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Summary of the "Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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KUWAIT REGIONAL CONVENTION FOR CO-OPERATION ON THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT FROM POLLUTION

Kuwait, 24 April 1978
    The Government of the State of Bahrain,

    The Imperial Government of Iran,

    The Government of the Republic of Iraq,

    The Government of the State of Kuwait,

    The Government of the Sultanate of Oman,

    The Government of the State of Qatar,

    The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,

    The Government of the United Arab Emirates,

    Realizing that pollution of the marine environment in the Region shared by 
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab 
Emirates, by oil and other harmful or noxious materials arising from human 
activities on land or at sea, especially through indiscriminate and 
uncontrolled discharge of these substances, presents a growing threat to 
marine life, fisheries, human health, recreational uses of beaches and other 
amenities.

    Mindful of the special hydrographic and ecological characteristics of the 
marine environment of the Region and its particular vulnerability to 
pollution.

    Conscious of the need to ensure that the processes of urban and rural 
development and resultant land use should be carried out in such a manner as 
to preserve, as far as possible, marine resources and coastal amenities, and 
that such development should not lead to deterioration of the marine 
environment,

    Convinced of the need to ensure that the processes of industrial 
development should not, in any way, cause damage to the marine environment of 
the Region, jeopardize its living resources or create hazards to human health,

    Recognizing the need to develop an integrated management approach to the 
use of the marine environment and the coastal areas which will allow the 
achievement of environmental and development goals in a harmonious manner,

    Recognizing also the need for a carefully planned research, monitoring and 
assessment programme in view of the scarcity of scientific information on 
marine pollution in the Region,

    Considering that the States sharing the Region have a special 
responsibility to protect its marine environment,

    Aware of the importance of co-operation and co-ordination of action on a 
regional basis with the aim of protecting the marine environment of the Region 
for the benefit of all concerned, including future generations,

    Bearing in mind the existing international conventions relevant to the 
present Convention,

    Have agreed as follows:


Article I

DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of the present Convention:

a) marine pollution means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of 
substances or energy into the marine environment resulting or likely to result 
in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources, hazards to human 
health, hindrance to marine activities including fishing, impairment of 
quality for use of sea and reduction of amenities;

b) "National Authority" means the authority designated by each Contracting 
States as responsible for the co-ordination of national efforts for 
implementing the Convention and its protocols;

c) "Organization" means the organization established by the Contracting States 
in accordance with Article XVI;

d) "secretariat" means the organ of the Organization established in accordance 
with Article XVI;

e) "Action Plan" means the Action Plan for the Development and Protection of 
the Marine Environment and the Coastal Areas of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, 
Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates adopted at the Kuwait 
Regional Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Protection and Development of 
the Marine Environment and the Coastal Areas, convened from 15 to 23 April 
1978.


Article II

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE

a) The present Convention shall apply to the sea area in the Region bounded in 
the south by the following rhumb lines: from Ras Dharbat Ali in (16 deg 39 min 
N, 35 deg 3 min 30 sec E) then to a position in (16 deg 00 min N 53 deg 25 min 
E) then to a position in (17 deg 00 min N, 56 deg 30 min E) then to a position 
in (20 deg 30 min N, 60 deg 00 min E) then to Ras Al-Fasteh in (25 deg 04 min 
N, 61 deg 25 min E);

b) The Sea Area shall not include internal waters of the Contracting States 
unless it is otherwise stated in the present Convention or in any of its 
protocols.


Article III

GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

a) The Contracting States shall, individually and/or jointly, take all 
appropriate measures in accordance with the present Convention and those 
protocols in force to which they are party to prevent, abate and combat 
pollution of the marine environment in the Sea Area;

b) In addition to the Protocol concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating 
Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency opened for 
signature at the same time as the present Convention, the Contracting States 
shall co-operate in the formulation and adoption of other protocols 
prescribing agreed measures, procedure and standards for the implementation of 
the Convention;

c) The Contracting States shall establish national standards, laws and 
regulations as required for the effective discharge of the obligation 
prescribed in paragraph (a) of this article, and shall endeavour to harmonise 
their national policies in this regard and for this purpose appoint the 
National Authority;

d) The Contracting States shall co-operate with the competent international, 
regional and subregional organizations to establish and adopt regional 
standards, recommended practices and procedures to prevent, abate and combat 
pollution from all sources in conformity with the objectives of the present 
Convention, and to assist each other in fulfilling their obligations under the 
present Convention;

e) The Contracting Series shall use their best endeavour to ensure that the 
implementation of the present Convention shall not cause transformation of one 
type of pollution to another which could be more detrimental to the 
environment.


