United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Barbados

Permanent Mission
of Barbados to
the United Nations
INTERVENTION BY
SENATOR THE HON. MAXINE MCCLEAN
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND FOREIGN TRADE
BARBADOS
AT
PARTNERSHIP DIALOGUE 7
OF THE
UNITED NATIONS OCEAN CONFERENCE
OF THE
71sr SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
9 JUNE, 2017
United Nations Headquarters
New York
please check against delivery
Thank you Mr. Moderator,
Barbados is pleased to participate in today's partnership dialogue on
"Enhancing the Conservation and Sustainable use of Oceans and their
resources by implementing international law as reflected in the UN
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)".
As I would have indicated in our statement in the plenary debate,
Barbados recognises UNCLOS as the overarching legal framework for
all activities of the oceans and seas.
As a framework agreement, UNCLOS is by nature broad in scope.
Hence there has been a need to develop two implementing agreements
to date, and discussions are ongoing towards the development of a third
implementing agreement under UNCLOS. These instruments seek to
provide specific modalities for managing the inter-connected, but
oftentimes competing uses of the oceans.
For small island nations such as Barbados, the maritime area over
which they exercise jurisdiction is immensely greater than their land
territory. The economic benefits that stand to accrue from sustainable
management and exploitation of the living and non-living resources in
this vast "new" frontier is inestimable. However, there are challenges
related to both the preservation and protection of that marine space as
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well as the ability to exploit sustainably, the resources contained therein
for the socio-economic development of the state.
In the Caribbean, the geographical proximity of several neighbouring
independent states give rise to overlapping maritime entitlements under
UN CLOS. The delimitation of boundaries - knowing precisely where
the limits of one state's jurisdiction ends and where the jurisdiction of
another begins - often require specialised (hydrographic and legal)
expertise.
Following the demarcation of boundaries, and in order to exercise
effective jurisdiction over one's maritime space, additional human
resources, technology and equipment are needed to assist with mapping
and charting as well as monitoring the range of human uses of the
ocean, including fishing, mineral extraction, shipping/transportation
and recreation. These specialised resources are often not resident in our
countries.
Mr. Moderator,
With respect to fisheries, small developing countries such as Barbados
continue to face challenges that prevent the efficient functioning and
operation of the sector. Many of these challenges stem from limited
financial and human resources and the institutional capacity required to
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deal with the numerous threats confronting the sector. These threats
include:
i. an upsurge in illegal, unregulated and unreported
(IUU) fishing activities; and
ii. ineffective monitoring, control and surveillance
systems and enforcement mechanisms
We believe that the strengthening of regional ocean
management/governance mechanisms, including regional fisheries
management arrangements and the promotion of greater levels of
interaction and sharing of best practices across existing regional ocean
governance entities could assist in addressing the challenges posed by
limited human resource and technological capacities of developing
states.
As CARICOM indicated its submission to this partnership dialogue,
there are no less than six ( 6) major global networks addressing the key
issues of biodiversity, fisheries, pollution and climate change. These
are primarily led by UN agencies each comprising a global secretariat
and several regional sub-bodies. In addition, there are approximately
sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) regional networks that include the regional
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sub-bodies, 'indigenous' regional organisations, regional arms of
global NGOs and regional NGOs.
The effectiveness of UN Oceans has, however, been limited due to lack
of focus and resources. Additionally, given that the full set of global
arrangements is larger than the mandate of UN Oceans there is the need
for a mechanism with broader reach to provide integration and support
connectivity of global and regional arrangements. Without this, the
likelihood of significant progress towards SDG Target 14.C will be
substantially diminished.
Barbados therefore shares the view that the plethora of global and
regional networks, if rationalised, connected and strengthened could
provide a working global ocean governance framework for oceans that
will enable achievement of the SDG 14 targets.
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