for.

Visa procedure 

The visa procedure is usually concluded within 15 days, provided that all required documents have been submitted. The application can be filed up to three months in advance and no later than four (4) weeks in advance of the planned trip.

General visa information is available at the following links: 

In order to apply for a visa, you need:

  • a passport with at least two empty pages. The passport should have been issued within the last 10 years. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen territory, or, in the case of multiple journeys, the date on which you intend to leave after the last stay.
  • visa application form completed and signed.
  • a recent identity photograph conform to ICAO standards.
  • visa fee to be paid when you submit your application.
  • a service fee to be paid if you are requested to submit your application at the offices of a service provider.
  • a travel medical insurance covering emergency medical, hospitalisation and repatriation (including in case of death). The minimum cover should be of 30.000 EUR. This insurance must be valid for the entire Schengen area and throughout the duration of the stay.
  • Invitation, required for the visa process, by the organiser in Slovenia
  • Note verbale of the sending country

The complete list of documents is available on the website of the consulate. During the processing time the consulate may, in individual cases, ask you to submit additional information or documents or you may be contacted for an interview.

Important notice

To receive an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the applicants needing a Schengen visa must write to the IWC Secretariat and provide the following information (name, address, nationality, affiliation, date of birth, passport number).

The deadline for registration for applicants needing a Schengen visa is 24 February 2024. Should you have any difficulties in obtaining a visa, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Consular Department, at the following e-mail: konzularne-zadeve.mzz@gov.si


A childcare service is available at the hotel via a local childcare service. Please contact secretariat@iwc.int for further details. Prices are as follows:

Hourly rate €20
Daily rate (8 hours) €205
Weekly rate (7 days) €1435
Daily travel costs €45