Article IV

POLLUTION FROM SHIPS

    The Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures in conformity 
with the present Convention and the applicable rules of international law to 
prevent, abate and combat pollution in the Sea Area caused by intentional or 
accidental discharges from ships, and shall ensure effective compliance in the 
Sea Area with applicable international rules relating to the control of this 
type of pollution, including load-on-top, segregated ballast and crude oil 
washing procedures for tankers.


Article V

POLLUTION CAUSED BY DUMPING FROM SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT

    The Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, 
abate and combat pollution in the Sea Area caused by dumping of wastes and 
other matter from ships and aircraft, and shall ensure effective compliance in 
the Sea Area with applicable international rules relating to the control of 
this type of pollution as provided for in relevant international conventions.


Article VI

POLLUTION FROM LAND-BASED SOURCES

    The Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, 
abate and combat pollution caused by discharges from land reaching the Sea 
Area whether water-borne, air-borne, or directly from the coast including 
outfalls and pipelines.


Article VII

POLLUTION RESULTING FROM EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE BED OF THE 
TERRITORIAL SEA AND ITS SUB-SOIL AND THE CONTINENTAL SHELF

    The Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, 
abate and combat pollution in the Sea Area resulting from exploration and 
exploitation of the bed of the territorial sea and its sub-soil and the 
continental shelf, including the prevention of accidents and the combating of 
pollution emergencies resulting in damage to the marine environment.


Article VIII

POLLUTION FROM OTHER HUMAN ACTIVITIES

    The Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, 
abate and combat pollution of the Sea Area resulting from land reclamation and 
associated suction dredging and coastal dredging .


Article IX

CO-OPERATION IN DEALING WITH POLLUTION EMERGENCIES

a) The Contracting States shall, individually and/or jointly, take all 
necessary measures, including those to ensure that adequate equipment and 
qualified personnel are readily available, to deal with pollution emergencies 
in the Sea Area, whatever the cause of such emergencies, and to reduce or 
eliminate damage resulting therefrom;

b) Any Contracting State which becomes aware of any pollution emergency in the 
Sea Area shall, without delay, notify the Organization referred to under 
Article XVI and, through the secretariat any Contracting State likely to be 
affected by such emergency.


Article X

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL CO-OPERATION

a) The Contracting States shall co-operate directly, or, where appropriate, 
through competent international and regional organizations, in the field of 
scientific research, monitoring and assessment concerning pollution in the Sea 
Area, and shall exchange data as well as other scientific information for the 
purpose of the present Convention and any of its protocols;

b) The Contracting States shall co-operate further to develop and co-operate 
national research and monitoring programmes relating to all types of pollution 
in the Sea Area and to establish in cooperation with competent regional or 
international organizations, a regional network of such programmes to ensure 
compatible results. For this purpose, each Contracting State shall designate 
the National Authority responsible for pollution research and monitoring 
within the areas under its national jurisdiction. The Contracting States shall 
participate in international arrangements for pollution research and 
monitoring in areas beyond their national jurisdiction .


Article XI

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

a) Each Contracting State shall endeavour to include an assessment of the 
potential environmental effects in any planning activity entailing projects 
within its territory, particularly in the coastal areas, which may cause 
significant risks of pollution in the Sea Area; 

b) The Contracting States may, in consultation with the secretariat, develop 
procedures for dissemination of information of the assessment of the 
activities referred to in paragraph (a) above;

c) The Contracting States undertake to develop, individually or jointly, 
technical and other guidelines in accordance with standard scientific practice 
to assist the planning of their development projects in such a way as to 
minimize their harmful impact on the marine environment. In this regard 
international standards may be used where appropriate.


Article XII

TECHNICAL AND OTHER ASSISTANCE

    The Contracting States shall co-operate directly or through competent 
regional or international organizations in the development of programmes of 
technical and other assistance in fields relating to marine pollution in co-
ordinating with the Organization referred to in Article XVI.

Article YIII

LIABILITY AND COMPENSATION

    The Contracting States undertake to co-operate in the formulation and 
adoption of appropriate rules and procedure for the determination of:

a) civil liability and compensation for damage resulting from pollution of the 
marine environment, bearing in mind applicable international rules and 
procedures relating to those matters; and

b) liability and compensation for damage resulting from violation of 
obligations under the present Convention and its protocols.


