Daily report for 25 August 1994
3rd Session of the FSA
The Chair, Satya Nandan, convened the Plenary to offer delegatesthe opportunity to present general statements on the text of hisdraft agreement (the "Draft Agreement").
PERU: The delegate said that the Draft Agreement is thefirst step towards truly effective conservation and management ofthe marine living resources. He underlined the objective, which isto ensure the long-term sustainable use of the stocks in questionby implementing relevant provisions of UNCLOS. He said that we arenot starting from zero but giving effect to what was agreed to inthe last Law of the Sea Conference. The Draft Agreement applies toconservation and management measures in the high seas, with theexception of articles that apply mutatis mutandis in areasof national jurisdiction. Not included in the Draft Agreement areemergency situations that would allow adopting immediate measuresto ensure the conservation of fish stocks, and there is noprovision enabling States to prohibit unloading of catches.
EU: The representative of the EU stated that a bindinginstrument may have advantages, yet procedures can betime-consuming, especially in controversial matters. The concept ofbiological unity and compatibility of conservation and managementmeasures remain crucial in order to avoid setting double standards.The Conference should take count of its achievements, especially inthe context of the FAO Compliance Agreement.
CHILE: The delegate of Chile said that the scope ofapplication should refer to straddling fish stocks and to highlymigratory fish stocks located on the high seas, particularly inareas adjacent to the EEZ. Conservation and management measures ofstraddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks that applyto the coastal State within the EEZ should be taken with theconsent of that State. The biological unity within the range ofthe stocks must be recognized. Only a legally binding conventionwill achieve effective implementation.
BRAZIL: He stated that the present text may not haveprovisions that were present in the Chair's Revised NegotiatingText ("RNT"). He said that a more substantive role for the coastalState has to be defined in this text. Future negotiations withinregional organizations will allow for a political margin.
INDONESIA: The delegate of Indonesia supported Peru, Chile,and Brazil on two major points: the Draft Agreement should notdetract from the powers of the coastal State in its own EEZ andcoastal States have specific interests in the conservation andmanagement of the high seas adjacent to their EEZ. In Article 3,the concept of rights of coastal States is not mentioned, and yetcoastal States do not just have obligations. He also stated thatAnnex 2 was more readable, although paragraph 7 on fishingmortality rate should be simplified. In the next session of theConference, he said that a one-half day meeting for regional groupsto coordinate views should be provided.
ARGENTINA: The Argentinean representative said that heappreciated the format of a convention and the fact that the textis shorter, clearer, and does not have excessive details. Valuableideas that appeared in the RNT have disappeared, and he supportedsuggestions made by Peru and Chile that would be useful forinvesting the Draft Agreement with greater balance. A clause onprovisional application of the Draft Agreement, similar to that inthe Agreement on the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS, should beadded.
KOREA: The delegate of Korea stated that conservation andmanagement of the stocks concerned should not be confined to thehigh seas but extend to sea areas under national jurisdiction. Hedid not feel that a consensus has been reached on the binding formof the document. The present text should read "The Chair'sNegotiating Text". He said that he is greatly concerned aboutarrest and detention provisions and possible abuses by States.
INDIA: The Indian representative supported Argentina and allprevious Latin American speakers in endorsing the basic points ofthe Draft Agreement. It should preserve the sovereign rights of thecoastal States in the EEZ. Secondly, coastal States have a specialinterest in fisheries in the high seas adjoining their coast.Thirdly, conservation and management measures should be applicable,by-and-large, to the stocks in question. The Voluntary Fund mightbe more effective and substantial, and financial resources shouldbe available to developing countries without reservation. He didnot agree with the title of the Draft Agreement, and thought itwould be preferable if it read "Draft Agreement for Conservationand Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory FishStocks".
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: The delegate of the Russian Federationsuggested calling the document "The Fish Paper". The draft is agood basis for continuing work, and he supported Peru, Indonesia,Chile, Brazil and Argentina. In the future work of the Conference,it is important to focus on efforts ensuring the implementation ofenforcement measures. In the application of the precautionaryapproach, a mechanism for interim measures should be provided forstocks seriously being depleted. Regarding conservation measures,he stated that an ecological approach is beneficial, and that thefocus should be on strengthening this approach. He stated thatwhile there had been a detailed discussion on enclaves, Article 14does not fully resolve the issue. He expressed hope that in thefuture sessions this matter could be resolved.
JAPAN: The delegate from Japan said that the text was morebalanced but added that further revisions are needed. It should bereviewed in terms of structure, content and wording. He supportedKorea and said that there is no consensus reached yet on thequestion of form. Each coastal State and distant water fishingState must study the relationship and consistency of the documentwith UNCLOS, other treaty obligations, and domestic legislativesystems. He said that his delegation had, in regards to flag Stateresponsibility, supported the document in its entirety, assumingthat the result would be a non-binding document. He also said thathe could not support any attempt to change the substance of the FAOCompliance Agreement.
