IWC Annual Scientific Committee Meeting - SC68C
Scientific Committee | Virtual meeting

The Scientific Committee

The 2021 IWC Scientific Committee meeting (SC68C) will again be held virtually to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure to SC members. As the Commission plans to meet in September 2021, coupled with the reduced agenda of SC68B, we aim to cover the full SC agenda at this meeting. To accomplish this goal, some agenda items will be discussed intersessionally in the months preceding SC68C. The meeting will also be extended by five days to allow participants to have weekends off and to accommodate more meetings of sub-groups/sub-committees and Plenary. Despite these efforts, some items may still be postponed until 2022, especially those that are highly technical. All sub-groups/sub-committees will hold at least one virtual session during SC68C. Below are details regarding proposed meeting dates, intersessional meetings and other topics relevant to the SC meeting.

Click here for Draft SC68C Agenda

Meeting Dates

  • 27 April to 14 May, with weekend days off (Note: the original dates for the SC meeting were 27 April to 9 May)
  • A joint CC/SC virtual meeting is tentatively scheduled for 26 April.
  • There will likely be a plenary session on 27 April.
  • Heads of Delegation will meet during the first week of the SC meeting.
  • Sub-groups/sub-committees will meet from 28-30 April, 3-7 May, and 10-11 May. If needed, sub-groups/sub-committees may also meet on 27 April and 12 May.
  • Plenary, convenors and Heads of Delegation meetings will occur as needed from 12-14 May.


Registration will be open on 19 January 2021. SC members are urged to register as soon as possible so they will receive notification of intersessional meetings and other SC meeting information

Intersessional meetings and workshops

  • We will attempt to discuss some agenda items between 25 January and 23 April. These will be treated as pre-meetings. As such, summaries of discussions, including recommendations, from the intersessional meetings will be reviewed, revised as necessary and agreed during the regular SC meeting. SC members will be given ample notification of those intersessional meetings and a schedule will be posted on the SC meeting website.
  • Some workshops may also be held during this same time period. Discussions and recommendations from workshops will be summarized in standalone reports. The SC will reviews those reports and endorse relevant recommendations. There has been some discussion about workshops being held between May 2021 and September 2021 to increase the chance of meeting in person. Please note that if convenors decide to hold workshops after the SC meeting but before the Commission meeting, the SC will not be able to review and endorse any recommendations from those workshops for presentation to the Commissioners in September 2021. Thus, those workshop reports will not be presented to the Commission until the following meeting.

SC Meeting Sessions

  • The SC will attempt to hold two sessions a day (on meeting days) with up to three concurrent sub-groups/subcommittees meetings per session.
  •  The timing of the sessions will likely vary over the course of the SC meeting to accommodate different time zones.
  •  Meetings that may be regionally specific will be scheduled around the appropriate time zone(s).

Submission of SC Documents (SC primary and For Information papers)

  • Submission of paper titles: We strongly request that titles for anticipated SC documents be submitted by 1 Feb 2021. Early submission of titles will help convenors determine what agenda items may be discussed intersessionally and help streamline the work of the SC.
  • Paper submission for intersessional meetings: Deadlines for papers to be discussed at intersessional meetings will be at the discretion of the relevant convenor. Convenors will communicate regularly with their sub-group members about the availability of papers. Lengthier and more technical papers will be made available far enough in advance so that there is adequate time for review.
  •  Paper submission for SC meeting: Papers not discussed during intersessional meetings need to be submitted by 12 April 2021. In exceptional circumstances and with permission from the relevant convenor and the SC Chair, other papers may be submitted after this date.


The SC Chair, Vice-Chair, Lead for Science and SC convenors will ensure that SC members are well informed about procedures that may be different from normal SC processes, the schedule of sessions and notification of altered schedules, availability of new documents and other pertinent information.

The IWC Secretariat

Please visit IWC's Zoom page if you require more information about our virtual meetings.

Meeting etiquette/best practice:

  • The zoom link we provide in the meeting request and in the schedule in the portal will automatically open your zoom client and allow you into the meeting through a simple join instruction.
  • Please test your audio and microphone when you log in to ensure all is in working order. It is advised to log in at least 15 minutes early on your first meeting so any technical issues can be resolved before the meeting commences.
  • When prompted for your name, please use your full name as you wish it to be recorded in the participants list.
  • As in face-to-face meetings, it is better to keep mobile phones switched off to help you concentrate on the meeting and avoid disturbance.
  • Please always keep your microphone on mute if not speaking − this will help avoid feedback and external sound interference. We may also ask for video to be switched off unless you are speaking in order to preserve bandwidth for the meeting audio.
  • If you are having problems with your audio, you can always dial in to a phone number available on the audio options. This will enable us to hear you and you will still be able to see the screen/other participants.
  • Please use the raise hand sign or other visual signals included in the zoom client to attract the Chair's attention − If your visual signal is not seen, please directly message the nominated rapporteur/co-convenor using the meeting chat tool.
  • The Chair may ask you to share a document/presentation directly so please be prepared to do so.
  • The use of a headset/earphones and microphone is recommended over device hardware to improve the clarity of the audio.
  • If dialling in by phone, please announce your full name so this can be added by the technician