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


Daily Web Coverage


Mon 7

Tue 8 

Wed 9

Thu 10

Fri 11


 Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

 Language English French


 Tue 8

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 Thu 10

 Fri 11



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Highlights for Monday 7 June 2004

The fifth meeting of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS-5 or Consultative Process) opened on Monday, 7 June 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. Delegates convened in Plenary session in the morning and held a Discussion Panel in the afternoon. Plenary addressed organizational matters, heard a report on the outcome of the Group of Experts’ meeting on the process for global reporting and assess­ment of the state of the marine environment (GMA), and started discussing cooperation and coordination on ocean issues. The Discussion Panel on new sustainable uses of the oceans was presented with a documentary and heard keynote presentations on deep seabed biodiversity.  

Above photo: Bird's eye view of the plenary.



Opening Plenary:

Co-Chair Philip Burgess (Australia) called for stimulating discussions on a legal regime for the use of deep sea resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Co-Chair Felipe Paolillo (Uruguay) (above) opened the meeting, noting that consultations on new sustainable uses of the oceans would provide a unique opportunity to learn more about seabed biodiversity.


David Pugh
, Chairman of the GMA Group of Experts, presented the composition and mandate of the Group of Experts to produce a document on, inter alia, the scope, outline, capacity building and funding for the GMA.


Qazi Shaukat Fareed, UN System Chief Executives Board for Cooperation, presented the Ocean and Coastal Areas Network (OCAN).


Patricio Bernal,
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC/UNESCO), presented the OCAN’s terms of reference.

Dan Ogolla
, (above left ) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), presented the outcomes of the seventh Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD, noting that the COP asserted the urgent need for cooperation regarding conservation and sustainable use of deep sea biodiversity.

Roger Jones
,  (above right) International Maritime Organization (IMO), stressed the need to clarify the role and responsibilities of flag States, and highlighted relevant IMO initiatives.

Roger Parsons
, (above left) International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), presented IHO’s activities related to the production of accu­rate nautical charts and traffic navigational schemes to enhance navigational safety and reduce negative impacts on the marine environment.

Jean-François Pulvenis, (above right) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) , noted the poor implementation of relevant international instruments, and highlighted the FAO’s capacity-building efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Welcoming the establishment of the OCAN, AUSTRALIA underscored that programmes related to marine ecosystems and coral reef management needed to be better coordinated, and noted that governance of the high seas could be a core issue for the meeting’s discussions. Above left: Max Kitchell (Australia).

CANADA stressed the need to consider both emerging and ongoing issues, avoid piecemeal approaches and not create a bureaucratic mechanism.  Above right: Lori Ridgeway (Canada)



Delegates were presented with a documentary on “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea,” describing deep seabed ecosystems.

Peter Rona, Rutgers University, explained that research on the mid-ocean ridge, the largest geographic feature on Earth, has resulted in the discovery of life forms that survive on nutrients produced by microbes through chemosynthesis.

Kim Juniper
, (above left) Universit� du Qu�bec � Montr�al, presented results of scientific research regarding the deep seabed, including discoveries, applications and conservation issues related to hydro�thermal vents.

Amb. Satya Nandan
(above) highlighted that a voluntary code of conduct for hydrothermal vents could be a basis for developing guidelines for other deep seabed activities.

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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