21.06.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Review of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission work-plans

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission is a body with a unique mandate and place within the international system. The Commission was created in 1960 as a UNESCO body mandated to:
'promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research, services and capacity building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development and protection of the marine environment and the decision-making process of its Member States'.

Over the past 50 years, the UNESCO-IOC has led, coordinated and supported a complex, multilateral programme of oceanographic and related ocean research. Its work is currently structured around four programme areas – Ocean Observations and Services; Ocean Science; Tsunami Warning Systems; and Capacity Development.

Each year, the Executive Council reviews issues and items from on-going work plans, and makes preparations for the Assemblies, which meet once per biennium. The 45th session of the UNESCO-IOC Executive Council will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France on 26-28 June 2012.

On the previous day (Monday 25 June 2012), representatives of Member States are invited to participate in several working groups to prepare and facilitate the discussion and decision making process on the following items:

  • IOC Body of Experts on the Law of the Sea (IOC/ABE-LOS), chaired by Professor Adote' Blim Blivi
  • Advisory Group on Ocean Sciences, chaired by Dr Atanas Palazov;
  • Intersessional Financial Advisory Group and Working Group on Medium-term Strategy, chaired by Professor Peter M. Haugan;
  • Open-ended intersessional working group for the revision of the "Guidelines for the Preparation and Consideration of Draft Resolutions”, chaired by Professor Peter M.Haugan.

The members of the Executive Council are elected by IOC Member States (there are 139 to date) every two years during the Assembly. There are 40 seats on IOC Executive Council (1 Chairperson, 5 Vice-chairpersons and 34 Member States).

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