Article XIV

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

    Warships or other ships owned or operated by a State, and used only on 
Government non-commercial service, shall be exempted from the application of 
the provisions of the present convention. Each Contracting State shall, as far 
as possible, ensure that its warships or other ships owned or operated by that 
State, and used only on Government non-commercial service, shall comply with 
the present Convention in the prevention of pollution to the marine 
environment.


Article XV

DISCLAIMER       ,

    Nothing in the present Convention shall prejudice or affect the rights or 
claims of any Contracting State in regard to the nature or extent of its 
maritime jurisdiction which may be established in conformity with 
international law.


Article XVI

REGIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

a) The Contracting States hereby establish a Regional Organization for the 
Protection of the Marine Environment, the permanent headquarters of which 
shall be located in Kuwait.

b) The organization shall consist of the following organs:

(i) a Council which shall be comprised of the Contracting States and shall 
perform the functions set forth in paragraph (d) of Article XVII;

(ii) a secretariat which shall perform the functions set forth in paragraph 
(a) of Article XVIII; and

(iii) a Judicial Commission for the Settlement of Disputes whose composition, 
terms of reference and rules of procedure shall be established at the first 
meeting of the Council.


Article XVII

COUNCIL

a) The meetings of the Council shall be convened in accordance with paragraph 
(a) of Article XVIII and paragraph (b) of Article XXX. The Council shall hold 
ordinary meetings once a year. Extraordinary meetings of the Council shall be 
held upon the request of at least one Contracting State endorsed by at least 
one other Contracting State or upon the request of the Executive Secretary 
endorsed by at least two Contracting States. Meeting of the Council shall be 
convened at the headquarters of the Organization or at any other place agreed 
upon by consultation amongst the Contracting States. Three-fourths of the 
Contracting States shall constitute a quorum.

b) The Chairmanship of the Council shall be given to each Contracting State in 
turn in alphabetical order of the names of the States in the English language. 
The Chairman shall serve for a period of one year and cannot during the period 
of chairmanship serve as a representative of his State. Should the 
chairmanship fall vacant, the Contracting State chairing the Council shall 
designate a successor to remain in office until the term of chairmanship of 
that Contracting State expires.

c) The voting procedure in the Council shall be as follows:

(i) each Contracting State shall have one vote;

(ii) decisions on substantive matters shall be taken by a unanimous vote of 
the Contracting States present and voting;

(iii) decisions on procedural matters shall be taken by three-fourths majority 
vote of the Contracting States present and voting.

d) The functions of the Council shall be:

(i) to keep under review the implementation of the Convention and its 
protocols, and the Action Plan referred to in paragraph (e) in Article l;

(ii) to review and evaluate the state of marine pollution and its effects on 
the Sea Area on the basis of reports provided by the Contracting States and 
the competent international or regional organizations;

(iii) to adopt, review and amend as required in accordance with procedures 
established in Article XXI, the annexes to the Convention and to its protocols

(iv) to receive and to consider reports submitted by the Contracting States 
under Articles IX and XXIII;

(v) to consider reports prepared by the secretariat on questions relating to 
the Convention and to matters relevant to the administration of the 
Organization;

(vi) to make recommendations regarding the adoption of any additional 
protocols or any amendments to the Convention or to its protocols in 
accordance with Articles XIX and XX;

(vii) to establish subsidiary bodies and ad hoc working groups as required to 
consider any matters related to the Convention and its protocols and annexes 
to the Convention and its protocols;

(viii) to appoint an Executive Secretary and to make provision for the 
appointment by the Executive Secretary of such other personnel as may be 
necessary;

(ix) to review periodically the functions of the secretariat:

(x) to consider and to undertake any additional action that may be required 
for the achievement of the purposes of the Convention and its protocols.


Article XVIII

SECRETARIAT

a) The secretariat shall be comprised of an Executive Secretary and the 
personnel necessary to perform the following functions:

(i) to convene and to prepare the meetings of the Council and its subsidiary 
bodies and ad hoc working groups as referred to in Article XVII, and 
conferences as referred to in Articles XIX and XX;

(ii) to transmit to the Contracting States notifications, reports and other 
information received in accordance with Articles IX and XXIII;

(iii) to consider enquiries by, and information from, the Contracting States 
and to consult with them on questions relating to the Convention and its 
protocols and annexes thereto;

(iv) to prepare reports on matters relating to the Convention and to the 
administration of the Organization;

(v) to establish, maintain and disseminate an up-to-date collection of 
national laws of all States concerned relevant to the protection of the marine 
treatment;

(vi) to arrange, upon request, for the provision of technical assistance and 
advice for the drafting of appropriate national legislation for the effective 
implementation of the Convention and its protocols;

(vii) to arrange for training programmes in areas related to the 
implementation of the Convention and its protocols;

(viii) to carry out its assignments under the protocols to the Convention;

(ix) to perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by the Council 
for the implementation of the Convention and its protocols.

b) The Executive Secretary shall be the chief administrative official of the 
Organization and shall perform the functions that are necessary for the 
administration of the present Convention, the work of the secretariat and 
other tasks entrusted to the Executive Secretary by the Council and as 
provided for in its rules and procedures and financial rules.


