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Intergovernmental Processes

(1) Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP):

The United Nations Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP) was established in 2002 following a decision taken at the Seventh Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development to enhance the effectiveness of the annual review of developments relating to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea undertaken by the General Assembly. It has since then improved coordination and cooperation among States.

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(2) Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction:

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction was established by the General Assembly in 2004 to address gaps in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It examines issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group has been meeting regularly since 2006. The last meeting of the Working Group, held in January 2015, stressed the need for a comprehensive global regime to better address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction and resulted in the recommendation to develop an international legally-binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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(3) Regular process

The Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socio-economic Aspects (Regular process) was established by the General Assembly following a decision taken at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to strengthen the regular scientific assessment of the state of the marine environment in order to enhance the scientific basis for policy-making.

The start-up phase to the Regular Process, called the “assessment of assessments”, was concluded in 2009. A census of existing ocean assessments was conducted and consolidated in the Gramed database.

The output of the first cycle of the Regular Process, the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment (“World Ocean Assessment”), is under preparation and will be considered by the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole in September 2015 and a summary thereof will be considered by the United Nations General Assembly at its seventieth session.

It is expected to provide an overall assessment of the scale of human impact on the oceans and the overall value of the oceans to humans; the main threats to the marine environment and human economic and social well-being; the needs for capacity-building and effective approaches to meeting such needs; and the most serious gaps in knowledge and possible ways of filling them.

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