OPEN LETTER TO United Nations Secretary General Mr. BAN KEE-MOON
Subject: Protection of the marine environment in the Arabian-Persian Gulf.
From The Movement Of Reform and Environment Program (MOREP).
Dr Majid Abi Saab, The President
Dear Mr. Ban Kee-Moon, U.N. Secretary General
After the increasing political tension in the Gulf Area between Iran and surrounded countries involving the international communities and regarding nuclear use that may end to an aggressive war, we ask the United Nations to prevent the Arabian/Persian Gulf pollution from oil discharge.
The Gulf Sea has a natural environment very rich with good fishing grounds, abundant Pearl Oyster and extensive coral reefs. Its ecology has become increasingly under critical conditions from the heavy repeated petroleum spillages associated with the recent war fought in the region. During the Iran-Iraq war each side attacked the other’s oil tankers and ships resulted in 17 years of sea pollution starting from Kuwait to the Strait of Hormuz. Nowadays and after too much suffering the deep sea starts to regain its vitality very slowly. Any coming war in this region might destroy the Arabian/Persian Gulf deep sea ecosystem completely.
Mr. the Secretary General, The preambles of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, states that the problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be considered as a whole, and by this Convention a development of the principles embodied in resolution 2749 (XXV) of 17 December 1970 in which the General Assembly of the United Nations solemnly declared inter alias that the area of the seabed and ocean floor and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, as well as its resources, are the common heritage of mankind, the exploration and exploitation of which shall be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole, irrespective of the geographical location of States. The Part IX, Art. 122 concerning gulf as a semi-enclosed sea and Art. 123 clearly mentioned that states bordering a gulf area shall coordinate the management, conservation, exploration and exploitation of the living resources of the sea with respect to the protection and preservation of the marine environment (paragraph (b)).
The international convention for the prevention of pollution of sea by oil, ended environmental treaties in London 1954 with consecutive Amendments in 1962 and 1969, entered into force in 1978 together with the sixth Assembly of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization on 21 October 1969 (Resolution A. 175 (Vl)) for regulation of oil transport hence decreasing the risk of environmental catastrophes and sea pollution. The signed agreements was made for this main reason, while extrapolating to the pollution caused by war the concerned countries will not respect this principle which they signed previously for.
Neutral countries and concerned ones have the obligation to observe the requirements of UN Conventions and what follows in other international agreements. The statements of the First Protocol of Geneva Convention protect victims of international conflicts, and by jurisdiction is to be extended to environment which is a victim that should be protected.
Therefore, we hope from you to take action by common agreement to prevent pollution of the Arabian/Persian Gulf Sea from oil discharge during any war that might happen and considering that this end may best be achieved by your direct intervention against infringement on its environment. We have accordingly presented what should be agreed between conflicting countries to prevent this area from oil discharge, and this to be achieved as soon as possible before any environment disaster happens.
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