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[Senate Treaty Document 110-9]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



                                     

110th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                     Treaty Doc.
                                                                  110-9
_______________________________________________________________________

                                    

 
  PROTOCOL OF AMENDMENTS TO CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL HYDROGRAPHIC 
                              ORGANIZATION

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                     THEPRESIDENTOFTHEUNITEDSTATES

                              transmitting

     PROTOCOL OF AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL 
       HYDROGRAPHIC ORGANIZATION DONE AT MONACO ON APRIL 14, 2005




 October 23, 2007.--Treaty 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
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                 The White House, October 23, 2007.
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 of 
Amendments to the Convention on the International Hydrographic 
Organization done at Monaco on April 14, 2005. The Protocol 
amends the Convention on the International Hydrographic 
Organization, which was done at Monaco on May 3, 1967, and 
entered into force for the United States on September 22, 1970 
(TIAS 6933; 21 UST 1857; 752 UNTS 41). I am also transmitting, 
for the information of the Senate, the report of the Secretary 
of State on the Protocol.
    The Protocol will facilitate the reorganization of the 
International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). The IHO, which 
is a technical and consultative international organization 
head-
quartered in Monaco, facilitates safe and efficient maritime 
navigation throughout the world. It accomplishes these 
objectives by facilitating the coordination of the activities 
of national hydrographic offices, promoting uniformity in the 
nautical charts and documents generated by such offices, 
encouraging the adoption of reliable surveying methods, and 
fostering the development of the science of hydrography. 
Reorganization of the IHO will result in a more flexible, 
efficient, and visible organization.
    Ratification of the Protocol would serve important U.S. 
interests. United States commercial shipping, the United States 
Navy, and the scientific research community rely heavily on 
hydrographic information collected and shared under the 
auspices of the IHO. The United States plays an important 
leadership role in the IHO and as a result enjoys expeditious 
and economical access to this information. Moreover, the United 
States has committed more resources than any other country to 
research, development, and evaluation of hydrographic 
instruments and therefore stands to benefit significantly from 
the efficiencies generated by this reorganization.
    Article XXI of the Convention sets forth the procedure for 
the approval and entry into force of amendments: amendments 
that are adopted or ``approved'' by the Conference enter into 
force for all Contracting Parties to the Convention 3 months 
after two-thirds of the Contracting Parties have notified the 
depositary of their consent to be bound.
    I recommend that the Senate give prompt and favorable 
consideration to the Protocol and give its advice and consent 
to ratification.

                                                    George W. Bush.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                    The Secretary of State,
                                     Washington, September 4, 2007.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with the 
recommendation that you transmit it to the Senate for its 
advice and consent to ratification, the Protocol of Amendments 
to the Convention on the International Hydrographic 
Organization (IHO), done at Monaco, April 14, 2005. The 
Protocol amends the Convention on the International 
Hydrographic Organization done at Monaco on May 3, 1967. 
Interested U.S. government agencies recommend that you transmit 
the Protocol to the Senate for its advice and consent to 
ratification.
    Amendments to the Convention will enable the IHO to respond 
rapidly to changing technologies, incorporate new members, 
streamline its decision-making process, and enhance its role as 
the lead international hydrographic organization. The IHO 
facilitates safe and efficient maritime navigation throughout 
the world by, inter alia, coordinating the activities of 
national hydrographic offices, promoting uniformity in the 
nautical charts and documents generated by such offices, and 
fostering the development of the science of hydrography. U.S. 
commercial shipping, the U.S. Navy, and the scientific and 
research community rely heavily on hydrographic information 
collected and shared under the auspices of the IHO. In 
accordance with Article XXI of the Convention, the amendments 
will enter into force for all members of the Organization three 
months after two-thirds of the members have notified the 
depository of their consent to be bound.
    I recommend that the Protocol of Amendments to the 
Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization be 
transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent as soon as 
possible.
            Respectfully submitted,
                                                  Condoleezza Rice.
    Enclosure: As stated.

