KIMO International has asked for recognition as an official observer of the Bonn Agreement, an intergovernmental mechanism for cooperation on North Sea pollution.
The Bonn Agreement traces its roots back to 1969, 21 years before KIMO was founded. At that time eight states with a North Sea coast – Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – agreed to cooperate to deal with pollution from the then-burgeoning oil industry.
Since then, the Agreement as evolved to include ‘other harmful substances’ as well as oil.
Spain and the European Union have also become contracting parties to the Agreement.
This month, KIMO submitted an official request to join organisations like HELCOM and the IMO, as an official recognised observer. The Bonn Agreement only updated its rules to allow observers last year.
The Bonn Agreement works on a number of activities including pollution surveillance, preparedness exercises, cooperative projects and research. The Agreement also hosts seminars and meetings to discuss relevant issues.
Arabelle Bentley, Executive Secretary of KIMO International said:
“KIMO International already has similar status at OSPAR and other intergovernmental organisations and we are excited about the opportunity to join the Bonn Agreement. This is in recognition of our unique value in being able to bring the local government perspective to the table. Meanwhile, the benefit to our members is clear: access to international decision makers and an opportunity to raise a united voice on issues with huge local impacts.”
Observer status would grant KIMO the right to access important documents, submit written statements and attend meetings. A full list of rights and obligations for observers is available on the Bonn Agreement’s website.
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