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Agreement Establishing the South Pacific Regional Environment
Programme (SPREP) [as an intergovernmental organisation]

Done at Apia, 16 June 1993

Entered into force 31 August 1995

THE PARTIES,

RECOGNISING the importance of protecting the environment and
conserving the natural resources of the South Pacific region;

CONSCIOUS of their responsibility to preserve their natural
heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future
generations and their role as custodians of natural resources of
global importance;

RECOGNISING the special hydrological, geological, atmospheric
and ecological characteristics of the region which require
special care and responsible management;

SEEKING TO ENSURE that resource development takes proper account
of the need to protect and preserve the unique environmental
values of the region and of the principles of sustainable
development;

RECOGNISING the need for co-operation within the region and with
competent international, regional and sub-regional organisations
in order to ensure coordination and co-operation in efforts to
protect the environment and use the natural resources of the
region on a sustainable basis;

WISHING TO ESTABLISH a comprehensive Programme to assist the
region in maintaining and improving its environment and to act
as the central coordinating point for environmental protection
measures within the region;

RECALLING the decision taken at the Conference on the Human
Environment in the South Pacific, held at Rarotonga, Cook
Islands, on 8-11 March 1982, to establish the South Pacific
Regional Environment Programme as a separate entity within the
South Pacific Commission;

RECALLING with appreciation the role of UNEP, ESCAP, the South
Pacific Forum and the South Pacific Conference in supporting the
establishment and encouraging the development of the South
Pacific Regional Environment Programme as a regional programme
and as part of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme;

NOTING with satisfaction that the Convention for the Protection
of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific
Region, done at Noumea on 24 November 1986, and its related
Protocols, and the Convention on Conservation of Nature in the
South Pacific, done at Apia on 12 June 1976, entered into force
in 1990;

APPRECIATIVE of the valuable efforts that have been undertaken
by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme to promote
environmental protection within the region and the support given
to the Programme by the South Pacific Commission;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the decisions of the Third and Fourth
Intergovernmental Meetings of the South Pacific Regional
Environment Programme, held in Noumea in September 1990 and July
1991, and the endorsement of the Thirtieth South Pacific
Conference, held in Noumea in October 1990; and

DESIRING TO ACCORD the South Pacific Regional Environment
Programme the full and formal legal status necessary to operate
as an autonomous body, to manage fully its own affairs and to
provide the basis for the continued operation of SPREP in
accordance with the traditions of cooperation in the region;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Establishment of SPREP

1. The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (hereinafter
referred to as SPREP) is hereby established as an
intergovernmental organisation.

2. The organs of SPREP are the SPREP Meeting and the
Secretariat.

3. The Secretariat shall be located in Apia, Western Samoa,
unless the SPREP Meeting decides otherwise.

Article 2

Purposes

1. The purposes of SPREP are to promote co-operation in the
South Pacific region and to provide assistance in order to
protect and improve its environment and to ensure sustainable
development for present and future generations. SPREP shall
achieve these purposes through the Action Plan adopted from time
to time by the SPREP Meeting, setting the strategies and
objectives of SPREP.

2. The Action Plan shall include:

(a) co-ordinating regional activities addressing the
environment;

(b) monitoring and assessing the state of the environment in the
region including the impacts of human activities on the
ecosystems of the region and encouraging development undertaken
to be directed towards maintaining or enhancing environmental
qualities;

(c) promoting and developing programmes, including research
programmes, to protect the atmosphere and terrestrial,
freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and species, while
ensuring ecologically sustainable utilisation of resources;

(d) reducing, through prevention and management, atmospheric,
land based, freshwater and marine pollution;

(e) strengthening national and regional capabilities and
institutional arrangements;

(f) increasing and improving training, educational and public
awareness activities; and

(g) promoting integrated legal, planning and management
mechanisms.

Article 3

SPREP Meetings

1. The SPREP Meeting shall be open to the Membership of the
Parties to this Agreement and, with the appropriate
authorisation of the Party having responsibility for its
international affairs, of each of the following:

American Samoa

French Polynesia

Guam

New Caledonia

Northern Mariana Islands

Palau

Tokelau

Wallis and Futuna.

