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IWC Virtual Special Meeting

Wednesday 8th September 2021 to Friday 10th September 2021


The Virtual Special Meeting of the Commission was held over days days in September (9 and10). A Special Meeting has been called because the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Commission to delay its in-person biennial, which is now scheduled to take place in September 2022.

The Special Virtual Meeting will address only urgent issues which cannot be delayed for a year, principally the budget. The first day will be a Private Commissioners' Meeting, followed by a two-day plenary session for delegations and observers. As with in-person meetings, the plenary will also be accessible to all interested parties via the IWC YouTube channel. The focus of the meeting is the IWC budget for 2022 and the second day of the plenary will also provide an opportunity for the main sub-groups of the Commission to provide an update on their work during the intersessional period. For more details, please see the annotated provisional agenda.


All delegations and observer organisations are required to supply credentials in accordance with the requirements of the Commission’s Rule of Procedure D (read more...).

D. Credentials

1.(a) The names of all representatives of member and non-member governments and observer organisations to any meeting of the Commission or committees, as specified in the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, Technical and Scientific Committees, shall be notified to the Secretary in writing before their participation and/or attendance at each meeting. For member governments, the notification shall indicate the Commissioner, his/her alternate(s) and advisers, and the head of the national delegation to the Scientific Committee and any alternate(s) as appropriate.

The written notification shall be made by governments or the heads of organisations as the case may be.  In this context, ‘governments’ means the Head of State, the Head of Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (including: on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs), the Minister responsible for whaling or whale conservation (including: on behalf of this Minister), the Head of the Diplomatic Mission accredited to the seat of the Commission or to the host country of the meeting in question, or the Commissioner appointed under Rule A.1.

(b) Credentials for a Commissioner appointed for the duration of a meeting must be issued as in D.1(a). Thereafter, until the end of the meeting in question, that Commissioner assumes all the powers of a Commissioner appointed under A.1., including that of issuing credentials for his/her delegation.

(c) In the case of members of delegations who will attend the Biennial Commission Meeting and its associated meetings, the notification may be made en bloc by submitting a list of the members who will attend any of these meetings.

(d) The Secretary, or his/her representative, shall report on the received notifications at the beginning of a meeting.

(e) In case of any doubt as to the authenticity of notification or in case of apparent delay in their delivery, the Chair of the meeting shall convene an ad hoc group of no more than one representative from any Contracting Government present to decide upon the question of participation in the meeting.

For the purposes of this virtual meeting, the Secretariat requests that Credentials be sent in one of the following formats:

  • Original signed hard copy, sent by post or courier service to the IWC Secretariat, The Red House, 135 Station Road, Impington, Cambridge. CB24 9NP, UK;
  • Digital copy digitally signed, sent by email to;
  • Scanned signed copy, sent by email to;

This is to be sent to the Secretariat preferably one month prior to the Virtual Meeting, but absolutely no later than 27 August 2021, indicating up to two designated speakers, and at least one alternate speaker if applicable, for each delegation and their email addresses/contact numbers.

Once official credentials are received and approved, further information will be sent to the nominated participants regarding registration and zoom links.

Further information and meeting procedures will appear here in due course in the lead up to the meeting. For more information, please contact the Secretariat.

Meeting Documents

General Documents

 VSM Meeting Procedures | VSM/2109/GEN/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸

Agenda Item 1.2 - Review of arrangements*

1.2.1 - Annotated Provisional Agenda | VSM/2109/1.2/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸
1.2.2 - Meeting Guidance | VSM/2109/1.2/02 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸

Agenda Item 2 - Budget - Financial Statements 2018 | VSM/2109/2.2.1/01 - Financial Statements 2019 | VSM/2109/2.2.1/02 - Financial Statements 2020 | VSM/2109/2.2.1/03 - 2021 Financial Forecast & 2022 Bridge Budget | VSM/2109/2.2.2/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸 - Additional Budget Information | VSM/2109/2.2.2/012

Agenda Item 3 - Information on important matters from IWC subsidiary bodies

3.2.1 - 2022 Scientific Committee (SC68D) PRELIMINARY DRAFT Plenary Agenda | VSM/2109/3.2.1/01
3.2.2 - Update from the Conservation Committee | VSM/2109/3.2.2/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸
3.2.3 - Joint presentation from Scientific and Conservation Committees | VSM/2109/3.2.3/01  🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸
3.2.4 - Update from the Budgetary Sub-Committee | VSM/2109/3.2.4/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 | SP 🇪🇸
3.2.5 - Update from the Working Group on Operational Effectiveness | VSM/2109/3.2.5/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸 - Report from the Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Sub-Committee | VSM/2109/3.2.6/01 🇬🇧 | FR 🇫🇷 |SP 🇪🇸 - Decision Tree for ASW Strike-Catch Limits | VSM/2109/3.2.6/02 - Revised timeline to assist in the process to agree any requested changes to ASW strike/catch limits
| VSM/2109/3.2.6/03

Opening Statements

Member Governments:

*to be discussed at Private Commissioners' Meeting

more documents will be posted here in due course as they become ready - please check back here regularly