ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – About Us

Background

The eight coastal States of the Region (Bahrain, I.R. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) have been aware for a number of years of the vital necessity to coordinate a common action to protect the semi-enclosed sea surrounded by them. This great concern to protect the marine environment against pollution from various sources, prompted the State of Kuwait to propose in 1973 to the United Nations Environment Programmes (UNEP) that Kuwait is desirous of hosting an inter-governmental meeting of the States of the Region in order to develop necessary measures towards the matter. Later in 1974, the Representatives of the States of the Region, who were present at the Second Session of the UNEP Governing Council, brought to the attention of the Governing Council the interest in having UNEP associated with plans for the development of a programme to deal with environmental problems of the Region. In 1976 the UNEP Governing Council at its Fourth Session approved the action of the Government of Kuwait in proceeding with preparatory work for convening a regional conference to protect the area in question against pollution, which may give rise to an agreement entitled: “Kuwait Regional Agreement for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution” or such other words as may be decided upon at the time of the conference.

The preparations for a Conference of the governments of the Region started a few months later with the organization of an inter-agency mission, sponsored by the United Nations Ocean Economics and Technology Office and the United Nations Environment Programme, which visited the eight States of the Region, between March-May 1976. Based on the mission findings, a preliminary Action Plan dealing with the scientific and socio-economic aspects of a comprehensive programme for the protection and development of the marine environment and coastal areas in the Region was prepared and was discussed at an interagency consultation held in Geneva from 12-13 October 1976. In addition, for the purpose of assisting the Governments of the Region in developing a draft Regional Agreement for the Protection of the marine environment against pollution, a Task Force Meeting on Legal Instruments for Marine Regions was held in Nairobi from 1-5 November 1976, at which a draft Agreement for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment against Pollution (submitted by the Government of Kuwait) was discussed, and prepared preliminary drafts of a Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution and a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency. These were later circulated to the concerned government authorities, UN bodies and specialized agencies for their comments.

A consultative meeting of government-nominated experts from all States of the Region, as well as experts from UN specialized agencies, was convened in Kuwait from 6-10 December 1976 with the objective to seek the advice of experts from the eight countries of the Region and thus to reformulate the draft Action Plan aimed at the development and protection of the marine environment and coastal areas. Subsequently, a Meeting of Legal/Technical Experts from the Region as well as from UN specialized agencies was convened in Bahrain from 24-28 January 1977. At that meeting the experts reviewed the preliminary drafts of the Action Plan, the Convention and the Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in cases of Emergency, and prepared revised draft texts to be further studied by the concerned government authorities and the UN specialized agencies.

An expert meeting was convened from 13-18 June 1977 at Nairobi with the objective to review and prepare final drafts of the Action Plan, the Convention and the Protocol, in order to be presented to the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries for approval and adoption.

KUWAIT REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF 1978
A Regional Conference was convened in Kuwait between 15-23 April 1978, which was attended by the Plenipotentiaries as well as legal and technical experts from the eight States of the Region. The Conference adopted the following documents:

a) Kuwait Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Areas.

b) Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution.

c) Protocol concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency.

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/aboutus.htm

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