2. The SPREP Meeting shall be held at such times as the SPREP
Meeting may determine. A special SPREP Meeting may be held at
any time as provided in the Rules of Procedure.

3. The SPREP Meeting shall be the plenary body and its functions
shall be:

(a) to provide a forum for Members to consult on matters of
common concern with regard to the protection and improvement of
the environment of the South Pacific region and, in particular,
to further the purposes of SPREP;

(b) to approve and review the Action Plan for SPREP and to
determine the general policies of SPREP;

(c) to adopt the report of the Director on the operation of
SPREP;

(d) to adopt the work programmes of SPREP and review progress in
their implementation;

(e) to adopt the Budget estimates of SPREP;

(f) to make recommendations to Members;

(g) to appoint the Director;

(h) to give directions to the Director concerning the
implementation of the Work Programme;

(i) to approve rules and conditions for the appointment of the
staff of the Secretariat; and

(j) to carry out such other functions as are specified in this
Agreement or are necessary for the effective functioning of
SPREP.

4. The SPREP Meeting may establish such committees and
sub-committees and other subsidiary bodies as it considers
necessary.

5. In addition to the functions referred to in paragraph (3) of
this Article, the SPREP Meeting shall, through such mechanisms
as it considers appropriate, consult and co-operate with the
Meetings of Parties to:

(a) the Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South
Pacific adopted at Apia on 12 June 1976;

(b) the Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources
and Environment of the South Pacific Region adopted at Noumea on
24 November 1986 and related Protocols; and

(c) any other international or regional Agreement that may be
concluded for the protection of the environment of the South
Pacific region,

with a view to ensuring the achievement of the purpose of SPREP
and of this Agreement and facilitating the achievement of the
purposes of those Conventions.

Article 4

Meeting procedure

1. The SPREP Meeting shall elect from among its Members a
Chairperson and such other officers as it decides, who shall
remain in office until the next SPREP Meeting. In principle, the
role of the Chairperson shall rotate as decided by the SPREP
Meeting.

2. The SPREP Meeting shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure.

3. (a) The Parties shall ensure the full involvement of all
Members in the work of the SPREP Meeting. The work of the SPREP
Meeting shall be conducted on the basis of consensus of all
Members, taking into account the practices and procedures of the
South Pacific region.

(b) In the event that a decision is required in the SPREP
Meeting, that decision shall be taken by a consensus of the
Parties. The consensus of the Parties shall ensure that the
views of all Members of the SPREP Meeting have been properly
considered and taken into account in reaching that consensus.

4. The attendance by observers in SPREP Meetings shall be
provided for in the Rules of Procedure.

5. The SPREP Meeting shall be convened by the Director.

6. The working languages of SPREP shall include English and
French.

Article 5

Budget

1. The Budget estimates for SPREP shall be prepared by the
Director.

2. Adoption of the Budget of SPREP and determination of all
other questions relating to the Budget shall be by consensus.

3. The SPREP Meeting shall adopt financial regulations for the
administration of SPREP. Such regulations may authorise SPREP to
accept contributions from private and public sources.

Article 6

Director

1. The Director of SPREP shall be the head of the Secretariat.

2. The Director shall appoint staff to the Secretariat in
accordance with such rules and conditions as the SPREP Meeting
may determine.

3. The Director shall report annually to the South Pacific
Conference and the South Pacific Forum on the activities of
SPREP.

4. The Director shall be responsible to the SPREP Meeting for
the administration and management of SPREP and such other
functions as the SPREP Meeting may decide.

Article 7

Functions of the Secretariat

1. The functions of the Secretariat shall be to implement the
activities of SPREP, which shall include:

(a) to promote, undertake and co-ordinate the implementation of
the SPREP Action Plan through the annual Programmes of Work, and
review and report regularly on progress thereon to Members;

(b) to carry out research and studies as required to implement
the SPREP Action Plan through the annual Programmes of Work;

(c) to advise and assist Members on the implementation of
activities carried out under the SPREP Action Plan or consistent
with its purpose;

(d) to provide a means of regular consultation among Members on
the implementation of activities under the SPREP Action Plan and
on other relevant issues;

(e) to co-ordinate and establish working arrangements with
relevant national, regional and international organisations;

(f) to gather and disseminate relevant information for Members
and other interested Governments and organisations;

(g) to promote the development and training of personnel of
Members and to promote public awareness and education, including
the publication of materials;

(h) to assist Members in the acquisition, interpretation and
evaluation of scientific and technical data and information;

(i) to undertake such other activities and follow such
procedures as the SPREP Meeting may decide; and

(j) to seek financial and technical resources for SPREP.

