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6 - 17 November 2017  
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     Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Fiji pushes for legal agreement to strengthen law of seas

A Fijian delegation led by Fiji’s Ambassador-at-Large Amena Yauvoli is in New York attending the first meeting on the development of an internationally legally binding instrument under the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

Fiji is committed to development an agreement that deals with conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. 

Ambassador Yauvoli, when delivering Fiji's statement, commended the international community for their commitment towards developing this legal binding agreement. He stressed the need for the implementing agreement to ensure complementarity with UNCLOS.

He said that it must also recognise that the scope and the general applicability of the proposed agreement should include all living resources in the areas beyond national jurisdiction- from water columns to those on the seabed. Ambassador Yauvoli said that current and emerging issues such as climate change and ocean acidification needed to be considered and reflected in the agreement. 

He said that Fiji, like other small island developing states recognised the need for capacity building. He added that the method in the proposed agreement should derive a formula that is responsive to the current capacity needs of the developing countries. 

At the outset Fiji aligned herself with the statements of the Group of 77+ China and the Pacific Small Islands Developing States. The high seas make up 45 per cent of the surface of our planet and together with the seabed area on the sea floor, it is home to incredibly diverse and mostly unknown biodiversity and unique ecosystems. 

Ambassador Yauvoli said those areas were subjected to threats like overfishing, destructive fishing practices, pollution, habitat destruction, degradation and the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. 

 

Fiji Delegation for UNCLOSS meeting

PHOTO CAPTION- Fiji delegation at the UNCLOSS meeting 

 Front: Salote Tagivakatini (PFSO MoFA); Amena Yauvoli (Ambassador at Large: Oceans & Climate Change); William Sokimi (Technical Officer: Fisheries & Forests)

Back: Peni Suveinakama (SS Fiji UN Mission); Semisi Seruitanoa (PSIDS Oceans Fellow); Jope Davetanivalu (SPREP)