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The AMENDED Convention on the IHO


Summary Brief on The Protocol of amendments to the Convention on the IHO

The Member States of the IHO approved a Protocol of Amendments to the Convention on the IHO at the 3rd Extraordinary International Hydrographic Conference in April 2005.

For the amendments to come into effect, at least two thirds of the Member States existing in 2005 must formally accede to the Protocol of Amendments.  This means a minimum number of 48 Member States.

Monaco is the depositary government for the Convention on the IHO.  Accession to the Protocol of Amendments must be indicated by each government communicating with the government of Monaco through diplomatic channels, indicating its approval of the Protocol of Amendments.

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The minimum number of 48 approvals required for the entry into force of the Protocol of Amendments to the Convention on the IHO was reached on 8 August 2016. The Protocol entered into force three months later, that is on 8 November 2016.

Principal Changes to the Convention

The Amendments to the Convention are intended to achieve a more efficient and responsive organisation.

The principal amendments to the Convention are as follows:

·     Establish a Council to improve the governance and management of the organisation.  The Council will meet annually.

·     Reduce the programme cycle of the Organisation to three years between Conferences (to be known as Assemblies), rather than the current five years between Ordinary Conferences.  At present, the Organization needs the agreement of a majority of Member States to call an Extraordinary Conference at the mid point between Ordinary Conferences in order to review the programme and address specific items.

·     Remove the requirement for States applying for membership of the IHO to await the approval of two thirds of the existing Member States.  This will remove an average wait of two to three years before the required majority is achieved.  No State has ever been refused entry into the IHO in 92 years.

·     Change the elected position of President of the Directing Committee to that of Secretary-General.  This will provide an organisational structure similar to most other inter-governmental organisations.

Impact on Existing Member States

The amendments to the Convention do not change any of the existing financial obligations placed on Member States.

The amendments to the Convention do not introduce any additional obligations on Member States.

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