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PLENARY: The Conference will open at 10:00 am in Conference Room 2. The initial items on the agenda, as contained in document A/CONF.164/5, are primarily procedural in nature: opening of the Conference, election of the Chair, adoption of the rules of procedure, adoption of the agenda and election of officers other than the Chair. Other procedural matters to be discussed include the organization of work and the credentials of representatives for the Conference. After completion or postponement of these procedural items, the Plenary will turn to the substantive issues and commence three days of general statements. During the general debate, look for signals of government positions on the following issues: freedom to fish on the high seas versus the concept of global commons; announcements regarding commitments to a legally-binding UN agreement or treaty regulating fishing practices on the high seas; and the precautionary approach principle as applied to fisheries.

NGO ACTIVITIES: The NGO Strategy Session will meet at both 9:30 am and 6:30 pm in Conference Room C. These daily sessions will be devoted to sharing of information and discussing conference activities.

NGOs will also table a statement on straddling and highly migratory fish stocks today. This call for global fisheries reform has been endorsed by 55 NGOs from 25 countries. The primary emphasis of the statement is fisheries conservation, environmental protection and respect for the rights of traditional small-scale coastal fishing communities.

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