Draft resolutions on Oceans and Law of the Sea, and Sustainable Fisheries
General Assembly meeting on Oceans and the Law of the Sea
11 December, 2012
The draft resolutions on Oceans and Law of the Sea, and Sustainable Fisheries were adopted. Trinidad and Tobago (while introducing the draft resolution), SIDS, Maldives and India made references to the Oceans Compact as detailed below. Argentina and Singapore, who shared their concerns at the Oceans Compact briefing with the ED, delivered statements during the Plenary but made no reference to the Compact. Other countries who spoke include the United States, the EU, Norway, Russian Federation, Japan and China.
The General Assembly adopted the draft resolution on Oceans and Law of the Sea 125 yes- 1 no (Turkey) - 4 abstain (Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Venezuela). References to the Rio outcome were contained throughout the resolution, especially in the section on marine environment and marine resources. In that context, States were called to take action on several issues, especially as they related to the health of the oceans and marine biodiversity, which were negatively affected by marine pollution, including marine debris. Before the resolution was adopted, CARICOM (Jamaica) said oil spills and ballast water exchange posed threats to the region’s marine environment and its fragile ecosystems, praising the partnerships formed between the UNEP and the Caribbean Environment Programme to try and tackle waste water management, sanitation and sustainable tourism and other issues in the wider Caribbean region. Trinidad and Tobago, while introducing the resolution, noted that it calls for open and regular consultations with Member States on all aspects of the Oceans Compact. Samoa, on behalf of the SIDS, praised the Secretary-General on the Oceans Compact Initiative, which it said, provided a strategic vision for the United Nations system to deliver on its ocean-related mandates and for all stakeholders to work towards achieving the shared objective of “Healthy Oceans for Prosperity”. Maldives hoped that the Compact would create a platform for all stakeholders to collaborate and accelerate progress, as the preservation of the oceans was vital to the wellbeing of all future generations. Given the strategies contained in the Compact, it was keen to see results that displayed an increase in the sustainable management of ocean resources and a general improvement in the health of the oceans. India noted the launch of the Oceans Compact and said it was important that the requirement of the initiative and its objective were carved out in an open and regular consultation with the Member States. It stressed that any duplication with the work of ongoing initiatives and processes be avoided. The draft resolution on Sustainable Fisheries was adopted without a vote. Further information is available at http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2012/ga11325.doc.htm.