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GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTIONS

Following the debate, delegates considered the three draft resolutions before the Assembly. Under Agenda Item 96(c), the draft resolution contained in document A/50/L.35 addresses the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10th December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. The resolution emphasizes the importance of early entry into force and effective implementation of the Agreement, and calls upon all States and all entities entitled to become parties to sign and ratify or accede to the Agreement and consider applying it provisionally. It requests the Secretary-General to report to the 51st session of the General Assembly on developments relating to the conservation and management of SFS and HMS, and to ensure that reporting on all major fishing activities and instruments is effectively coordinated and duplication of activities and reporting minimized.

The draft resolution was co-sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Samoa, Senegal, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, the US and Uruguay.

Two other resolutions were also adopted. The first (A/50/L.34) deals with implementation of UNCLOS and was adopted by a vote of 132 in favor to 1 against (Turkey), with 3 abstentions (Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela). Turkey stated its opposition to the draft resolution pertaining to UNCLOS, because it contains no provision recognizing special geographic situations and no reservation clauses.

The resolution emphasizes the universal character of UNCLOS and its fundamental importance for the maintenance and strengthening of international peace and security, as well as for the sustainable use and development of the seas and oceans and their resources. The resolution calls upon all States that have not done so to become parties to UNCLOS and to harmonize their national legislation with its provisions and ensure its consistent application. It also requests the Secretary-General to convene three meetings of States Parties to UNCLOS during 1996 for the purpose of organizing the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, and to report to the 51st session of the General Assembly on the implementation of the resolution in connection with the annual report on the Law of the Sea.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belize, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, the UK, the US and Uruguay.

The other resolution (A/50/L.36) addresses large-scale pelagic drift-net fishing, unauthorized fishing in areas under national jurisdiction, and fisheries bycatch and discards. The resolution recognizes that efforts have been made to reduce bycatch and discards in fishing operations and that further work needs to be done in this area. It expresses concern about the detrimental impact of unauthorized fishing on sustainable development of the world's fisheries resources and on the food security and economies of many States, particularly developing States. It acknowledges the measures taken by the international community to implement and support the objectives of resolution 46/215 on large-scale pelagic drift-net fishing, but expressed deep concern regarding continuing reports of activities inconsistent with the terms of that resolution. The resolution calls upon States to take measures to ensure that no fishing vessels entitled to fly their national flags fish in areas under national jurisdiction of States unless duly authorized by competent authorities of the coastal State or States concerned.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Belize, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, New Zealand, Peru, Samoa, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, the US and Uruguay.

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