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THE UNCED PROCESS

During the extensive negotiations of Chapter 17 of Agenda 21, "Protection of oceans, all kinds of seas including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources," the issue of high seas fisheries proved to be among the most difficult. Throughout the preparatory process, from August 1990 - April 1992, consensus on straddling and highly migratory fish stocks remained elusive. At the Earth Summit held in Rio in June 1992, the Chair of the Main Committee (and formerly PrepCom Chair) Tommy T.B. Koh (Singapore) requested that the United States conduct informal consultations in order to find compromise text on the issue of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. The resulting text for paragraph 17.52 reads: "States should convene an intergovernmental conference under UN auspices with a view to promoting effective implementation of the provisions of the Law of the Sea on straddling and highly migratory fish stocks."