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THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

INFORMAL-INFORMAL SESSION: As a result of consultations with delegates, the Chair has now modified the Programme of Work. Many developing States had expressed the concern that they would not be able to attend the parallel working group on the precautionary approach. The Chair suggested that the matter be examined in Conference Room 2 in "Informal-Informals" to ensure the widest participation on this important point. A representative of the FAO is expected to give introductory remarks after which delegates will then comment on the FAO document (A/CONF.164/INF/8). Informal-informals will be convened every morning through Friday. Depending on the results of these informals, a meeting of experts may be convened that will then report to the Conference. Some of the recommendations of the experts may later be incorporated in the final document.

The FAO document states that "the Precautionary Approach propounds caution in all aspects of fishery activities: in applied fishery research, and in management and development. It can be easily translated into a 'tool box' of precautionary measures among which appropriate ones can be selected for different situations". This 'tool box' would be consistent with the internationally-agreed principles of sustainable development and those of responsible fishing practices.

INFORMAL PLENARY: An informal session of Plenary will resume this afternoon to continue consideration of the Chair's negotiating text. It is expected that the Conference will discuss Section IV on duties of the flag State and possibly matters of compliance and enforcement on the high seas.

NGO ACTIVITIES: NGOs are expected to continue their efforts to promote a strengthening of the precautionary approach principle as outlined in the text. Greenpeace, the IUCN and WWF (supported by the National Audubon Society and the Alaskan Marine Conservation Council) have submitted comprehensive papers on the subject and held a briefing session for delegates last night. NGOs hope that these papers will build upon and strengthen the FAO document.

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