Article XIX 

ADOPTION OF ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS

    Any Contracting State may propose additional protocols to the present 
Convention pursuant to paragraph (b) of Article III at a diplomatic conference 
of the Contracting States to be convened by the secretariat at the request of 
at least three Contracting States. Additional protocols shall be adopted by a 
unanimous vote of the Contracting States present and voting.


Article XX

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION AND ITS PROTOCOLS

a) Any Contracting State to the present Convention or any of its protocols may 
propose amendments to the Convention or to the protocol concerned at a 
diplomatic conference to be convened by the secretariat at the request of at 
least three Contracting States. Amendments to the Convention and its protocols 
shall be adopted by a unanimous vote of the Contracting States present and 
voting.

b) Amendments to the Convention or any protocol adopted by a diplomatic 
conference shall be submitted by the Depositary for acceptance by all 
Contracting States. Acceptance of amendments to the Convention or to any 
protocol shall be notified to the Depositary in writing. Amendments adopted in 
accordance with this article shall enter into force for all Contracting 
States, except those which have notified the Depositary of a different 
intention, on the thirtieth day following the receipt by the Depositary of 
notification of their acceptance by at least three-fourths of the Contracting 
States to the Convention or any protocol concerned as the case may be.

c) After the entry into force of an amendment to the Convention or to a 
protocol, any new Contracting State to the Convention or such protocol shall 
become a Contracting State to the instrument as amended.


Article XXI

ANNEXES AND AMENDMENTS TO ANNEXES

a) Annexes to the Convention or to any protocol shall form an integral part of 
the Convention or such protocol.

b) Except as may be otherwise provided in any protocol, the following 
procedure shall apply to the adoption and entry into force of any amendments 
to annexes to the Convention or to any protocol:

(i) any Contracting State to the Convention or to a protocol may propose 
amendments to the annexes to the instrument in question at the meetings of the 
Council referred to in Article XVII;

(ii) such amendments shall be adopted at such meetings by a unanimous vote;

(iii) the Depositary referred to in Article XXX shall communicate amendments 
so adopted to all Contracting State without delay;

(iv) any Contracting State which has a different intention with respect to an 
amendment to the annexes to the Convention or to any protocol shall notify the 
Depositary in writing within a period determined by the Contracting States 
concerned when adopting the amendment;

(v) the Depositary shall notify all Contracting States without delay of any 
notification received pursuant to the preceding sub-paragraph;

(vi) on the expiry of the period referred to in sub-paragraph (iv) above, the 
amendment to the annex shall become effective for all Contracting States to 
the Convention or to the protocol concerned which have not submitted a 
notification in accordance with the provisions of that sub-paragraph.

c) The adoption and entry into force of a new annex to the Convention or to 
any protocol shall be subject to the same procedure as for the adoption and 
entry into force of an amendment to an annex in accordance with the provisions 
of this article, provided that, if any amendment to the Convention or the 
protocol concerned is involved, the new annex shall not enter into force until 
such time as the amendment to the Convention or the protocol concerned enters 
into force.


Article XXII

RULES OF PROCEDURE AND FINANCIAL RULES

a) The Council shall, at the first meeting, adopt its own rules.

b) The Council shall adopt financial rules to determine, in particular, the 
financial participation of the Contracting States.


Article XXIII

REPORTS

    Each Contracting State shall submit to the secretariat reports on measures 
adopted in implementation of the provisions of the Convention and its 
protocols in such form and at such intervals as may be determined by the 
Council.


Article XXIV

COMPLIANCE CONTROL

    The Contracting State shall co-operate in the development of procedures 
for the effective application of the Convention and its protocols, including 
detection of violations, using all appropriate and practicable measures of 
detection and environmental monitoring, including adequate procedures for 
reporting and accumulation of evidence.


