The two-day regional workshop on the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) and the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI), began here today to assist the regular process of global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including social and economic aspects.

HE Dr Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, said that the regular process is a global mechanism established by the States after the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development, held in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Its objective was to periodically review the human, economic and social aspects of the world's oceans and seas. He noted that it was a governmental process guided by international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant international conventions, and took into account the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly.

In his opening speech, HE Dr Al Hammadi stressed that Qatar supports this process because it believes that it will contribute to strengthening the regular scientific assessment of the state of the marine environment in order to expand the scientific basis for the development and management of national marine policies.

His Excellency added: "We, in the State of Qatar, have followed with keen interest the progress which this process went through as a result of successive UN General Assembly resolutions, the most recent of which was resolution 66/231 (2011) on the criteria for the appointment of experts and guidelines for regional workshops aimed at assisting regular process."

He added that the first cycle of the process had been successfully completed with issuance of the first world ocean assessment, which had been an important stage in laying the groundwork for future work, noting that the General Assembly had subsequently launched the second cycle of the regular process in 2015, followed by expert groups appointed by regional groups, expressing his belief that the most important activities to support the second cycle were the convening of regional workshops.

His Excellency noted that the main objective of this workshop was to assist the second world assessment process by collecting data at the regional level, and that the meeting in Doha is an opportunity for members of the report writing team to meet and share ideas and many other goals, adding that the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea of the State of Qatar have made every effort possible to ensure the success of the workshop, as agreed upon with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea.

The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that Qatar's hosting of this regional workshop was a clear indication of its commitment to the importance of the world assessment process, which he considered an encouraging factor for countries in other regions to follow the same path in order to serve the ultimate goal of preserving and developing the marine environment for future generations.

Concluding, HE Dr Al Hammadi thanked the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea for its efforts to provide secretarial assistance for the regular process, as mandated by the UN General Assembly, and for their permanent cooperation with the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea in various fields within its mandate.

Yousef Ibrahim Al Hamar, Chairman of the Workshop, member of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and representative of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, delivered a welcoming speech at the beginning of the workshop.

Talking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Al Hamar said the aim of the workshop, as well as the data collection process to assist in the second world assessment process, was to exchange information on marine areas around the world, including the Gulf and Indian Ocean environment, as well as aspects of training and cooperation in the fields, which were included in the regional workshop, adding that the workshop will come out with recommendations that would be included in its final report.

The two-day workshop will review a series of observations, assessments and presentations by experts and coordinators concerned on capacity building opportunities related to the regular process and outcomes of workshops for the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, ROPME and RECOFI area, held in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania last December and in Bali, Indonesia in November 2018, in addition to a speech by the secretariat of the regular process, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations United Nations, and other matters related to the regional workshop.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs