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Public Papers - 1990 - September

Message to the Congress Transmitting the South Pacific Environmental Protection Convention and Protocols


To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region, with Annex, and the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the South Pacific Region by Dumping, with Annexes, done at Noumea, New Caledonia, on November 24, 1986. The report of the Department of State in respect of the Convention and Protocol is attached for the information of the Senate. I also transmit to the Senate, for its information, the Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific Region.

The Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region will create general legal obligations designed to protect the marine environment of the region from a variety of sources of marine pollution. In so doing, the Convention provides new environmental protection for American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as for the Convention area generally.

The Convention and its Protocols on dumping and pollution emergencies entered into force on August 22, 1990. Ten countries have ratified or acceded to the Convention. These are: France, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Western Samoa, and the Cook Islands. Expeditious U.S. ratification of the Convention and Protocol would demonstrate not only our commitment to the protection of the marine environment of the South Pacific but our continuing political commitment to the region as well. It would also allow the United States to participate fully at the first meeting of Parties, which will likely establish the financial and institutional arrangements for implementing the Convention.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification, subject to the two understandings described in the accompanying report of the Secretary of State.

George Bush

The White House,

September 25, 1990.

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