In conclusion, a final host proposal was unfortunately not decided upon during the sixth Conference of the Parties. However, the COP did make progress on the legal personality issue, with parties’ supporting option 2: a hosting arrangement that established a Permanent Secretariat under national law. Stetson’s proposal to host remains viable under this option. Most probably, the Secretariat will remain a Secretariat Pro Tempore in Arlington, Virginia for one more year, but the Convention is moving toward a final decision. The timeline mandates final proposals are received by April 30, 2014 and by then there should be a means to make a final decision. The Stetson University Proposal representatives still have great confidence in the Tampa Bay area as an ideal place for the Secretariat. Stetson University representatives were incredibly grateful for all of the support they received and would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who wrote letters and offered to help. Stetson plans on resubmitting the proposal in April and believes that being represented in the Sixth Conference of Parties will bode well in the considerations. Stetson also is hoping to work more closely with the United States government in crafting a hosting arrangement that would resolve the the legal personality issues and provide better support for the Secretariat. Stetson believes Tampa Bay could and should still become the inspiring home for the Secretariat of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles.
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