zoom As the volume of Arctic shipping gradually increases in response to new interest in developing the region’s natural resources, a mandatory and uniform regulatory framework to ensure maritime safety and environmental protection becomes critically important, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said during the Economist Arctic Summit held yesterday in Oslo.ICS highlighted that the shipping industry fully recognises the concern about the potential sensitivity of Arctic ecosystems and the need for a high degree of care when ships navigate Arctic waters.ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe said that the shipping industry is fully committed to the implementation of the mandatory IMO Polar Code, following its recent adoption by IMO Member States and its expected entry into force in January 2017.”The Polar Code will deliver an even greater level of confidence in the environmental performance of shipping using a risk-based approach which addresses the hazards relevant to the type of ship operation, the ship’s location and the season of operation,” Hinchliffe said.With respect to society’s concern about the negative impact of CO2 emissions on climate and the delicate environmental balance that exists within the Arctic region, ICS emphasises that shipping is the only industrial sector already covered by a binding global agreement, at the IMO, to reduce CO2 through technical and operational measures. According to the latest IMO Green House Gas Study published in 2014, the global shipping industry has reduced its total emissions by more than 10% between 2007 and 2012.With regard to the future governance of Arctic waters, ICS believes that Arctic coastal states should avoid imposing discriminatory treatment that might prejudice the rights of ships registered with non-Arctic nations, and highlights the importance of appropriate fees for services.ICS also suggested there is a need for greater clarity regarding the legal status of Arctic waters as determined by the UN Law of the Sea.”As remote Arctic sea routes become accessible these once academic issues are becoming increasingly important,” Hinchliffe said, arguing that the UNCLOS regime of ‘transit passage’ for straits used in international navigation takes precedence over the rights of coastal states to enact unilateral measures against international shipping.The ship and offshore classification society DNV GL used the Arctic Summit platform to discuss safety issues within the offshore industry in the Barents Sea.In its report, ‘Emergency response for offshore operations in the Barents Sea,’ DNV GL examined the feasibility of emergency preparedness solutions and called for the offshore industry to collaborate on new response concepts.
Two car bombs exploded in the Algerian capital on Tuesday morning. The first caused the collapse of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) office, which also housed staff from a number of other UN agencies, and damaged the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), located across the street. The second exploded near the country’s Constitutional Court.The UN released a list of the nine staff members confirmed to have died and whose families have been notified. They include Hanniche Abel-Rahim of Algeria (International Labour Organization); Nabil Slimani of Algeria (UNHCR); Gene Luna of the Philippines (World Food Programme); Adnane Souilah and Kamel Sait, both of Algeria (UN Population Fund); and Babacar Ndiaye of Senegal (Department of Safety and Security). In addition, Hind Boukroufa and Djamel Rezzoug of Algeria and Steven Olejas of Denmark, all of whom worked for UNDP, were also killed. Rescue efforts yesterday helped to remove two UN staff alive from the rubble, and both are now receiving medical treatment, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.“There are a number of people who remain missing,” Ms. Okabe added, while noting that “at this point, hopes for finding any more survivors in the rubble have dimmed, and the local authorities have started to use heavy machinery to clear the site.”According to figures released yesterday, the UN has a total of 40 international staff in Algeria, including 19 international staff based there and an additional 21 that are there temporarily, as well as about 115 local UN staff in the capital.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier today paid tribute to the victims, stressing that “their sacrifice cannot and shall not be forgotten… This was a despicable strike against individuals serving humanity’s highest ideals under the UN banner.”Mr. Ban has sent UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis, as well as top officials from his Executive Office and DSS, to Algiers to determine how best to aid those injured in the attack and the families of the victims. In a statement issued today, Mr. Dervis said that “the situation in Algiers remains fluid and it is possible that additional UNDP staff remain unaccounted for.“I do hope that beyond the words of condemnation, the international community and Member States will realize that concrete actions of support for the United Nations and for development and humanitarian workers are of the utmost importance,” he added. Two stress counsellors are also arriving in the country today to assist those who have been traumatized by the bombing, Ms. Okabe said. 12 December 2007Nine United Nations staff members are among the dozens killed in yesterday’s twin bomb attacks in Algiers, a spokesperson for the world body confirmed today, adding that two others were found alive and removed from the debris, and several others remain missing.