Fifth Meeting of the Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law
of the Sea

United Nations Headquarters, New York | 7- 11 June 2004



 Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

 Language English French


 Tue 8

 Wed 9

 Thu 10

 Fri 11



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Highlights for Thursday 10 June 2004

On Thursday, delegates to the fifth meeting of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process) convened the second session of the International Workshop on a process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socioeconomic aspects (GMA International Workshop). Delegates heard a report from the Friends of the Co-Chairs group and made statements. Following preliminary statements in the morning, the Friends of the Co-Chairs reconvened throughout the afternoon to reach agreement on contentious issues, and prepare draft conclusions. Editor’s note: recording of discussions within the Friends of the Co-Chairs group was not permitted.

Above photo: Delegates from the G77/China in a coordination huddle



John Roberts (UK) (left), Coordinator of the Friends of the Co-Chairs group, reported on discussions held by the group on Tuesday and Wednesday. He said agreement had been reached on, inter alia: the assessment of assessments; the need for assessment regions to be based on ecological and political aspects; the participation of all UN agencies, including the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity; and the need to avoid duplication of work. He highlighted disagreement on the mandate of the GMA and its scope.


Iran, on behalf of the G-77/ CHINA
, noted that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) provide the overall framework for establishing the GMA. The G-77/CHINA stressed that all aspects of sustainable development should be included. Right photo: Hossein Moeini (Iran) making a plenary statement 



NORWAY stated that the GMA must be based on the ecosystem approach. Above photo (right): Kjell Kristian Egge (Norway)

SOUTH AFRICA said the GMA should be comprehensive and avoid creating artificial prioritization and hierarchy. Above photo: Xolisa Mabhongo (South Africa)

Ireland, on behalf of the EUROPEAN UNION (EU), stated that the purpose of the GMA was to improve the scientific under­standing of the oceans for sound decision making and,  said it should not encompass fisheries assessment or management. Above photo (center): Dellan Smyth (Ireland)

AUSTRALIA underlined that excluding living marine resources from the GMA would imply failure to respond to the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Above photo: Max Kitchell (Australia)

ICELAND opposed, noting that the JPOI only includes recommendations a later stage in order to avoid delays in its establishment.  

The US stated that the scope of the GMA had been set by the WSSD. Above photo: Thomas Laughtin (US)

Start-up phase:

The G-77/CHINA said the first step should be to identify challenges and opportunities for enhancing cooperation on the basis of available resources. Above photo: Hossein Moeini (Iran), Xolisa Mabhongo (South Africa), and Vladimir Golitsyn (DOALOS)

CHINA suggested the first stage focus on identifying gaps in existing assessment mechanisms. Above photo: Yang Li (China)

Related Links |

Earth Negotiation Bulletin's report of UNICPOLOS-4 (HTML, PDF, TXT).
Sustainable Developments’ report of the Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (HTML, PDF, TXT).
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS) .
GMA International Workshop site.
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.


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