Article XXV

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

a) In case of a dispute as to the interpretation or application of this 
Convention or its protocols; the Contracting States concerned shall seek a 
settlement of the dispute through negotiation or any other peaceful means of 
their own choice.

b) If the Contracting States concerned cannot settle the dispute through the 
means mentioned in paragraph (a) of this article, the dispute shall be 
submitted to the Judicial Commission for the Settlement of Disputes referred 
to in paragraph (a) (iii) of Article XVI.


Article XXVI

SIGNATURE

   The present Convention together with the Protocol concerning Regional Co-
operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases 
of Emergency shall be open for signature in Kuwait from 24 April to 23 July 
1978 by any State invited as a participant in the Kuwait Regional Conference 
of Plenipotentiaries on the Protection and Development of the Marine 
Environment and the Coastal Areas, convened from 15 to 23 April 1978 for the 
purpose of adopting the Convention and the Protocol.


Article XXVII

RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL OR ACCESSION

a) The present Convention together with the Protocol concerning Regional Co-
operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases 
of Emergency and any other protocol thereto shall be subject to ratification, 
acceptance, or approval by the States referred to in Article XXVI.

b) As from 24 July 1978, this Convention together with the Protocol concerning 
Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful 
Substances in Cases of Emergency shall be open for accession by the States 
referred to in Article XXVI.

c) Any State which has ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the present 
Convention shall be considered as having ratified, accepted, approved or 
acceded to the Protocol concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating 
Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency;

d) Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be 
deposited with the Government of Kuwait which will assume the functions of 
Depositary.


Article XXVIII

ENTRY INTO FORCE

a) The present Convention together with the Protocol concerning Regional Co-
operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases 
of Emergency shall enter into force on the nineteenth day following the date 
of deposit of at least five instruments of ratification, acceptance or 
approval of, or accession to, the Convention;

b) Any other protocol to this Convention, except as otherwise provided in such 
protocol, shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date of 
deposit of at least five instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval 
of, or accession to, such protocol;

c) After the date of deposit of five instruments of ratification, acceptance 
or approval of, or accession to, this Convention or any other protocol, this 
Convention or any such protocol shall enter into force with respect to any 
State on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit by that State of the 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.


Article XXIX

WITHDRAWAL

a) At any time after five years from the date of entry into force of this 
Convention, any Contracting State may withdraw from this Convention by giving 
written notification of withdrawal to the Depositary;

b) Except as may be otherwise provided in any other protocol to the 
Convention, any Contracting State may, at any time after five years from the 
date of entry into force of such Protocol, withdraw from such protocol by 
giving written notification of withdrawal to the Depositary;

c) Withdrawal shall take effect ninety days after the date on which 
notification of withdrawal is received by the Depositary;

d) Any Contracting State which withdraws from the Convention shall be 
considered as also having withdrawn from any protocol to which it was a party;

e) Any Contracting State which withdrawals from the Protocol concerning 
Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful 
Substances in Cases of Pollution Emergency shall be considered as also having 
withdrawn from the Convention.


Article XXX

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPOSITARY

a) The Depositary shall inform the Contracting States and the secretariat of 
the following:

(i) signature of this Convention and of any protocol thereto, and of the 
deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession 
in accordance with Article XXVII;

(ii) date on which Convention and any protocol will enter into force in 
accordance with the provision of Article XXVIII;

(iii) notification of a different intention made in accordance with Articles 
XX and XXI;

(iv) notification of withdrawal made in accordance with Article XXIX;

(v) amendments adopted with respect to the Convention and to any protocol, 
their acceptance by the Contracting State and the date of entry into force of 
those amendments in accordance with the provisions of Article XX;

(vi) adoption of new annexes and of the amendment of any annex in accordance 
with Article XXI;

b) The Depositary shall call the first meeting of the Council within six 
months of the date on which the Convention enters into force.

    The original of this Convention, of any protocol thereto, of any annex to 
the Convention or to a protocol, or of any amendment to the Convention, to a 
protocol or to an annex of the Convention or of a protocol shall be deposited 
with the Depositary, the Government of Kuwait who shall send copies thereof to 
all States concerned and shall register all such instruments and all 
subsequent actions in respect of them with the Secretariat of the United 
Nations in accordance with article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

    In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly 
authorised by their respective Governments, have signed the present 
Convention.

    Done at Kuwait this twenty-fourth day of April, in the year one thousand 
nine hundred and seventy-eight in the Arabic, English and Persian languages, 
the three texts being equally authentic. In case of a dispute as to the 
interpretation or application of the Convention or its protocols, the English 
text shall be dispositively authorative.