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THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The Conference will open at 10:00 am. Conference Chair, Satya Nandan, is expected to present opening remarks, followed by a statement from the new legal counsel for the UN Office of Legal Affairs, Hans Corell. The Chair should move immediately to the first item of business, the adoption of the agenda for this session. Nandan is expected to give an overview of the programme of work for the coming three weeks. The Conference will then turn to consideration of the FAO papers. It is possible that Brian Tobin, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada will make a key speech today.

NGO ACTIVITIES: A caucus group of North American NGOs will deliver a press briefing on the 12th floor of the Church Center at 10:00 am. Greenpeace and the International Collective of Fishworkers will give their formal press briefing on Tuesday, at a venue to be announced. Look for documents to be circulated in response to the Chair's negotiating text, possibly in the form of an alternative negotiating document. A series of NGO papers should also be available on the principal technical issues of this session to include the MSY concept, the Precautionary Approach and Precautionary Principle. At the conclusion of the first substantive session, NGOs failed to reach consensus around the core points of the Chair's negotiating text. Look for NGOs over the next several days to maintain roundtable activities towards reaching a more concerted approach.

IN THE CORRIDORS: The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) could well play an important role in this session of the Conference. It is seen by many as the first international instrument to recognize the importance of an ecosystems approach. On the one hand, some NGOs draw upon CCAMLR as an approach that should be replicated in the current process. On the other hand, at the last Conference of Parties, some States expressed their willingness to see CCAMLR participate in the Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks Conference as a regional organization. Look for some States that are party to CCAMLR to reflect this view in the upcoming debates.

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