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Public Papers - 1991 - July

Message to the Senate Transmitting the Convention for a North Pacific Marine Science Organization


To the Senate of the United States:

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Convention for a North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), which was done at Ottawa on December 12, 1990, and signed by the United States on May 28, 1991. I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report by the Department of State with respect to the Convention.

I believe that the new organization to be created by the Convention will contribute significantly to understanding the role of the ocean in global change as well as address other pressing scientific problems in the northern North Pacific Ocean region. Since understanding global change is one of my highest scientific priorities, I believe that it is very important that the United States ratify the Convention in time to participate formally in the initial work of the organization.

PICES would advance scientific knowledge of the region's interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, and land, their role in and response to global weather and climate change, impacts on flora, fauna, ecosystems, and their uses, and responses to human activities, filling the current need for such coordination and cooperation in scientific research in the region. This may include:

regional aspects of some global change research;

research on living resources and their ecosystems, broader than traditional fisheries research, resulting in a sound scientific basis for taking living resoruce management decisions (although PICES itself would not deal with management);

research on pollution and environmental quality; and

other research that requires broad coordination and an interdiciplinary approach, including identification of pressing research problems and planning research programs, developing and cooredinating multinational research projects, promoting exchange of scientific data and information, and organizing scientific workshops and symposia.

Canada, the People's Republic of China, Japan, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States cooperated in the development of the Convention, which will enter into force following ratification, acceptance, or approval by three of the possible five signatory States. It is anticipated that the Convention will enter into force before the end of 1992. A few non-signatory nations are expected to accede to the Convention after it has entered into force.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and give its advice and consent to ratification.

George Bush

The White House,

July 9, 1991.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
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