    Overview of the Protocol of Amendments to the Convention on the 
                International Hydrographic Organization

    The original Convention, which entered into force in 1970, 
changed the legal status of the International Hydrographic 
Organization (IHO). Currently, there are 80 States that are 
party to the IHO Convention, including the United States. 
Rapidly changing technologies and increasing demands from the 
maritime community for up-to-date hydrographic instruments led 
States that are members of the IHO to push for its reform. In 
April 2002, the XVIth Conference of the IHO established the 
Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG) to study the structure 
and processes of the IHO and develop appropriate 
recommendations on reform, including revisions to the 
Convention. At the direction of the Conference, the SPWG 
developed a series of recommendations intended to make the 
organization's decision-making process more efficient, 
streamline the membership application process to increase 
membership, and increase the visibility of the organization. 
The United States actively participated in the SPWG. Throughout 
the negotiations, the U.S. delegation had one key objective--
adoption of recommendations that would facilitate a cost-
effective reorganization of the IHO.
    In April 2005, the Third IHO Extraordinary Conference 
adopted a series of recommendations to reorganize the 
organization to address weaknesses identified in the current 
organization. The weaknesses, which include slow decision-
making processes, slow growth in membership, and inadequate 
interaction with other international organizations and 
industry, were affecting the IHO's ability to execute its 
mandate effectively. The reorganization is intended to make the 
organization more responsive to Member States' needs by, inter 
alia, providing for faster decision-making through more 
regularly scheduled Conferences in which all Member States 
participate and annual meetings of a smaller, more dynamic 
representative body, the Council, through which Member States 
can oversee the organization between Conferences. 
Reorganization will consolidate the committee structure, which 
will result in improved communication mechanisms and better 
defined organizational goals and operating guidelines. 
Relationships with other intergovernmental organizations, such 
as the International Maritime Organization, and non-
governmental associations, industry, and professional 
institutions will be expanded and improved to facilitate better 
understanding of the mission and goals of the IHO and ways 
through which the IHO can interact with, and support efforts 
of, other organizations with similar objectives.
    Implementation of some of the recommendations requires 
amendments to the Convention. The Protocol of Amendments will 
amend the Convention by, inter alia, clarifying the respective 
functions of the organs of the organization, including those of 
the principal organ, the Conference (to be referred to as the 
``Assembly''); establishing a new organ, the Council, with 
responsibility for coordinating the activities of the 
organization during the period between two Assemblies; 
shortening the period between meetings of the Assembly from 
five years to three years to enable the organization to address 
significant policy concerns on a more timely basis; and 
streamlining the process by which States can become members, 
thereby facilitating increased Member State participation in 
the organization, greater worldwide chart coverage, and, as a 
result, improved safety of global navigation. These amendments 
do not change the fundamental technical and consultative nature 
of the organization.
    Article XXI of the Convention sets forth the procedure for 
the approval and entry into force of amendments: amendments 
that are adopted or ``approved'' by the Conference enter into 
force for all Contracting Parties to the Convention three 
months after two-thirds of the Contracting Parties have 
notified the depositary of their consent to be bound.
    A more detailed description of the amendments is provided 
in the article-by-article analysis presented below.


                               article 1


    This provision amends the Preamble to replace the reference 
to ``Governments Parties'' to this Convention with ``States 
Parties,'' in order to conform with the more used terminology 
for States that are party to an agreement. It also adds three 
new paragraphs to the preamble, which, respectively, clarify 
the coordinating role of the Organization with respect to the 
setting of standards for the production of hydrographic data 
and the provision of hydrographic services; describe the vision 
of the Organization to be that of the ``authoritative worldwide 
hydrographic body;'' and assert that the mission of the 
Organization ``is to create a global environment in which 
States provide adequate and timely hydrographic data, products 
and services and ensure their widest possible use.'' Nothing in 
these new paragraphs changes the technical and consultative 
nature of the Organization.


