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THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN THE INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD

INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONSULTATIONS: Informal consultations between the two main caucus groups, the Like-Minded core group and the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Group, are expected to continue as States reflect on the Draft Agreement. These informal consultations are likely to be devoid of NGO participation, perhaps with the exception of the US and Canada, who each maintain two NGOs on their delegations. Encouraging statements directed to the NGOs from the US delegation will likely provide enhanced opportunity for NGOs to better reflect their environmental concerns.

NGO ACTIVITIES: NGOs are expected to continue in their consultations with the FAO, especially on the Code of Conduct, during the intersessional period. Substantial progress has been made on the procedural arrangements for the admission of new NGOs to the FAO structure, following several roundtable meetings with the FAO's Dr. Krone during this session.

NGOs will also continue to formulate their responses to the Chair's Draft Agreement. No structured workshops or roundtables have been scheduled.

FAO CONSULTATIONS ON CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHING: The next steps in continuing the preparation of the Code include a Technical Consultation to be held in Rome from 26 September to 5 October 1994. Participants will include FAO members, non-members, international organizations and NGOs, who will thoroughly review the draft Code prior to its submission to the COFI meeting to be held in March 1995. If the Technical Consultation deems necessary, the Secretariat draft will be circulated for comments prior to the March session of COFI, in order to facilitate endorsement. After further preparation, the draft Code will be presented at the FAO Council in June 1995 and to the FAO Conference in November 1995.

Guidelines in support of the implementation of the respective thematic chapters of the Code are being prepared and will be subject to reviews and discussions by international experts in their respective fields in 1995. These guidelines are not intended to be submitted to a formal approval process.

SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS: The International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES) will hold its 82nd Annual Science conference in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, from 22-30 September 1994. While ICES primarily addresses issues of biological marine science, some reflection on the reports of the Working Groups on Precautionary Approach, Biological Reference Points and Management Points is probable. Thematic sessions include: non-target species; pelagic fish and plankton interactions in marine ecosystems; and improving the link between fisheries science and management of biological, social and economic considerations. Look for enhanced reference to aspects of toxic substances in the ecosystem.

Coastal Zone Canada '94 will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 20-23 September 1994. Continuing in the tradition of the Earth Summit and the World Coast Conference held in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, in 1993, this international conference will consider all issues relating to integrated coastal management. These issues include the loss of natural habitats, land reclamation, contamination, eutrophication, flotsam, chemical contaminants in the hydrological system and industrial emissions of toxic particles into the oceans. The Conference is supported by UNEP, IMO and the Commonwealth Secretariat, among others. Look for development of the marine conservation areas concept and furtherance of the Halifax Declaration issued in May 1994.

UNCLOS: On 16 November 1994, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea will come into force. From 16-18 November, the ceremonial session of the Assembly of the Sea Bed Authority will be held in Kingston, Jamaica. On 21-22 November, the Ad Hoc Meeting of State Parties to the Convention will meet in New York to discuss arrangements to set up the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. It is expected that the election of the judges to the Tribunal, which was due to take place in May 1995, will be postponed. The first substantive session of the Assembly of the Sea Bed Authority will convene in Jamaica for three weeks from 27 February - 17 March 1995.

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: During the 49th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Second Committee will review the report of this Conference and the General Assembly is then expected to extend the mandate until August 1995. In early December, the General Assembly will examine the yearly report on UNCLOS.

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