[Senate Executive Report 107-7]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

107th Congress                                               Exec. Rpt.
 2d Session                                                       107-7



                 August 1, 2002.--Ordered to be printed


          Mr. Biden, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                   [To accompany Treaty Doc. 105-32]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred 
the Agreement Establishing the South Pacific Regional 
Environment Programme, done at Apia on June 16, 1993, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with one 
declaration, and recommends that the Senate give its advice and 
consent to the ratification thereof as set forth in this report 
and the accompanying resolution of advice and consent to 



  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................1
III. Summary of Treaty Provisions.....................................3
 IV. Entry into Force.................................................3
  V. Withdrawal.......................................................3
 VI. Committee Action.................................................4
VII. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification.........4

                               I. Purpose

    The purpose of the Agreement is to promote cooperation in 
the South Pacific region, to protect and improve the South 
Pacific environment and to ensure sustainable development for 
present and future generations.

                             II. Background

    The Agreement is fully explained in the Letter of Submittal 
from the Secretary of State to the President, dated October 21, 
1997, which is set forth in Treaty Document 105-32. What 
follows is a brief summary.
    After World War II, a number of regional organizations came 
into being in the South Pacific, including the South Pacific 
Commission (SPC), established in 1948 by the governments of 
Australia, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United 
Kingdom, and the United States. The SPC was to serve as a 
``consultative and advisory body to the participating 
Governments in matters affecting the economic and social 
development of the non-self-governing territories (in the South 
Pacific) and the welfare and advancement of their peoples.'' 
The SPC has been periodically amended to provide, inter alia, 
for the accession to the agreement of newly independent states 
in the South Pacific and of territories associated with fully 
independent states. As a consequence, the parties to the 
agreement now include all 22 of the island states and 
territories of the region and five of the six states cited 
above (the Netherlands withdrew in 1974; the United Kingdom 
withdrew in 1995 but rejoined in 1998).
    The South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) 
was an outgrowth of a conservation program established by the 
SPC in the 1970s. Specifically, it came into being as a result 
of the 1982 Conference on the Human Environment in the South 
Pacific held in the Cook Islands. The SPC, the United Nations 
Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific, the 
United Nations Environmental Programme, the South Pacific 
Forum, and the South Pacific Conference all supported the 
creation of SPREP as a means of fostering research and 
cooperation on environmental problems in the region.
    SPREP was initially established as an informal entity 
within the SPC. Among its major accomplishments during its time 
as an entity within the SPC were the negotiation and entry into 
force of three multilateral agreements protecting the 
environment in the South Pacific--the Convention for the 
Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the 
South Pacific, the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of 
the South Pacific Region by Dumping, and the Protocol 
Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in 
the South Pacific Region. These agreements created general 
legal obligations to protect the marine environment of the 
South Pacific region from pollution from various sources, 
including ships, seabed activities, and nuclear testing.
    In 1991, the members of SPREP agreed to negotiate a treaty 
establishing SPREP as an autonomous intergovernmental 
organization, which was concluded at a conference in June 1993. 
The Agreement entered into force in August 1995. Nearly every 
nation, except the United States, that has participated in 
SPREP and in the negotiation of the Agreement is now party to 
the Agreement. The United States currrently participates as an 
    SPREP now participates in, and has initiated, a wide 
variety of environmental projects. Its range of concerns 
include natural resource conservation, the prevention and 
control of pollution, the protection of endangered species, 
waste management, climate change, environmental education, 
protection of the stratospheric ozone layer, and preservation 
of coral reefs. Its funding has come from many sources, 
including the United States, the European Union, Australia, New 
Zealand, France, Denmark, Canada, Japan, and China. Funding 
also comes from the Global Environment Facility, as well as 
from voluntary contributions by member island states.

                  III. Summary of Agreement Provisions

    Article 1 of the Agreement establishes SPREP as ``an 
intergovernmental organization,'' creates two organs--the SPREP 
Meeting and the Secretariat, and provides that the Secretariat 
is to be based in Apia, Western Samoa.
    Article 2 states that the purposes of SPREP to be ``to 
promote cooperation 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'' and provides that these purposes are to be 
achieved through Action Plans adopted from time to time by the 
SPREP Meeting.
    Article 3 establishes the SPREP Meeting as the ``plenary 
body'' for SPREP and provides for participation by all the 
Parties to the Agreement as well as by several territories. 
Article 3 further defines the functions of the Meetings to 
include the provision of a consultative forum for common 
concerns, the approval and review of Action Plans, the adoption 
of work programmes for SPREP, the adoption of a budget, and the 
appointment of the Director of SPREP.
    Article 4 provides for the meeting procedures.
    Article 5 relates to the budget of the Programme.
    Article 6 designates the Director as the administrative 
head of SPREP and of the Secretariat.
    Article 7 describes the functions of the Secretariat to 
implement the activities of the Programme.
    Article 8 confers on SPREP legal personality and contains a 
provision on privileges and immunities.
    Article 9 provides that nothing in the Agreement may be 
interpreted as limiting the sovereignty of the Parties over 
their territories or their sovereign rights in their exclusive 
economic and fishing zones and over their continental shelves.
    Article 10 contains the final clauses on ratification and 
designates Western Samoa as the depositary of the treaty.
    Article 11 provides that the Agreement may be amended by a 
consensus of the Parties at a SPREP Meeting, subject to 
ratification, acceptance, or approval by the Parties. It 
further provides that any Party may withdraw from the Agreement 
one year after giving written notice to that effect.

                          IV. Entry into Force

    Under Article 10, the Agreement entered into force on 
August 31, 1995, 30 days from the date of the deposit of the 
tenth instrument of ratification. If the United States becomes 
a party, it will enter into force 30 days after the deposit of 
the instrument of ratification.

                             V. Withdrawal

    Under Article 11, any party may withdraw by giving written 
notice. The withdrawal takes effect one year after receipt of 
the notice by the depositary.

                          VI. Committee action

    The Committee held a hearing to review the Treaty on May 7, 
2002.\1\ On July 25, 2002, the Committee considered the Treaty, 
and ordered it favorably reported by voice vote, with the 
recommendation that the Senate give its advice and consent to 
the ratification of the Treaty.
    \1\S. Hrg. 107-594, ``Hearing to Consider 6 Treaties.'' 

     VII. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification

    Resolved (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring 


    The Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the 
Agreement Establishing the South Pacific Regional Environment 
Programme, done at Apia on June 16, 1993 (Treaty Doc. 105-32), 
subject to the declaration in Section 2.


    The advice and consent of the Senate is subject to the 
declaration that the ``no reservations'' provision in Article 
10 of the Agreement has the effect of inhibiting the Senate in 
its exercise of its constitutional duty to give advice and 
consent to ratification of a treaty, and that the Senate's 
approval of the Agreement should not be construed as a 
precedent for acquiescence to future treaties containing such