2. In addition to the functions described in paragraph (1) of
this Article, the Secretariat shall be responsible for the
co-ordination and implementation of any functions that the SPREP
Meeting may agree to undertake relating to:

(a) the Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South
Pacific;

(b) the Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources
and Environment of the South Pacific Region, the Protocol for
the Prevention of Pollution of the South Pacific Region by
Dumping, and the Protocol concerning Co-operation in Combating
Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific Region; and

(c) any other international or regional Agreement that may be
concluded for the protection of the environment of the South
Pacific region.

Article 8

Legal status, privileges and immunities

1. SPREP shall have such legal personality as is necessary for
it to carry out its functions and responsibilities and, in
particular, shall have the capacity to contract, to acquire and
dispose of moveable and immoveable property and to sue and be
sued.

2. SPREP, its officers and employees, together with
representatives to the SPREP Meeting, shall enjoy such
privileges and immunities necessary for the fulfillment of their
functions, as may be agreed between SPREP and the Party in whose
territory the Secretariat is located, and as may be provided by
other Parties.

Article 9

Sovereign rights and jurisdiction of States

Nothing in this Agreement shall be interpreted as prejudicing
the sovereignty of the Parties over their territory, territorial
sea, internal or archipelagic waters, or their sovereign rights:

(a) in their exclusive economic zones and fishing zones for the
purpose of exploring or exploiting, conserving and managing the
natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters
superjacent to the sea-bed and of the sea-bed and its subsoil,
and with regard to other activities for the economic
exploitation and exploration of the zone; or

(b) over their continental shelves for the purpose of exploring
them and exploiting the natural resources thereof.

Article 10

Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession

1. This Agreement shall be open for signature from the sixteenth
day of June 1993 until the sixteenth day of June 1994, and shall
thereafter remain open for accession, by:

Australia Niue

Cook Islands Papua New Guinea

Federated States of Micronesia Solomon Islands

Republic of Fiji Kingdom of Tonga

Republic of France Tuvalu

Republic of Kiribati United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland on behalf of Pitcairn Islands

Republic of the Marshall Islands United States of America

Republic of Nauru Republic of Vanuatu

New Zealand Western Samoa

2. This Agreement is subject to ratification, acceptance, or
approval by the Signatories.

3. Reservations to this Agreement shall not be permitted.

4. This Agreement shall enter into force thirty days from the
date of deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval, or accession with the Depositary, and
thereafter for each State, thirty days after the date of deposit
of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or
accession with the Depositary.

5. Following the expiry of the period when this Agreement is
open for signature, and provided that this Agreement has entered
into force, this Agreement shall be open for accession by any
State other than those referred to in this Article which,
desiring to accede to this Agreement, may so notify the
Depositary, which shall in turn notify the Parties. In the
absence of a written objection by a Party within six months of
receipt of such notification, a State may accede by deposit of
an instrument of accession with the Depositary, and accession
shall take effect thirty days after the date of deposit.

6. The Government of Western Samoa is hereby designated as the
Depositary.

7. The Depositary shall transmit certified copies of this
Agreement to all Members and shall register this Agreement in
accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United
Nations.

Article 11

Amendment and withdrawal

1. Any Party may propose amendments to this Agreement for
consideration by the SPREP Meeting. The text of any amendment
shall be circulated to Members no less than six months in
advance of the Meeting at which it is to be considered.

2. An amendment shall be adopted at a SPREP Meeting by consensus
of all Parties attending the SPREP Meeting and shall enter into
force thirty days after the receipt by the Depositary of
instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval of that
amendment by all Parties.

3. Any Party to this Agreement may withdraw from this Agreement
by giving written notice to the Depositary. Withdrawal shall
take effect one year after receipt of such notice by the
Depositary.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised by
their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.

DONE at Apia this sixteenth day of June 1993 in a single copy in
the English and French languages, the two texts being equally
authentic.