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The first session of the Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks met from 12-30 July 1993 at UN Headquarters in New York. The Plenary addressed the major issues before it, guided by the Chair's summary of the issues. The Plenary held formal sessions on each of the issues outlined and then adjourned to allow informal consultations to continue. At each of these informal meetings, Nandan presented the group with a working paper that summarized the issues raised in the Plenary and papers submitted by interested delegations.

The major issues discussed at the first session were: the nature of conservation and management measures to be established through cooperation; the mechanisms for international cooperation; regional fisheries management organizations or arrangements; flag State responsibilities; compliance and enforcement of high seas fisheries and management measures; responsibilities of port States; non-parties to a subregional or regional agreement or arrangement; dispute settlement; compatibility and coherence between national and international conservation measures for the same stocks; special requirements of developing countries; review of the implementation of conservation and management measures; and minimum data requirements for the conservation and management of these stocks. At the conclusion of the session, the Chair tabled a draft negotiating text that will serve as the basis for negotiation at this session of the Conference.

During the first substantive session, a core group of Like-Minded coastal States, consisting of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Iceland and New Zealand, tabled document A/CONF.164/L.11, a "Draft Convention on the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks on the High Seas". The document was later revised and reissued as A/CONF.164/L.11/Rev.1.

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