                               article 2


    This provision amends Article II of the Convention to 
provide a more detailed description of the Organization's 
objectives. It describes the specific objectives of the 
Organization, all of which are consistent with the longstanding 
functions and purposes of the Organization, which are to 
facilitate coordination of the activities of national 
hydrographic offices, promote uniformity in nautical charts and 
documents, adopt reliable and efficient methods of carrying out 
hydrographic surveys, and foster the development of sciences in 
the field of hydrography and the techniques employed in 
descriptive oceanography.


                               article 3


    This provision amends Article III of the Convention to 
replace the reference to ``Governments Parties'' with ``States 
Parties,'' in order to conform with the more regularly used 
terminology for States that are party to an agreement.


                               article 4


    This provision amends Article IV of the Convention to 
reflect the Conference's decision to replace the reference to 
``The International Hydrographic Conference'' with the term 
``Assembly,'' and the reference to the ``International 
Hydrographic Bureau'' with the term ``Secretariat.'' Neither 
change affects the substantive roles of either organ of the 
Organization. The provision further amends Article IV to 
reflect the Conference's decision to establish a new organ 
known as the ``Council,'' to make a specific reference to the 
existing Finance Committee, and to acknowledge the possible 
creation of additional subsidiary organs. The roles and 
composition of the Assembly, Council, Finance Committee, and 
Secretariat are addressed in subsequent provisions of the 
Protocol.


                               article 5


    This provision replaces Article V and incorporates 
provisions of Article VI of the Convention, resulting in 
language that clarifies the structure, composition, functions, 
and working methods of the Conference (to be referred to as the 
Assembly consistent with the amendment set forth in Article 4 
of the Protocol), which is the principal organ of the 
Organization. Article 5 provides that the Assembly shall be the 
principal organ of the Organization and shall have all the 
powers of the Organization, unless otherwise regulated by the 
Convention or delegated by the Assembly to other organs. With 
the exception of a change of terminology from ``Conference'' to 
``Assembly,'' this is consistent with the provisions of the 
existing Convention. Article 5 provides that the Assembly shall 
be comprised of all the Member States of the Organization and 
is consistent with current Article VI of the Convention, which 
states that the ``Conference shall be composed of 
representatives of Member Governments.'' Article 5 provides 
that an ordinary session of the Assembly shall be held every 
three years as opposed to every five years as currently 
provided for in Article VI of the Convention. The decision to 
shorten the period between ordinary sessions of the Assembly is 
consistent with the SPWG recommendation to hold more frequent 
Assembly meetings to enable the Organization to respond more 
effectively to rapidly changing technologies and other 
developments that affect the Organization's functions. Article 
5 establishes a quorum for meetings of the Assembly and lists 
the functions of the Assembly, which include, inter alia, 
deciding the overall policy, strategy, and work program of the 
Organization; deciding on any proposals put to it by any Member 
State, the Council or the Secretary-General; approving the 
three-year budget of the Organization; deciding on the 
operational services of the Organization; delegating, where 
appropriate and necessary, responsibilities to the Council, and 
establishing subsidiary organs of the Organization.


                               article 6


    This provision replaces Article VI of the Convention with a 
provision that describes the structure, composition, functions, 
and certain working methods of the Council, which will 
constitute a new organ of the Organization. The Council was 
established in order to facilitate decision-making between 
Assembly sessions. Article 6 provides that the Council will be 
comprised of one-fourth, but not less than thirty, of the 
Member States of the Organization. It states that the 
principles governing the composition of the Council will be set 
forth in the General Regulations. Article 6 further provides 
that the Council will meet at least once a year to perform the 
functions delegated to it by the Assembly or otherwise 
conferred on it directly under the Convention. It sets forth 
the functions of the Council, including coordinating activities 
of the Organization during the period between Assembly 
sessions; reporting to the Assembly at each ordinary session on 
the work of the Organization; preparing proposals, with the 
support of the Secretary-General, on the overall strategy and 
work program to be adopted by the Assembly; and proposing to 
the Assembly the establishment of subsidiary organs. Member 
States that are not members of the Council may participate in 
the meetings of the Council, without the right to vote and the 
quorum required for a meeting of the Council would be two-
thirds of the members of the Council.


