Protocol of Amendments to Convention on International Hydrographic OrganizationSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 110-9
Treaty DocumentShow Overview
Text - Treaty Document: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 110-9All 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 110-9] [From the U.S. Government Publishing 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.