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UK-IOC Newsletter

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission promotes international cooperation and coordination in research, services and capacity-building across the marine environment. IOC is also the designated marine scientific advisory body to the UN Convention on the International Law of the Sea. Ultimately IOC aims to improve the management, sustainable development, the protection and decision-making processes of the marine environment by IOC Member States. The UK is a member IOC Assembly and is currently an elected member of the IOC Executive Council.

The UK-IOC delegation acts as the main contact point between the UK and the IOC secretariat and is responsible for ensuring that the UK marine community is able to interact with IOC and vice versa. The head of the UK delegation is responsible for representing the UK at the Assembly and the Executive Council (if elected).
 
IOC Circulars 
IOC sends out circular messages to its member state representatives. In the UK circulars come through to the UK-IOC office. As of 2015 we will be sending any relevant circulars around to our contacts for information. If any action or discussion point should arise from the circulars please contact the UK-IOC office (primarily Steve Hall as head of delegation). This will ensure that all communication to and from IOC is tracked by the UK-IOC office.

Circulars:

IOC Circular 2580: Invitation to the World Oceans Day Celebration, 8th June 2015, UNESCO HQ, France, Mandatory registration is open until 4th June 2015.

IOC Assembly 2015 
Between 17th and 25th June 2015 the IOC Assembly and Executive Council will meet for two weeks. The agenda has now been published and timetabled, although it is anticipated that other side events and meetings will be added over the coming weeks. Relevant documents for the meeting can be downloaded from the IOC website. The UK Delegation will consist of Steve Hall (Head of Delegation), Rolly Rogers and Jennifer Riley. Invited experts also participating in this year's IOC Assembly will also include Maria Baker and Alan Evans.
Over the past year the UK-IOC team has been working closely with the UK National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO to produce a policy brief on the future of IOC, from a UK perspective. This policy brief has now been officially published. As part of its launch, it has been circulated to all of the permanent delegations to UNESCO and the IOC secretariat. The new Executive Secretary of IOC, Valdimir Ryabinin, has also received received this policy brief and as a result has included its discussion as an agenda item at the Executive Council meeting prior to the 2015 Assembly in Paris, June.
 
To further promote the policy brief to the IOC delegations in attendance at the IOC Assembly, the UK IOC delegation, together with the UKNC for UNESCO, will be hosting a breakfast meeting on the first day of the Assembly to highlight the key messages to all interested delegations. It is hoped that this will help to formulate key discussions during the Assembly, Future of the IOC session.
Group 1 Meeting
NOC hosted the IOC Group 1 meeting during the week of Ocean Business, on the 15th April 2015. The meeting was chaired by Peter Haugan (Norway) with Steve Hall, Roland Rogers, Jennifer Riley (NOC, UK) Craig McLean (NOAA, USA) Alain Vezina (DFO Bedford, Canada), Arthur Paterson (USA) and Monika Breuch (German met office) plus others in attendance. The successful discussions led to agreement on a joint approach to IOC Assembly and Executive Council business matters, agreement to support Peter Haugan’s candidacy for Chair of IOC, and the proposal for Steve Hall to stand as Vice-Chair for IOC Group 1 countries, the latter being supported by USA, Canada, Germany.
   
UK-IOC and MSCC International Working Group Meeting
This meeting took place in London at IMarEST on 11th May 2015. Steve Hall has succeeded Stephen de Mora as the chair of the MSCC International Working Group. This was the first meeting that Steve Chaired. As such, given Steve’s other responsibility as head of the UK-IOC delegation, a decision was taken to combine the MSCC meeting with UNESCO-IOC Exec/Assembly Pre-meeting. Jennifer Riley and Anne Brazier were also present. Overall there was a good level of meeting attendance with delegates from MMO, FCO, DEFRA, BODC, MEDIN, private sector and DFiD including Ambassador Matthew Sudders from UK Permanent Delegation to UNESCO. Key outcomes were approval of new Terms of Reference for the MSCC international working group (with minor amendments), approval of UK-IOC team’s approach to IOC Assembly and Executive Council agenda items, approval for Hall to stand as Vice-Chair IOC Group 1, approval to seek UK re-election to IOC Executive Council, approval to present UK-UNESCO National Commission policy brief 13 at the IOC Assembly.  Further actions included continued work on comprehensive database of UK international marine science activity and policy contacts. 
Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Caribbean Tsunami Warning System 
Steve Hall attended this meeting, held at Sint Maarten (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the Caribbean on 18-21 May 2015. Steve chairs the UK Overseas Territory delegation on behalf of IOC and represents the interests of UK Overseas Territories, since not all are able to attend the meeting. The Intergovernmental Coordination Group/CARIBE Early Warning System was established in 2005 as a subsidiary body of the IOC-UNESCO, with the purpose of providing efficient assistance on tsunami risk reduction to Member States in the Caribbean region after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Participants included representatives from across the Caribbean Region representing disaster and emergency management departments and agencies as well as from various regional and international organisations.
 
During the meeting the attendees reviewed the report of the last CARIBE WAVE 2015 simulation, an annual exercise designed to evaluate the response capacity of Caribbean countries and adjacent regions in the event of a tsunami. An update was also provided about the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC), and the establishment of various work groups to provide information about: monitoring and detection systems; warning guidance; hazard assessment; preparedness, readiness and resilience; warning communication and dissemination.
 
Following the meeting in Sint Maatens, Steve travelled to Anguilla on 22 May, to meet with the government to discuss capacity building, knowledge exchange, extreme events and tsunami warning systems. In particular Steve has been working jointly with a technical expert from NOAA and the Anguilla government to install two new tide gauges off the coast of Anguilla, which will contribute to part of the tsunami warning system network. During this visit Steve was able to work with his colleagues to inspect a choice of proposed locations for a new tide gauge as well as to discuss ownership, training and upkeep of new systems. 

During the forthcoming IOC Assembly Steve will also be promoting the achievements of the IOC Caribbean Tsunami Warning System and suggesting stronger links with the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Warning System.

Who's who in the UK-IOC delegation
Steve Hall
Role: Head of UK delegation to IOC
Email: sph@noc.ac.uk
More Infowww.noc.ac.uk/people/sph
Roland Rogers
Role:
 Alternate head of UK delegation to IOC
Email: rxr@noc.ac.uk
More Info
www.noc.ac.uk/people/rxr
Jennifer Riley
Role:
 UK-IOC delegate member
Email: jennifer.riley@noc.ac.uk
More Info
www.noc.ac.uk/people/jsr1g08
Anne Brazier
Role:
 Secretariat support for UK-IOC delegation
Email: abb@noc.ac.uk
More Infowww.noc.ac.uk/people/abb
UK-IOC
@UK_IOC
Web coming soon
Copyright © 2015 International and Strategic Partnerships Office, All rights reserved.


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