I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union believes that better co-ordination and co-operation between states, relevant international organisations and agencies and other stakeholders, at both global and regional levels, is essential if we are to improve sustainable management of the oceans and their resources. As we have indicated already this week, in our view the Informal Consultative Process plays an important part in these efforts. We hope that the recommendations that issue from our meeting this week will be endorsed by the General Assembly and will lead to an enhancement of integrated oceans management, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biological diversity beyond the limits of national jurisdiction and in the establishment of an effective process of Global Marine Assessment.
Accordingly, in suggesting themes for future consideration by the Informal Consultative Process the European Union wishes to keep in mind this objective of better international co-ordination and co-operation.
We have in past years suggested that issues such as “Marine Protected Areas”, “Flag State Responsibilities” and “Navigation in Ecologically Sensitive Areas” would benefit from focused consideration at future ICP Meetings. This remains our view. Additionally, if this meeting can agree to recommend to the General Assembly that an expert working group prepare proposals for improved governance arrangements for the protection of marine biodiversity beyond the limits of national jurisdiction then the European Union believes that these proposals should be the subject of consideration at the ICP meeting immediately following their publication.
Finally, as next year will mark the last year of the second three year cycle of ICP Meetings before the mandate of the Process is reconsidered by the General Assembly, the European Union believes that it may be appropriate to review progress on issues considered at earlier Meetings of the ICP.
Thank you, Mr. Co-Chairman.