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Twelfth Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

20-24 June 2011 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

UN Headquarters on a sunny June day. The twelfth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-12) took place from 20-24 June 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York. The meeting brought together over 200 representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

During the week, delegates focused their discussions on "Contributing to the assessment, in the context of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, of progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges."

Delegates convened in plenary sessions throughout the week to discuss: a general exchange of views; inter-agency cooperation and coordination; process for the selection of topics and panelists so as to facilitate the work of the UN General Assembly; issues that could benefit from attention in future work of the General Assembly on ocean affairs and the law of the sea; and consideration of the outcome of the meeting. In addition, four discussion panels were held to consider: sustainable development, oceans and the law of the sea; overview of progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of relevant oceans and seas outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development; new and emerging challenges; and the road to Rio+20 and beyond.

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Friday, 24 June

On Friday, 24 June 2011, delegates to the twelfth session of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-12) met in a plenary session throughout the day to consider the outcome of the meeting.

In the morning, the session was suspended while the draft Co-Chairs' Summary Report was distributed for delegates to consider. Plenary then convened for most of the day, and delegates offered their input on the draft Summary Report. After all paragraphs of the report had been discussed, participants briefly turned their attention to Co-Chairs' proposed elements. After noting that no consensus could be reached on the document, except for the importance of ensuring the elements relating to SIDS be reflected in the Co-Chairs' Summary Report, the Co-Chairs offered closing remarks, and Co-Chair Don MacKay, New Zealand, gaveled the conference to a close at 5:09pm.

Full web coverage available here: 24 June

Plenary panorama

A panoramic view of the room during plenary.

Fernanda Millicay, Argentina, conferred with EU delegates
Fernanda Millicay, Argentina, conferred with EU delegates.
Kathleen Abdalla, UN-DESA, and Serguei Tarassenko, DOALOS
Kathleen Abdalla, UN-DESA, chatted with DOALOS director Serguei Tarassenko before the session.
Robert E.A. Borje, the Philippines
Robert E.A. Borje, the Philippines.
Åsmund Eriksen, Norway
Åsmund Eriksen, Norway.
Muhammadu Sani Yunusa, Nigeria
Muhammadu Sani Yunusa, Nigeria.
Sae Horikawa, Japan
Sae Horikawa, Japan.
Co-Chair Amb. Milan J.N. Meetarbhan, Mauritius
Co-Chair Amb. Milan J.N. Meetarbhan, Mauritius.
Co-Chair Amb. Don MacKay, New Zealand
Co-Chair Amb. Don MacKay, New Zealand, gaveled the meeting to a close at 5:09pm.
Thursday, 23 June

On Thursday, delegates to the twelfth meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-12) convened in a plenary session involving a presentation on inter-agency cooperation and coordination, and discussions on the process for the selection of topics and panelists so as to facilitate the work of the UN General Assembly, and issues that could benefit from attention in future work of the UN General Assembly.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40am to allow time for the Secretariat to produce two documents: a list of elements that could benefit from attention at Rio+20; and the Co-Chairs' Summary report.

Full web coverage available here: 23 June

The dais during the morning session

The dais during the morning session.

Andrew Hudson,
Andrew Hudson, Coordinator, UN-Oceans.
Holger Martinsen, Argentina
Holger Martinsen, Argentina.
Serguei Tarassenko, Director, DOALOS
Serguei Tarassenko, Director, DOALOS.
Catherine Boucher, Canada
Catherine Boucher, Canada.
Harlan Cohen, IUCN
Harlan Cohen, IUCN.
Alice Hicuburundi, DOALOS
Alice Hicuburundi, Secretary, DOALOS.
Ilaria Tani, Charlotte Salpin and Luigi Santosuosso, DOALOS
Ilaria Tani, Charlotte Salpin and Luigi Santosuosso, DOALOS, chatted before the session.
Adera Leal and Arline Diaz Mendoza, Venezuela
Adera Leal and Arline Diaz Mendoza, Venezuela, reviewed a document.
Document tables
Delegates visited the document tables at the back of the room.
Matthew Gianni, DSCC, with Susan Lieberman, Duncan Currie and Paulus Tak, Pew
Matthew Gianni, DSCC, conferred with Susan Lieberman, Duncan Currie and Paulus Tak, Pew Environment Group.
Wednesday, 22 June

On Wednesday, delegates to the twelfth meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-12) heard a summary report of the international earth system expert workshop on ocean stresses and impacts.

Participants then convened in a discussion panel on new and emerging challenges for the sustainable development and use of oceans and seas.

In the morning and early afternoon, presentations and discussions were held on: global warming as a new and emerging challenge to the sustainable use of marine fish resources; a legal perspective on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity within and beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, including marine genetic resources; and new and emerging challenges.

Also in the afternoon, delegates convened in a discussion panel on the road to Rio+20 and beyond with presentations held on: achieving a significant outcome on oceans; and a blueprint for overcoming poverty and attaining sustainable growth and equity.

Full web coverage available here: 22 June

Alex Rogers, University of Oxford, presented on rapid change in oceans

Alex Rogers, University of Oxford, discussed research revealing very rapid changes in oceans, beyond the IPCC's projections.

