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IWC DAY 1 SESH2 (37).jpgThe IWC has two major meeting forums, the Commission Meeting and the Scientific Committee Meeting.  Each meeting is approximately two weeks in length.

The Scientific Committee Meeting is attended by up to 200 scientists, and the Commission Meeting is attended by around 400 people including government delegates, observers from non-member governments, other inter-governmental organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) and representatives of the media.  Members of the public are able to watch plenary sessions on the IWC YouTube channel.

In 2012, the Commission agreed to move from annual to biennial Commission Meetings. The Scientific Committee continues to meet annually. In years where both meetings are held, a period of at least 100 days separates the two. This is to allow time to read and digest the reports of the Scientific Committee Meeting, before the Commission Meeting begins.

IWC DAY 1 SESH2 (4).jpgIn recognition of the extended periods between Commission meetings, a new Bureau has been created, comprising seven Commissioners. The Bureau comes together bi-annually to ensure implementation of the Commission’s workplan. 

The location of biennial Commission meetings is usually decided through invitation from a member government. In years where there has been no invitation to host, meetings are usually held in the United Kingdom where the Secretariat is based. The next meeting will be in Slovenia in 2022.

The links below provide reports, supporting documents and outcomes of previous Commission meetings. You can also read a summary of the main outcomes from the most recent Commission meeting.

In addition to the major meeting forums, the committees, sub-committees and working groups of both the Commission and the Scientific Committee hold intersessional meetings and workshops. These are convened in order to address specific issues.