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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2012

New Zealand Statement Introducing UNGA Sustainable Fisheries Resolution

Statement by HE Jim McLay, New Zealand Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 11 December 2012

Mr President –

My delegation is pleased to join many others in co-sponsoring the draft resolution entitled “Oceans and the law of the sea” (A/67/L.21), just introduced by Trinidad and Tobago; and we complement Ambassador Eden Charles on his careful husbanding of that draft.  New Zealand also had the honour to coordinate the informal consultations on the draft resolution on sustainable fisheries (A/67/L.22), and is pleased now to introduce that text, on behalf of all its sponsors.

This year’s draft resolution on sustainable fisheries once again addresses critical issues, such as –

The draft resolution also recognises, for the first time, the need to collect data on the use of fish aggregating devices, so as to improve monitoring and mitigation measures for these devices.

Although more work is needed to manage shared fish stocks with greater certainty for their long-term sustainability, RFMOs remain the best mechanisms for cooperatively regulating international fisheries.

A number of RFMOs have conducted systematic reviews of their performance, and are now assessing and implementing the recommendations of those reviews.  These reforms include taking steps to improve States’ implementation, enforcement of and compliance with the rules they adopt as members of such organisations, including meeting their responsibilities as Flag States.

Mr President –

The relevant outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012 (Rio+20), have been a key focus for this year’s draft resolution on sustainable fisheries - and this resolution welcomes those outcomes. 

Rio+20 –

The draft resolution reflects commitments made by States at Rio+20 on the need -

The resolution reflects Rio+20’s recognition of the need for transparency and accountability in fisheries management by RFMOs.  And it also reflects the call for the adoption, by 2014, of strategies to assist developing countries - particularly least developed countries and small island developing states - in developing their national capacity to conserve, sustainably manage and realise the benefits of sustainable fisheries.

Mr President –

New Zealand thanks Director Serguei Tarassenko and the staff of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea for their expertise and support on both draft resolutions. And, again, we thank Ambassador Eden Charles of Trinidad and Tobago for his expert coordination of the draft resolution on oceans and the law of the sea.

And I express my appreciation for the hard work and co-operation of delegations’ in crafting both draft resolutions.  It is our hope that this spirit of co-operation will be maintained as we continue to address the numerous and complex issues that face our oceans and fisheries.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:49 NZDT