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UN DOALOS UN Fish Stocks Agreement Review Conference
UN Headquarters, New York | 22-26 May 2006
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26 May &
Summary
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Review Conference Addresses Developing States, Non-Parties

On Thursday, 25 May 2006, the plenary of the Review Conference of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA or the Agreement) reviewed and assessed implementation of the Agreement's provisions on developing States and non-parties. The drafting committee, shown above, met in the morning, afternoon and evening.


Thursday, 25 May
Plenary


Serge Beslier, European Commission, said that rather than increasing financial assistance, the international community should assist developing countries in formulating policies to make rational use of such assistance.

Munesh Munbodh, Mauritius, said small island developing States (SIDS) should have equitable access to fishing resources while their fisheries develop, and SIDS' financial constraints should be taken into account when formulating member States' financial contributions to RFMOs.

Famoudou Magassouba, Guinea, drew attention to the need for assistance in production and distribution mechanisms, capacity, human resources and reliable data, and called for increased contributions to the Assistance Fund and for concrete proposals for the establishment of new RFMOs.

Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez, Cuba, urged adoption of general recommendations for the implementation of UNFSA provisions on boarding and inspection, to address non-party concerns.

Hosung Lee, Republic of Korea, cautioned against the unlawful exercise of inspection and boarding, called for safeguards for the human rights of crews during inspections and boarding, and favored alternative mechanisms to ensure compliance such as observer programmes, vessel registers, lists of vessels and trade documentation.

Liu Zheng, China, expressed concern about the possibility of using force for the enforcement of the Agreement and suggested developing transparent and reasonable guiding principles on this matter, which should prevent abuses and include compensation mechanisms.

Gerhard Hafner, Austria, for the EU, supported a periodical review of the Agreement based on a five-year cycle.

Nigel Fyfe, New Zealand, underlined the need for UN bodies to report to the review conference, and called for a four-year review cycle.

Kjell Kristian Egge, Norway, disagreed with the idea of a formal future review conference, stating that formal conferences divert resources away from actual implementation, preferring that biennial informal States parties meetings conduct a review every 6-8 years.

Carlos Duarte, Brazil, called for assistance to developing countries to access high seas stocks.

Peter Prows, Palau, called for annual review of RFMO coverage and effectiveness. He announced Palau's intention to join UNFSA.

William Gibbons-Fly, US, called for RFMO members to develop mutually acceptable provisions on boarding and inspection.

Louis Simard, Canada, called on development assistance agencies to develop coherent approaches to international fisheries issues, bearing in mind the specific policy, science, management and enforcement needs and priorities of developing States.

Ana Cristina Rodriguez Pineda, Guatemala, called for regional periodic review conferences.

Papua New Guinea, on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, called for assistance in meeting importing countries' quality controls and ensuring developing countries' access to markets for fishery products.

Tomas Heidar, Iceland, proposed to hold consultations every second year, with every third of such meetings being held in a more formal setting.

Karen Mosoti, Kenya, stressed the need to consider all forms of assistance as a package, without attributing preference unless so requested by beneficiary countries.

Mario Aguilar, Mexico, called for developing a technical annex to UNFSA on procedures for inspection and boarding, including a compensation mechanism for damage and economic losses caused by boarding contrary to international law, and favored alternative means for monitoring and surveillance such as independent on-board observers.

The International Coalition in Support of Fishworkers called for preferential access to fish stocks for artisanal and small-scale fishers.

Alistair Graham, WWF, underscored the importance of committing governments to allocation rules for new entrants to RFMOs.

Duncan Currie, Greenpeace, called for the establishment of a transparent database on vessel quota and landing information database and international cooperation for capacity building, and suggested that participation in RFMOs not be based on past fishing history.

Related Links

ENB coverage of the 1995 Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Stocks.
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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