ASSISTANCE FUND UNDER PART VII OF THE AGREEMENT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA OF 10 DECEMBER 1982 RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF STRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS

Updated 28 April 2011

Background information

On 4 August 1995 the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks adopted without a vote the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (“the Agreement”), thus discharging the mandate given to it by General Assembly resolution 47/192. The Agreement entered into force on 11 December 2001.

Part VII of the Agreement addresses the “Requirements of Developing States.” In particular, article 25 of the Agreement requires States Parties to cooperate in order to enhance the ability of developing States to conserve and manage straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks and to develop their own fisheries for such stocks; to enable their participation in high seas fisheries for such stocks and to facilitate their participation in sub-regional and regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements. One of the forms of cooperation identified in article 25 is the provision of financial assistance. In this regard, in accordance with article 26 of the Agreement, States shall cooperate to establish special funds to assist developing States in the implementation of the Agreement. 

In its resolution 57/143 of 17 December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly recognized that one component of a programme of assistance to be developed in accordance with Part VII of the Agreement should be the establishment of a voluntary trust fund within the United Nations system and urged the States Parties to the Agreement to develop its terms of reference. At their second informal consultations in 2003, the States Parties to the Agreement  agreed on the Terms of Reference of an Assistance Fund and recommended that the General Assembly establish such a fund.

At its 58th session the General Assembly, by resolution 58/14 of 24 November 2003, decided to establish the “Assistance Fund under Part VII of the Agreement” ("the Fund") to assist developing States Parties in the implementation of the Agreement.

The General Assembly decided also that the Fund was to be administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as the implementing office for the Fund, in collaboration with the United Nations, in accordance with the terms of reference and appropriate arrangements made between them.

In August 2004, the United Nations (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea) and the FAO (Fisheries Department) concluded the necessary arrangements for the administration of the Fund, following the setting up of a trust fund account by FAO, in accordance with paragraph 7 of the Terms of Reference of the Fund.

 

Purpose of the Assistance Fund 

The purpose of this Fund is to provide financial assistance to developing States Parties to the Agreement in order to assist them in the implementation of the Agreement in accordance with its Part VII.

In particular, paragraph 14 of the Terms of Reference of the Fund provides that financial assistance from the Fund may be sought for the following purposes:

  a) Facilitating the participation of representatives from developing States Parties, in particular the least-developed among them and small island developing States Parties to the Agreement, in the meetings and activities of relevant regional and sub-regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements.

 b) Assisting with travel costs, and if appropriate daily subsistence allowances, associated with the participation of developing States Parties, in particular the least-developed among them and small island developing States Parties to the Agreement, in relevant meetings concerning high seas fisheries of relevant global organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization and other specialised agencies, the Global Environment Facility, the Commission on Sustainable Development and other appropriate international and regional organisations and bodies.

 c) Supporting ongoing and future negotiations to establish new regional or subregional fisheries management organizations and arrangements in areas where such bodies are not currently in place, to renegotiate founding agreements for such organizations and arrangements and to strengthen existing subregional and regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements in accordance with the Agreement.

 d) Building capacity for activities in key areas such as effective exercise of flag State responsibilities, monitoring, control and surveillance, data collection and scientific research relevant to straddling and highly migratory fish stocks on a national and/or regional level.

 e) Facilitating exchange of information and experience on the implementation of the Agreement.

 f) Assisting developing States Parties to the Agreement, in particular the least-developed among them and small island developing States, with human resources development, technical training, and technical assistance in relation to conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks and development of fisheries for such stocks, consistent with the duty to ensure the proper conservation and management of such stocks.

 g) Assisting in meeting the costs involved in proceedings for the settlement of disputes between States Parties to the Agreement concerning the interpretation or application of the Agreement in accordance with Part VIII of the Agreement or proceedings concerning the interpretation or application of a subregional, regional or global fishery agreement relating to straddling fish stocks or highly migratory fish stocks to which they are parties, including any dispute concerning the conservation and management of such stocks and complementary to any assistance provided under the ITLOS Trust Fund established by General Assembly resolution 55/7 or the Trust Fund for the International Court of Justice established by General Assembly resolution 47/444 or the financial assistance fund established by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.  

 

Contributions to the Assistance Fund

The United Nations and the FAO invite States, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, national institutions, non-governmental organizations, as well as natural and juridical persons, to make voluntary financial contributions to the Fund.

Particular emphasis is placed on the potential involvement of donor organizations as contributors to the Fund, as indicated by General Assembly resolution 58/14.

Contributions to the Fund should be made to the trust fund account established by FAO in accordance with paragraph 7 of the Terms of Reference of the Fund.

 

Application procedures

 Any developing State party to the Agreement can submit an application for financial assistance from the Fund. An application can also be submitted on behalf of a developing State party by an appropriate sub-regional or regional organization or arrangement.

 An application by a developing State party must be submitted by way of an official communication from the relevant national authority of the applicant, for example, its Permanent Mission to United Nations or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 An application by a subregional or regional organization or arrangement on behalf of a developing State Party must be accompanied by an official communication from the relevant national authority of the developing State Party confirming that the application is submitted on its behalf.

 Applications must be submitted to DOALOS using the application form provided below and addressed to:

The Director
The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations
Room DC2-0450
New York, N.Y. 10017
U.S.A.

Applications may be submitted by mail to the address above, by fax (fax number: +1 212 963 5847), or by email (email address: DOALOS).  An application which is submitted by email must also be submitted by mail or fax.

Applications must be submitted to DOALOS at least one month before the date of the relevant event or activity for which assistance is requested.

Application Form (.doc)

Application Form (.pdf)

 

Reporting obligation

  In accordance with paragraph 23 of the Terms of Reference of the Fund, a recipient of financial assistance from the Fund is required to submit a report to FAO on the purpose and outcome of the approved expenditure. The suggested outline for a report on the purpose and outcome of approved expenditure in respect of travel costs is provided below.

  Please note that failure to provide a report promptly may affect the decision concerning any future application for assistance.

Suggested outline for a report (.doc)

Suggested outline for a report  (.pdf)

 

Prepared by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations.

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