                               article 7


    This provision amends Article VII of the Convention 
concerning the Finance Committee to clarify that membership in 
the Finance Committee shall be open to all Member States, each 
Member State shall have one vote, and that the Finance 
Committee ``shall normally be convened in conjunction with each 
ordinary session of the Assembly and may convene additional 
meetings as appropriate.'' It amends Article VII to include a 
description of the functions of the Finance Committee and an 
explicit reference to the Committee's existing authority to 
elect its Chair and Vice-Chair.


                               article 8


    This provision amends Article VIII of the Convention, which 
describes the functions of the International Hydrographic 
Bureau, now to be referred to as the ``Secretariat.'' It amends 
Article VIII by adding a new subparagraph on the composition of 
the Secretariat, an issue currently addressed under Article IX 
of the Convention. Article 8 further amends Article VIII by 
providing a description of the role and functions of the 
Secretary-General, an issue currently addressed, in part, in 
Article X of the Convention (referring to the President of the 
Directing Committee). For example, Article 8 explicitly 
provides that the Secretary-General shall be the chief 
administrative officer of the Organization; although this is 
currently the case, it is not specifically addressed in the 
Convention. Article 8 further amends Article VIII of the 
Convention to provide that the Secretary-General, Directors, 
and other personnel of the Organization must act as 
``international officials'' (rather than representatives of 
their own governments) and as such must refrain from any action 
that may be incompatible with their positions as international 
officials. Moreover, Article 8 requires Member States to 
respect the exclusively international character of the 
responsibilities of the Secretary-General, Directors and 
personnel of the Organization and not seek to influence them in 
the discharge of their responsibilities. Although the 
Convention does not currently make references to the 
responsibility of Organization personnel to act as 
``international officials'' and the duty of Member States to 
refrain from unduly influencing the work of such officials, 
both personnel and Member States have generally understood that 
this is expected of them.


                               article 9


    This provision amends Article IX of the Convention by 
replacing language that previously described the composition of 
the Bureau (now referred to as the ``Secretariat'' and dealt 
with in Article 8 of the Protocol) with provisions on the 
decision-making process of the Organization. This provision 
codifies existing practice. Member States should try to reach 
decisions by consensus. Where decisions cannot be reached by 
consensus, each Member State generally shall have one vote. 
With regard to the election of the Secretary-General and 
Directors, however, each Member State shall have a number of 
votes determined by a scale established in relation to the 
tonnage of their fleets. With the exception of decisions on 
matters relating to the policy or finances of the Organization, 
amendments to the Convention, and accession to the Convention 
by a State that is not a member of the United Nations, 
decisions that cannot be reached by consensus shall be taken by 
a simple majority of Member States present and voting.


                               article 10


    Article 10 replaces Article X of the Convention concerning 
the Bureau (referred to as the ``Secretariat'' under amendments 
set forth in the Protocol and addressed in Article 8 of the 
Protocol) with a provision that authorizes the Organization to 
cooperate with international organizations whose interests and 
activities are related to the purpose of the Organization.


                               article 11


    This provision amends Article XI of the Convention by 
clarifying that in the event of inconsistency between the 
Convention and the General Regulations or Financial 
Regulations, the Convention shall prevail. This provision 
codifies existing practice.


                               article 12


    This provision amends Article XIII of the Convention by 
replacing the reference to ``juridical personality'' with a 
reference to ``legal personality,'' a term more commonly used 
in the constituting instruments of international organizations.


                               article 13


    This provision provides for the replacement of the phrase 
``Member Governments'' in Article XIV(a) of the Convention with 
a reference to ``Member States'' in accordance with the 
decision of the Third Extraordinary Conference. This is a 
formalistic change that does not alter the substance of Article 
XIV(a). Article 13 further provides for the replacement of the 
term ``Finance Committee'' in Article XIV(b) of the Convention 
with the term ``Assembly.'' This change is necessary to 
implement the Conference's decision to require Assembly 
approval of the use of donations, bequests, subventions and 
other sources to fund the expenses of the Organization; this 
function currently falls within the purview of the Finance 
Committee.