MEXICO: The delegate said he agreed with Peru, Chile andArgentina and supported Brazil's view that the negotiation shouldbe on technical aspects and not on the political factors. Thechapter on the participation of the developing countries ought tobe strengthened, and financial mechanisms that do not involve theVoluntary Fund should also be put in place.
POLAND: The Polish representative said that he did notexpect to deal with the text of a binding draft agreement. He addedthat the mandate of this Conference should apply strictly tostraddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks throughouttheir range and not in just one area. The notion of biologicalunity should be clarified, and the right of the coastal States toarrest and detain vessels on the high seas revisited, as would bethe right of port States vis- -vis foreign vessels.
ICELAND: The delegate welcomed the form of a full-fledgedconvention and said that the draft reflected a constructive basisfor compromise of views at this and previous sessions. He expressedconcern that the rights of the coastal States in their own EEZswere not reflected sufficiently well.
AUSTRALIA: Speaking on behalf of the South Pacific ForumFisheries Agency, the Australian delegate said that the textappeared well balanced and was a sound basis for furthernegotiations toward a strong and binding outcome. He said, however,that the balance of the RNT had been altered with regard to thecompatibility of measures on the high seas and in the EEZs, andthat he had possible reservations on Article 3 that deals with theapplication of the Draft Agreement.
SENEGAL: The representative said that the new text toucheson the responsibilities of all the States involved, but it stillneeds to be improved so that there are no loopholes for those whoviolate the conservation and management measures. The applicationof the measures on the high seas should be more strict and therights of the coastal States in their EEZ should be more protected.
CHINA: The Chinese delegate said that no consensus hasemerged on whether the outcome of this Conference should be alegally binding document, and that all opinions should be takeninto account. He agreed with Korea that the title of the documentshould be changed to better reflect the present situation. He alsoexpressed concern over the provisions that deal with the issues ofenforcement on the high seas, the abuse of rights on the high seas,the principles to be followed when new organizations are set up,and the relationship between this document, UNCLOS and FAOdocuments.
ECUADOR: The representative said that in order to beacceptable, the draft should have a better balance between thevarious interests at stake. He agreed with several Latin AmericanStates and the Russian Federation on the issues of the norms ofapplication, dispute settlement and port State jurisdiction.
NORWAY: The delegate expressed the same concern over thebalance of interests, which tilts too much in favor of distantwater fishing States. The question of enclosed and semi-enclosedareas and the criteria for new entrants to regional organizationsalso need to be looked into.
URUGUAY: The representative said that the draft bindingdocument is the main success of this session, as its objective isthe conservation and sustainable use of stocks, pursuant to theimplementation of UNCLOS. He said that Article 3 on applicationshould not affect the rights of coastal States in their EEZs andadded that the adoption of provisional measures by the coastalStates should be permitted.
CANADA: The Canadian representative said that thelaissez-faire practices of the past do not work and we need abinding convention that has teeth. He also noted that the word"compromise" was hardly ever heard and that the issue of the rightsof coastal States in the EEZ has been solved and should not bereopened.
PHILIPPINES: The delegate said that like "Ambrosia fromOlympus", the fish are no longer there, as the species have beenharvested to the point of exhaustion. The Heads of State in Riorecognized that States are bound morally and politically tocooperate, and he added that this Conference is also linked to theWorld Summit for Social Development.
KENYA: The Kenyan representative said he appreciated thebalance of the text and that he remained convinced that the goalsof conservation and management would be attained. He also suggestedthat an annex be added where straddling fish stocks and highlymigratory fish stocks would be clearly defined and listed.
MOROCCO: The delegate associated himself with those whoexpressed the wish to see more explicit rights for the coastalStates, as reflected in UNCLOS. He welcomed the spirit of courtesyand seriousness that has prevailed despite the diametricallyopposed views expressed by the delegates.
MAURITANIA: The delegate said that as a coastal State thatdepends on fishing, Mauritania hopes that the delegates will beable to take practical and binding measures, but that this effortis complementary to UNCLOS and should not undermine it. He saidthat particular emphasis should be placed on the needs ofdeveloping countries so that they are able to fish on the high seasas well.
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA: Speaking on behalf ofthe Canadian Oceans Caucus, the representative of UNAC asked thatreferences to marine conservation areas be highlighted in the text.These areas have been set up in the EEZs of New Zealand, theNetherlands, and the UK. They protect ecosystems and promotebiological diversity.
The Chair said that he felt this had been a very useful exchange ofviews and that it would serve as a good basis for negotiation inthe next session. The text has been edited slightly and it will bereedited, although Thursday's comments were not taken into account.Sweden said that it would make a statement on Friday. The Chairacknowledged this request and adjourned the Plenary.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will convene briefly this morning at11:00 am in Conference Room 2. The Chair and some delegates areexpected to make general statements and the Credentials Committeeshould present its report.