Protocol Amending 1949 Convention of Inter-American Tropical Tuna CommissionSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 107-2
Treaty DocumentShow Overview
Text - Treaty Document: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 107-2All Information (Except Treaty Text)
A Senate treaty document provides the text of the treaty as transmitted to the Senate, as well as the transmittal letter from the President, the submittal letter from the Secretary of State, and accompanying papers.
Text of Treaty Document available as:
For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Senate Treaty Document 107-2] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] 107th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 1st Session 107-2 _______________________________________________________________________ PROTOCOL AMENDING 1949 CONVENTION OF INTER-AMERICAN TROPICAL TUNA COMMISSION __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting PROTOCOL TO AMEND THE 1949 CONVENTION ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTER- AMERICAN TROPICAL TUNA COMMISSION, DONE AT GUAYAQUIL, JUNE 11, 1999, AND SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES, SUBJECT TO RATIFICATION, IN GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, ON THE SAME DATE January 8, 2001.--The Protocol was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 89-118 WASHINGTON : 2001 LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, January 8, 2001. 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 Protocol to Amend the 1949 Convention on the Establishment of an Inter- American Tropical Tuna Commission, done at Guayaquil, June 11, 1999, and signed by the United States, subject to ratification, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on the same date. In addition, I transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Protocol. The Protocol will not require implementing legislation. The Protocol amends the Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Commission, done at Washington May 31, 1949, and entered into force March 3, 1950 (the ``Convention''), to allow the European Union to become a member of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) created under the Convention. Presently, the Convention is only open to governments of states. The Protocol will, upon entry into force, allow regional economic integration organizations like the European Union to become a party to the Convention and a full member of the IATTC provided all parties to the Convention give their consent to such adherence. The Protocol also provides that the Member States of any regional economic integration organization that is allowed to adhere to the Protocol are barred from joining or continuing as a party to the Convention except with respect to the Member States' territories that are outside the territorial scope of the treaty establishing the regional economic integration organization. Allowing the European Union to accede to the Convention is important to the United States because it would mean that the vessels operating under the jurisdiction of the European Union and its Member States would be bound by the conservation and management measures adopted by the IATTC for the fishery resources of the eastern Pacific Ocean. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification. William J. Clinton. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, July 25, 2000. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Protocol to Amend the 1949 convention on the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (``the Protocol''), done at Guayaquil, June 11, 1999. The United States signed the protocol, subject to ratification, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on the same date. I recommend that the Protocol be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. The Protocol amends the Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, done at Washington May 31, 1949 and entered into force March 3, 1950 (``the Convention'') to allow the European Union to become a member of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) created under the Convention. Over the last 50 years, the IATTC has grown in importance and membership. Today it is the principal international organization addressing the conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The IATTC currently has 11 members: Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, the United States, Vanuatu and Venezuela. Spain, a member of the European Union (EU), has vessels fishing in the eastern Pacific Ocean (currently the only EU member with vessels fishing in the region). Like all members of the EU, Spain has transferred competence for fisheries matters to the European Commission pursuant to the Common Fisheries Policy adopted by the EU in 1983, including the authority to enter into international agreements with respect to those matters. The European Union (through the European Community, the juridical entity with the capacity to enter into international agreements) now wishes to adhere to the 1949 Convention and become a full member of the IATTC on behalf of its Member States fishing in the region. However, Article V(3) of the Convention currently limits membership in the IATTC to governments whose nationals participate in the fisheries covered by the Convention. It does not provide for membership by regional economic integration organizations such as the European Union. Thus, for the European Union to become a party to the Convention (and a member of the IATTC) the Convention must be amended. The United States generally supports regional economic integration organizations (``REIOs'') such as the European Union becoming party to treaties in which they have exclusive or shared competence in the treaties' subject matter, provided the rights and obligations of the REIO and its Member States under the treaty do not give rise to conflicting obligations or create a situation where the REIO and its Member States together receive greater rights than other states party to the treaty that are not members of a REIO. In this case, the European Union has exclusive competency over the fishing fleets of its Member States. Thus, the Department supports the desire of the European Union to participate as a member of the IATTC so that the vessels operating under the jurisdiction of the European Union will be bound by the conversation and management measures adopted by the Commission for the fishery resources of the eastern Pacific Ocean. (Despite the transfer of competence on fisheries matters to the EU, France has remained a member of the IATTC, primarily due to the fact that France participates in the IATTC in respect of certain Pacific territories over which the EU does not exercise competence.) Last year, the members of the IATTC negotiated a Protocol to amend the Convention so as to allow REIOs such as the European Union to become a party to the Convention and a full member of the IATTC. The Protocol consists of two articles, which are discussed in detail below. Article I of the Protocol contains the proposed changes to the text of the Convention. Paragraphs 1 through 6 and paragraph 8 of Article 1 contain conforming changes to the Convention to modify references to ``governments,'' ``national sections,'' ``nationals'' and ``legislation'' to accommodate participation by REIOs such as the European Union. Article I paragraph 7 is the operative section of the Protocol, amending the membership clause (Article V(3)) of the Convention. Paragraph 7 provides that governments and REIOs (defined as an organization constituted by states that have transferred to such organization both competence over matters within the purview of the Convention and the capacity to enter into international agreements with respect to such matters) which have jurisdiction over nationals engaged in fishing covered by the Convention, may express a desire to adhere to the Convention. The paragraph requires the unanimous consent of all parties to the Convention in order for such government or REIO to adhere to the Convention. Furthermore, this paragraph also specifies that when a REIO adheres to the Convention, each of its Member States is barred from becoming a party, or continuing to be a party, to the Convention except in respect of territories not covered by the treaty establishing the REIO, in which case such Member State's participation under the Convention is limited to representing the interests of those territories. Thus, should the EU eventually join the IATTC, France would continue to be a party to the Convention in respect of its Pacific territories of Clipperton Island and French Polynesia, which do not fall with the geographic scope of the treaty establishing the European Union. Article II to the Protocol contains provisions relating to the signature, ratification, entry into force, and other technical matters relating to the operation of the Protocol. In particular, it specifies that the Protocol will enter into force thirty days after all of the parties to the Convention have indicated their consent to be bound by the Protocol. The Protocol contains no provisions that require new legislation or other authority before it can be implemented by the United States. Accordingly, I recommend that the Protocol be transmitted to the Senate as soon as possible for its early and favorable advice and consent to ratification. Respectfully submitted. Thomas R. Pickering.