                               article 14


    This provision amends Article XV of the Convention to 
clarify that the ``rights'' that Member States stand to lose as 
a result of being in arrears for two years in their 
contributions are restricted to ``voting rights.''


                               article 15


    This provision amends Article XVI by replacing language 
concerning the Directing Committee's role in drafting the 
budget of the Organization--an issue taken up in Article 8 of 
the Protocol, which among other things describes the functions 
of the Secretariat--with a provision clarifying the depositary 
functions of the Government of His Serene Highness the Prince 
of Monaco. These functions include informing the Secretary-
General and all Member States of applications for accession 
received from States that are not members of the United Nations 
and informing the Secretary-General and all Member States of 
each new deposit of an instrument of ratification, acceptance, 
approval, or accession, the date of entry into force of any 
amendment to the Convention and the deposit of any instrument 
of denunciation of the Convention, together with the date on 
which its was received and the date on which the denunciation 
takes effect. This provision is consistent with current 
provisions of the Convention concerning the functions of the 
depositary.


                               article 16


    This provision amends Article XVII of the Convention by 
replacing the phrase ``Directing Committee'' with the phrase 
``Secretary-General of the Organization.'' This change is 
consistent with the Conference's decision to revise the 
functions of the Directing Committee and for purposes of this 
specific provision authorize the Secretary-General to offer his 
or her good offices to facilitate the settlement of disputes 
concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention. 
The Secretary-General's good offices are not the only mechanism 
available for facilitating the settlement of disputes. Article 
XVII of the Convention provides that disputes also may be 
settled by negotiation or, at the request of one of the parties 
to the dispute, by an arbitrator designated by the President of 
the International Court of Justice.


                               article 17


    This provision amends Article XX of the Convention to 
reflect the Conference's decision to make it easier for States 
that are members of the United Nations to become party to the 
Convention. Currently, under Article XX of the Convention, a 
maritime State may accede to the Convention if it applies to 
the Government of the Principality of Monaco specifying the 
tonnage of its fleets and has its admission approved by two-
thirds of the Member Governments of the Organization. Article 
17 amends this provision to provide that any State that is a 
member of the United Nations may accede to the Convention by 
depositing its instrument of accession with the Depositary. 
States that are members of the United Nations will no longer be 
required to have their admission approved by two-thirds of the 
membership of the Organization. States that are not members of 
the United Nations will have to apply to the Depositary and 
have their applications approved by a two-thirds vote of the 
Member States.


                               article 18


    This provision amends Article XXI of the Convention. Some 
of the amendments are technical changes to reflect decisions by 
the Conference to use new terms for certain entities, in this 
case, replacing ``Contracting Party'' with ``Member State,'' 
``Contracting Parties'' with ``Member States,'' ``Conference'' 
with ``Assembly,'' ``President of the Directing Committee'' 
with ``Secretary-General of the Organization,'' and 
``Government of the Principality of Monaco'' with ``the 
Depositary.'' Article 18 also provides that proposals of 
amendments will be decided upon by a majority of two-thirds of 
the Member States present and voting, which differs from the 
current requirement that proposals of amendments be decided 
upon by a ``majority of two-thirds of the Member Governments 
represented at the Conference.'' Article 18 of the Protocol 
also amends Article XXI of the Convention to require that 
proposals of amendments be submitted to the Secretary-General 
not less than six months prior to the next session of the 
Assembly. Article XXI does not establish a time limit for the 
submission of proposals of amendment.


                               article 19


    This provision amends Article XXII of the Convention to 
effect the technical change of replacing references to the 
``Government of the Principality of Monaco'' with the phrase 
``the Depositary.'' It also removes subparagraph two of Article 
XXII, which pursuant to Article 15, paragraph (c) of the 
Protocol will be incorporated into Article XVI of the 
Convention.


                               article 20


    This provision states that amendments adopted during the 
XIIIth and XVth Conferences, which have not yet entered into 
force shall not hereafter enter into force. Accordingly, it 
clarifies that such amendments will not enter into force, 
including for those Member States that have ratified or 
otherwise notified their consent to be bound by the amendments.