Cablegate: Peru Opposes Inclusion of Map in South Pacific Regional


DE RUEHPE #1678/01 3101406
O R 061405Z NOV 09



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Peru opposes inclusion of map in South Pacific Regional
Fisheries Management Organization Convention

REF: 09 STATE 113317

1. (U) SUMMARY: Peru continues to oppose inclusion of the
illustrative map found in the most recent proposed draft of the
South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO)
Convention, regardless of efforts to blur the portion of the
maritime territory under contention between Chile and Peru.
Expressing concern that inclusion of the map would incorporate it
into Peruvian law, and in some manner undermine its position in
boundary negotiations at The Hague, they underscored that the map
must be removed, or reservation language must be accepted to
exclude the map from application to Peru. With the exception of
Article 5 language (Peru prefers the fifth draft version over the
new one), the officials did not perceive other issues summarized in
reftel to be of concern to Peru for finalization of the convention.
Further, they expressed confidence that the Convention could be
finalized at this sixth meeting.

2. (U) Econoff met late November 4 with Elsa Patricia Galarza
Contreras, Vice Minister of Fisheries and her advisor Alfredo
Garcia Mesinas. Earlier the same day, Econoffs met with Pablo
Albarracin Borda, Counselor, Office of Maritime Sovereignty,
Transborder Waters and Antarctic Affairs Advisor of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs.


3. (U) Albarracin expressed confidence that the SPRFMO will
conclude during the Auckland session. He advised that references
to the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the United
Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) is not objectionable for
Peru. Regarding these references, Garcia explained that the
Government of Peru generally tries to avoid entering into agreement
that refer to other accords to which they are not signatories.
However, the references noted reftel appeared to be acceptable
under the circumstances.


4. (U) However, Albarracin expressed strong concern over inclusion
of the notational reference map of the SPRFMO Convention Area. He
provided several reasons for Peru's objection to its inclusion:

a. Since the Convention will be incorporated into Peruvian
law, the map itself will become legally binding and might affect
the negotiations underway at The Hague between Peru and Chile.

b. He placed emphasis on Peru's observation that only two out
of 16 RFMOs in existence incorporate a map in their conventions.
One of the two, he added, is still currently under negotiation.

c. The lateness of the submission: The map has only been
added after five prior meetings of countries forming the SFMO.
(Comment: It seemed that Albarracin provided this as another
indicator that a map is not required, since anything essential
would have been incorporated in earlier versions. End Comment.)

5. (U) Although acknowledging the existence of the standard
disclaimers about not recognizing the claims or positions of any
Party regarding the legal status of maritime boundary claims,
Albarracin described the inclusion of the map as unnecessary and
particularly problematic for Peru.

6. (U) Garcia mirrored Albarracin's strong objection. Garcia
described how the inclusion of the map was presented by the
president at the last meeting despite prior agreement among the
parties that the Convention would not include one. Several times
during the meeting, Garcia referred to the map's introduction as a
total "surprise." He expressed that a map simply could not be
included in the agreement.


7. (U) Albarracin summarized the reservation provisions of the
draft Convention as currently prohibiting members from opting out
of any portion of the Convention. He noted that this restriction
adds significant value to the RFMO as it strengthens the utility of
the organization. He advised, however, that if the map were to be
included in the Convention, the reservation provisions must be
modified to permit Peru to accept the Convention with the
reservation that the map not apply to Peru.

8. (U) Albarracin also conveyed the Peru delegation's desire to
see Article 5(c) revert back to the prior wording found in "Draft

9. (U) COMMENT: Our interlocutors expressed confidence about the
positive outcome of the Auckland meetings, adding their
expectations that the language of the Convention may be finalized
in Auckland. Based on statements made, they were clearly proud of
Peru's role in forming the RFMO, with both describing Peru's role
as a "key player." As for the map, they appear to have clearly
articulated their desire to see it removed from the Convention.

© Scoop Media

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