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Reconstitution of the CWP in 1995

42. The CWP has been functioning effectively for many years, making decisions by consensus and with a high level of cooperation among participants. Several fishery organizations concerned with the Atlantic have been established since the Statutes of CWP were last modified in 1968 specifying that the CWP would be composed of experts from only three organizations (FAO, ICES and ICNAF). Although the CWP Statutes and Rules of Procedure had not been modified to accommodate their participation, participants from the other organizations have played a full and active role in the work of the CWP. The fact that the Statutes and Rules of Procedure had not been modified has not hampered the work of CWP as voting has rarely, if ever, been required in order to take decisions. Nevertheless, it became clear that there was a need to modify the Statutes and Rules of Procedure to provide a sound basis for the CWP so as to ensure that it could effectively coordinate fishery statistical programmes among all relevant organizations in the future, particularly in the light of the outcome of the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks which increases the responsibilities of regional fishery organizations in relation to fishery statistics.

43. The Ad hoc Inter-Agency Consultation on Atlantic Fishery Statistics (Madrid, 11-16 July 1994) was convened to consider the Statutes and Rules of Procedure for CWP. The Report of the Consultation (Doc. CWP-16/3) contains proposed new Statutes and draft Rules of Procedure. The proposed new Statutes were designed to (1) regularise the composition of the Working Party according to previous CWP recommendations and decisions of member organizations, (2) provide a sound basis (including more focused terms of reference) for the CWP to meet the challenges resulting from the enhanced role of regional fishery organizations in relation to statistics which is likely to result from the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, and (3) ensure that only minor modifications to the Statutes would be required if it is decided at a later stage to extend the remit of the CWP to areas outside the Atlantic.

44. The CWP Secretary was requested by the Consultation to ask FAO, ICES and NAFO to consider for approval as soon as possible the proposed Statutes in accordance with their respective internal procedures. The other participating organizations were asked to subscribe to the new Statutes.

45. At its Annual Meeting in September 1994, NAFO agreed to endorse the proposed Statutes and further agreed that in order to provide for the possibility of future expansion to other areas, all references to "Atlantic" (including the title of the Working Party) be removed so that the geographical remit of the CWP will be defined only by its composition. The proposed Statutes as modified by NAFO were also endorsed by ICES at its Annual Science Conference in September 1994 and the Hundred and Eighth Session of the FAO Council in June 1995. Eurostat, CCAMLR, ICCAT and NASCO have also subscribed to them. The new Statutes are presented in Annex 2.

46. The Sixteenth Session of CWP (Madrid, 20-25 March 1995) adopted the new Rules of Procedure as presented in Annex 3.

47. At the Sixteenth Session, two concerns were expressed about the extension of the work of the CWP to the global scale: the implication for travel costs for all agencies and the possible diminution in the time available for discussion of issues pertinent to the Atlantic. The CWP considered that these concerns could be met by careful consideration of the frequency of full meetings of the CWP and by holding meetings of regional sub-groups in the intersessional periods as suggested by the Ad hoc Consultation on the Role of Fishery Agencies in Relation to High Seas Fishery Statistics.

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