Ussif Rashid Sumaila, UBC
Ussif Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia.
Tullio Scovazzi, University of Milano-Bicocca
Tullio Scovazzi, University of Milano-Bicocca.
Jacqueline Alder, UNEP
Jacqueline Alder, UNEP.
Andreano Erwin, Indonesia
Andreano Erwin, Indonesia.
Duncan Currie, Pew Environment Group
Duncan Currie, Pew Environment Group.
Eun-kyung Park, Republic of Korea
Eun-kyung Park, Republic of Korea
Andrey Kalinin, Russian Federation
Andrey Kalinin, Russian Federation.
Global Oceans Forum
Biliana Cicin-Sain, Global Oceans Forum.
Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Brazil
Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Brazil.
Linyi Baidal, Costa Rica
Linyi Baidal, Costa Rica.
Tuesday, 21 June

On Tuesday, delegates to the twelfth meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-12) convened in a discussion panel on the overview of progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of relevant oceans and seas outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development

In the morning, presentations were made and a discussion was held on: progress and gaps in marine scientific research, emerging challenges and links between science and policy making; remaining gaps and challenges in capacity building and transfer of technology to implement the ocean-related outcomes of the relevant summits; and implementation of the ocean-related outcomes affecting the social aspects of fisheries.

This panel continued in the afternoon with presentations on: deep-sea research and international ocean governance; assessment of progress in marine pollution control and challenges; and the integrated management of the oceans and seas, including coral reefs.

Full web coverage available here: 21 June

Luis Valdés, UNESCO-IOC
Luis Valdés, UNESCO-IOC.
Amb. Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Thailand
Amb. Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Thailand.
Sebastian Mathew, ICSF
Sebastian Mathew, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers.
Philip Weaver, HERMIONE
Philip P.E. Weaver, Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact on European Seas.
Babajide Alo, University of Lagos
Babajide I. Alo, University of Lagos.
Yoshinobu Takei, Utrecht University
Yoshinobu Takei, School of Law, Utrecht University.
Kjartan Hoydal, NEAFC
Kjartan Hoydal, North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission.
Christine Finbak, Norway
Christine Finbak, Norway.
Nannette Malsol, Palau
Nannette Malsol, Palau.
High Seas Alliance reception

In the evening, the newly-formed High Seas Alliance held a drinks reception to present the findings of a new scientific report about ocean stresses.

Monday, 20 June

The twelfth meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea opened on Monday, 20 June 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York.

In the morning, delegates convened in plenary to address organizational matters and hear opening remarks from Patricia O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, and Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

They then exchanged views on contributing to the assessment of progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, in the context of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), and addressing new and emerging challenges.

In the afternoon, views from additional States and from Civil Society were followed by a discussion panel on "Sustainable development, oceans and the law of the sea."

Full web coverage available here: 20 June

Patricia O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel
Patricia O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel.
Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Nathalie Rey, Greenpeace
Nathalie Rey, Greenpeace.
Karin Sjölin-Frudd, IMO
Karin Sjölin-Frudd, International Maritime Organization.
Thilmeeza Hussain, Maldives
Thilmeeza Hussain, Maldives.
Jorge Urbiola, Spain
Jorge Urbiola, Spain.
Amb. Jim McLay, New Zealand
Amb. Jim McLay, New Zealand.
Jeem Lippwe, FSM
Jeem Lippwe, Federated States of Micronesia.
Amb. Stuart Beck, Palau
Amb. Stuart Beck, Palau.
Susannah Gordon, New Zealand
Susannah Gordon, New Zealand.
Frédéric Briand, Monaco
Frédéric Briand, Monaco.
Gou Haibo, China
Gou Haibo, China.
Lisa Speer, NRDC
Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Eden Charles, Trinidad and Tobago
Eden Charles, Trinidad and Tobago.
Jihyun Lee, CBD
Jihyun Lee, Convention on Biological Diversity.
Michael Kabai, South Africa
Michael Kabai, South Africa.
Elizabeth Kim, United States
Elizabeth Kim, United States.
Donna Petrachenko, Australia
Donna Petrachenko, Australia.
Brice Lalonde, DESA
Brice Lalonde, DESA.
Cherdsak Virapat, IOI
Cherdsak Virapat, International Ocean Institute.
Héctor Enrique Celarié Landaverde, El Salvador
Héctor Enrique Celarié Landaverde, El Salvador.
Earth Negotiations Bulletin Team
ENB Reporting Team and Friends

Your Earth Negotiations Bulletin team and friends. L-R: Graeme Auld, writer, Canada; Faye Leone, writer, United States; Dan Birchall, digital editor, United States; Robynne Bockenek, team leader, United States; Daniela Diz, writer, Brazil; Co-Chair Amb. Don MacKay, New Zealand; Alice Hicuburundi, Secretary; Michele Ameri, Deputy Secretary; and Cristina Baylon, Legal Assistant, DOALOS. Photo by Marco Boccia, DOALOS.

Related Links
UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea resources
*Meeting website
*Format and annotated provisional agenda
*Background information
*Unedited reporting material on the topic of focus of ICP112

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS summary report of the World Water Day 2011, 22 March 2011, Cape Town, South Africa (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), 7-8 March 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the First Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD, 10-11 January 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Oceans Day at Cancún, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
IISD RS coverage of ICP-11, 21-25 June 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA), 24-28 May 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD, 17-19 May 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Fifth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, 3-7 May 2010, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters, Paris, France
*IISD RS brefing note of the Ninth Round of Informal Consultations of States Parties (ICSP) to the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of UNCLOS Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA), 16-17 March 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the Expert Panel on Ocean Acidification, 3 September 2009, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of ICP-10, 17-19 June 2009, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the World Ocean Conference, 11-15 May 2009, Manado, Indonesia
*IISD RS coverage of ICP-9, 23-27 June 2008, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of ICP-8, 25-29 June 2007, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of ICP-7, 12-16 June 2006, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*Oceans-L - oceans policy news and announcement listserve
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
*African Regional Coverage
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