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Delegates from 70 countries, various international organizations and NGOs attended the second session of the Technical Committee on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 25-29 September 1995.

The Code of Conduct derived its beginnings from instructions of the FAO governing bodies. The Code has been formulated to be consistent with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It takes into account: the 1992 Declaration of Cancun; the 1992 Rio Declaration and the provisions of Agenda 21 of UNCED; the conclusions and recommendations of the 1992 FAO Technical Consultation on High Seas Fishing; the strategy endorsed by the 1984 FAO World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development, and other relevant instruments. The Code also takes into account the outcome of the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

Although application of the Code is voluntary, certain parts of it are based on relevant rules of international law. In this regard, certain provisions of the Code have been given binding effect by other obligatory legal instruments among Parties, such as the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas. The Flagging Agreement, according to FAO Conference resolution 15/93, forms an integral part of the Code.

The Code of Conduct contains 12 articles. Article 1 deals with the nature and scope of the Code. The Code is global in scope and is directed towards members and non-members of the FAO, fishing entities, governmental and non-governmental organizations and all persons concerned with the conservation, management and development of fisheries, especially fishworkers and those engaged in the processing and marketing of fish and fishery products.

Article 2 deals with the objectives of the Code and covers matters relating to the relevant rules of international law, the contribution of fisheries to food security, the protection of living aquatic resources and their environments and coastal areas.

Article 3 deals with the Code's relationship with other international instruments and how the Code is to be interpreted and applied. Article 4 deals with implementation, monitoring and updating of the Code. The FAO, through its competent bodies, may revise the Code, taking into account developments in fisheries. States and international organizations are urged to promote the understanding of the Code, which would promote its voluntary acceptance and effective application.

Article 5 provides for the special requirements of developing countries, especially in areas of financial an [Return to start of article]