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UN DOALOS Seventh Session of the Open-ended
Informal Consultative Process
on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

UN Headquarters, New York | 12-16 June 2006
United Nations
 
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UNICPOLOS-7 Dresses Down, Works Late, and Succeeds

The Seventh Session of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea convened its final plenary at 12:30 pm on Friday, after revised draft text from the Friends of the Co-Chairs group was copied and distributed to delegates. Several paragraphs of draft text passed easily before lunchtime, but several more were extensively bracketed and resulted in considerable debate throughout the afternoon and into the night. Plenary reconvened from 3:30 pm to 6:20 pm, 7:00 pm to 10:15 pm, and 11:15 pm until 12:14 am. During breaks, small groups worked to arrive at compromise text. In the end, compromises and consensus were reached on elements which will be forwarded to the UN General Assembly this fall, and the Consultative Process successfully completed its planned work.

Above: Co-Chairs Cristián Maquieira, Chile, and Lori Ridgeway, Canada, reviewed draft text with Friends of the Co-Chairs group Chair Renée Sauvé, Canada, at the start of plenary.


Friday, 16 June
Plenary


Conference officers rushed to distribute the revised draft text, "hot off the photocopiers."

Alistair Graham and Simon Cripps, WWF, marked up their copy of the draft text.

Members of the Thai and Indonesian delegations conferred over the revised draft text.

Speaking for the EU, Thomas Loidl, Austria, suggested minor editorial amendments to the preamble of the draft text, which were accepted.

On managing marine ecosystems in conformity with international law, Lucas González Millán, Venezuela, proposed deleting reference to the rights and duties of States as provided for in UNCLOS.

Resfel Pino, Cuba, suggested deleting brackets around language recognizing that the ecosystem approach is interpreted differently in different contexts.

On the strengthening of RFMOs, Joan Yang, Palau, suggested using language agreed during the Fish Stocks Review conference.

On strengthened and improved coordination and cooperation, Gunnar Pálsson, Iceland, suggested clarifying that the reference to international law does not apply to cooperation at the national level.

On the development of representative networks of MPAs, Renée Sauvé, Canada, noted the draft language is inconsistent with the that of the JPOI, and a contact group was formed to agree on language.

Dean Bialek, Australia, proposed compromise text on improved cooperation and collaboration among international organizations.

Porfirio Álvarez-Torres, Mexico, opposed a reference to paragraph 40 of CBD COP 8.

Felicity Buchanan, New Zealand, proposed new language to overcome concerns with the concept of "root causes" of impacts on ecosystems.
At left: Co-Chair Lori Ridgeway, Canada, led participants through the long and difficult consensus process on the last several bracketetd subparagraphs.

At right: Co-Chair Cristián Maquieira, Chile, declined to make long closing remarks, instead simply wishing participants safe travels and a good weekend before closing the meeting at 12:14 am, Saturday, 17 June 2006.

Side Event: UNEP Ecosystem Report Launches

UNEP invited delegates to a lunchtime side event for the launch of two new reports: "Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas" by UNEP and IUCN - the World Conservation Union, and "Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Human Well-Being," a synthesis report based on the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
Around the Consultative Process

With delegations encouraged by the Co-Chairs to be more flexible both in attitude and dress, representatives of Greenpeace opted for matching attire.

Your UNICPOLOS-7 Earth Negotiations Bulletin team: Robynne Boyd, writer, South Africa/US; Andrew Brooke, writer, Australia; Alice Bisiaux, team leader, France; James Van Alstine, writer, US; Dan Birchall, digital editor, US.

Related Coverage

UNICPOLOS-6, UNICPOLOS-5, and UNICPOLOS-4 coverage from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
UNFSA Review Conference coverage from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
3rd Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands Bulletin.
Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands coverage by Sustainable Developments.

Related Links

UNICPOLOS Site.
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS).
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.

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