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SUMMARY OF THE FIFTH SUBSTANTIVE SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE UN CONFERENCE ON STRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS: 24 JULY - 4 AUGUST 1995

During the two-week session which took place at UN Headquarters in New York from 24 July - 4 August 1995, delegates negotiated a Conference Room Paper contained in document A/CONF.164/CRP.7, dated 19 July 1995. This paper represented the first attempt at harmonizing the Chair's Revised Draft Agreement, contained in A/CONF.164/22/Rev.1, by the Secretariat and other UN editorial advisors.

Delegates desired not only to reopen issues of substance when considering the harmonized text, but they also conceded that editorial changes had created substantive change. Informal Plenary successfully dealt with the many stylistic changes, but issues of substance were negotiated in informal consultations throughout the two-week period. Contentious issues included compliance and enforcement, high seas "enclaves," and settlement of dispute. Three days of pre-sessional negotiation over Article 21, dealing with subregional and regional compliance and enforcement remained unresolved despite a series of papers being tabled by the EU, Japan and the US. Informal consultations consumed much of the second week with the Chair working exceptionally long hours endeavoring to develop consensual text. "Friends of the Chair" continued to support the efforts of the Chair, Satya Nandan (Fiji), reaffirming the high regard in which he is held. Late night informal consultations eventually resulted in agreed revisions.

The closing Plenary adopted the Draft Agreement which provides for the "Implementation of the Provisions of UNCLOS Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks." This Agreement represents a sincere attempt to secure enhanced conservation and management for high seas resources.