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Seventh Executive Committee Meeting: Charting the Future of PEMSEA

Manila, Philippines — In line with the recognition of PEMSEA as an International Legal Personality, PEMSEA has embarked on a transformation process towards building PEMSEA into a full-fledged international organization.

The 7th Executive Committee Meeting held from 26 to 27 October 2010, discussed the future direction and vision of PEMSEA. Guided by the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), the meeting agreed that the vision and mission set forth by the SDS-SEA which was endorsed and shared by the countries of the region, should serve as the overall vision and mission of PEMSEA. As an intergovernmental organization with the primary responsibility and objective of implementing the SDS-SEA, it is important to ensure that all services and activities in the region are in line with the goals of the SDS-SEA.

To further strengthen PEMSEA, the meeting decided to pursue the development of PEMSEA by-laws and governance framework taking into consideration the key elements of various PEMSEA constitutive documents such as the Haikou Partnership Agreement, Manila Declaration and Agreement Recognizing PEMSEA's International Legal Personality, among others.

The proposed governance framework included the Executive Committee (EC) structure and turnover mechanism that will promote continuity in the EC, as well as other PEMSEA governance matters to enhance clarity, harmonization, transparency, and efficiency (i.e., organizational structure, functional inter-relationship of mechanisms, and leadership and responsibilities within the organization). In line with this, the meeting decided on the extension of the terms for the Executive Committee officers, composed of the chairs for the EAS Partnership Council, Intergovernmental Session, and Technical Session.

Also, in preparation for the transformation of PEMSEA, a reengineering plan, sustainable financing plan, and an advocacy and marketing plan will be developed focusing on the needs of the countries and partners and in accordance with SDS-SEA objectives and targets.

The 7th EC Meeting, which served as an expanded meeting, was chaired by Dr. Chua Thia-Eng, EAS Partnership Council Chair, and co-chaired by Dr. Li Haiqing, Intergovernmental Session Chair; and Mr. Hiroshi Terashima, Technical Session Chair.

Representatives from PEMSEA Partner Countries participated in the meeting, namely: Cambodia; China; DPR Korea; Indonesia; Japan; Lao PDR; Philippines; RO Korea; Singapore; Timor-Leste; and Vietnam. Representatives from Non-Country Partners were in attendance, namely: Coastal Management Center (CMC); Korea Maritime Institute (KMI); Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP); Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF); Oil Spill Response Limited (Oil Spill Response); The Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia (SENSA); UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP); UNEP-GPA; and Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME). Representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Manila and the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok, GEF Secretariat and The World Bank were also present. Representatives from Thailand and the GEF Evaluation Office served as observers.