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

UN Headquarters, New York | 25-29 June 2007
United Nations
 
Earth Negotiations Bulletin
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Productive Week Ends Without Consensus

On Friday morning, delegates to the eighth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-8) reconvened in plenary to discuss a revised Co-Chairs' text on elements regarding Marine Genetic Resources (MGRs), to be suggested to the UN General Assembly for consideration. Several paragraphs were debated in the morning, and the Co-Chairs recommended that countries with divergent views on text confer during lunch to resolve differences. Discussions continued through the afternoon and into the evening, with numerous breaks in the evening to allow for informal consultations.

By 11:00 pm, delegates had reached agreement on several paragraphs, but despite repeated efforts were unable to agree on key text referring to the relevant legal regime for marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction. With negotiations deadlocked, Co-Chairs Ridgeway and Maquieira stated that no consensus text of elements could be forwarded to the General Assembly for consideration. However, the Co-Chairs announced that they would include the draft elements and recommendations within the Co-Chairs' Report of ICP-8 to the General Assembly, including a summary of the divergence of views. Co-Chair Maquieira then thanked participants and closed the meeting at 11:36 pm.

Above: G-77/China coordinator Muhammad Shah, Pakistan, consulted with Marcos de Almeida, Brazil (back to camera), during an evening break.


Friday, 29 June
Consideration of Elements to be Suggested to the General Assembly


Muhammad Shah, Pakistan, on behalf of the G-77/China, opposed text that suggested a code of conduct for exploration and sampling of MGRs.

UN-DOALOS Director Václav Mikulka praised the Co-Chairs' efforts to arrange and facilitate panelist attendance at ICP-8.

Marcos de Almeida, Brazil, proposed new language for the preambular text.

Constance Arvis, US, said there is not a need for a new regime in areas beyond national jurisdiction.  

Renée Sauvé, Canada, proposed adding reference to MGRs, and deleting reference to overexploitation and destructive fishing practices, in a paragraph noting the vulnerability of marine biodiversity.

Kathleen Sealey, Bahamas, preferred retention of wording on threats to marine biodiversity.

Tomas Heidar, Iceland, supported negotiating the text paragraph by paragraph as opposed to making general statements about it.

Anna Lyubalaina, Russian Federation, supported including wording on  coastal States having "sovereignty," and sovereign rights and duties with respect to marine resources.  

Liliana Gomez de Weston, Peru, stressed that wording on sovereign rights should be in accordance with international law.

Ana Cristina Rodriguez Pineda, Guatemala, highlighted the dual benefits of knowledge gained from research and beneficial products from application of that knowledge.

Verena Gräfin von Roedern, Germany, for the EU, said conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity are necessary to safeguard MGRs and the goods and services they provide.

David Dutton, Australia, stressed that intellectual property issues relating to MGRs are addressed in other fora.
Best Wishes, Co-Chair Maquieira

Cristián Maquieira and Lori Ridgeway posed at the end of their final plenary together as ICP Co-Chairs.

Maquieira was surrounded by delegates in a G-77/China huddle during informal consultations.

Maquieira reflected on his three years as a Co-Chair of ICP.

Maquieira and G-77/China coordinator Shah shook hands after the close of the meeting.

Maquieira chatted with the Earth Negotiations Bulletin writers during a break.
Around the Consultative Process

Director Václav Mikulka and Deputy Secretary Alice Hicuburundi of UN-DOALOS conferred with Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli.

Director Mikulka thanked Co-Chair Lori Ridgeway after the meeting.

Participants patronized vending machines after the cafeteria closed for the night.

Ingrid Overgard, International Ocean Noise Coalition, took the co-chairs' proclamation of "Casual Friday" very seriously.

Your Earth Negotiations Bulletin ICP-8 reporting team: Leila Mead, Writer; James Van Alstine, Team Leader; Robynne Boyd, Writer; Dan Birchall, Digital Editor; Andrew Brooke, Writer.

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.

Related ENB Coverage

Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the Ad Hoc Working Group on marine biodiversity
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-7
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-6
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-5
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-4

Linkages Update.
Oceans-L oceans policy news and announcement Listserve.
MEA-L Multilateral Environmental Agreements Listserve.
Africa Regional Coverage.

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