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SECTION VIII -- DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

The Chair reminded delegates that the text is designed to expedite aspects of UNCLOS, especially with reference to fragile and seasonal fisheries.

The US proposed that the RNT recognize the ability of regional organizations or arrangements to adopt procedures for the compulsory and binding dispute resolution mechanisms, but it should not compel them to set up such procedures. Many disputes in fisheries management require speedy resolution. Japan preferred the UNCLOS arbitration process. While Annex 3 is more "thrifty" than UNCLOS, it is technically difficult in comparison.

Uruguay said that while the RNT is acceptable, paragraph 44, requiring all States to cooperate to prevent disputes and settle disputes by negotiation or peaceful means, should be brought into line with UNCLOS. Paragraph 45 should include a binding and compulsory procedure. The EU supported the US, but said the RNT should not move beyond the balance of UNCLOS.

Peru agreed with Uruguay, but disagreed with Japan, over paragraph 50 requiring dispute settlement provisions to be consistent with UNCLOS. Canada said the lack of a compulsory and binding dispute settlement mechanism is a hindrance to solving disputes. The Solomon Islands, supported by the Cook Islands, said some reference should be made to Part XV of UNCLOS, which deals with settlement of disputes, and strongly supported the retention of paragraph 50. Poland accepted the dispute mechanism provisions and endorsed the Japanese proposal. The Russian Federation said the main objective of Section VIII is the quick settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

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