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UN document On Law Of Sea Is step In Right Direction, Says Ambassador Prasad

UN document On Law Of Sea Is step In Right Direction, Says Ambassador Prasad
September 10
12:03 2018

Discussions on the elements of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) is a step in the right direction and one that will greatly benefit Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

This was Fiji’s message to the global community as it addressed the first inter-governmental conference on an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS at the UN Headquarters in New York the past week.

The discussion centres on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

And Fiji’s delegation represented at the meeting agreed that such a legal instrument for the high seas will have potentially far-reaching consequences for Ocean States such as Fiji.

In delivering Fiji’s statement, \ Captain (Navy) John Fox said the instrument needed to draw from UNCLOS as the overriding global instrument that governs law of the sea adding that the needs and interests of developing countries must remain at the forefront of negotiations.

Captain Fox admitted that there was limited capacity among SIDS to effectively implement such an instrument saying this was an area that needed to be addressed.

“Fiji and Pacific States need to understand better (the) marine resources available across their waters, the potential they have to contribute to medical, food and others industries and how climate, pollution and others stresses impact on these resources,” he said.

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Satyendra Prasad added that the instrument will help member states decide on conserving and sustainably using marine biological diversity beyond their national jurisdiction.

“In the absence of such an instrument, there was essentially a ‘free for all’ on the high seas,” Ambassador Prasad said.

“A healthy ocean will ensure a healthy and prosperous mankind, which is why there needs to be an instrument in place that helps ensure sustainable and equitable management of ocean resources especially in the high-seas where resources are deemed to be for the common heritage of mankind.”

He said the instrument will reinforce existing global commitments such as Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water, and other relevant sustainable development goals while at the same time, supplement gaps in existing regimes ensuring that conservation of the marine environment is strengthened.28660260284_7434bf2eba_b

“Fiji will devote its maximum energy in ensuring that we reach a successful outcome to these complex negotiations,” Ambassador Prasad said.

“In the past, Fiji has provided leadership when the Law of the Sea was being negotiated. It will not shy away from the responsibility now.

The Fijian delegation to the conference is being led by Ambassador Prasad, Captain (Navy) John Fox, Silipa Kubuabola, Semi Bolalailai, Alfred Ralifo, William Sokimi, Epeli Maisema and Salaseini Tagicakibau.

The conference will end on September 17.

Source: DEPTFO News



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