Preparatory phase (2002-2005)
1. In paragraph 45 of its resolution 57/141 of 12 December 2002, the General Assembly endorsed paragraph 36 (b) of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. It requested the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with Member States, relevant organizations and agencies and programmes of the United Nations system, to prepare proposals on modalities for a regular process for the global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, drawing, inter alia, upon the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and taking into account the recently completed review by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), and to submit these proposals to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session for its consideration and decision, including on the convening of a possible intergovernmental meeting.
2. In 2003, the Secretariat prepared a report on proposals for modalities for the
Regular Process focusing on steps to be taken for the establishment of this Process (A/58/423). In paragraph 64 (a) of its resolution 58/240 of 23 December 2003, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to convene a group of experts of no more than 24 participants, comprising representatives of States, including all regional groups, and representatives from intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, including both scientists and policy makers, to produce a draft document with details on the scope, general framework and outline of the regular process, peer review, secretariat, capacity-building and funding. The Group of Experts was convened in New York from 23 to 26 March 2004. It recommended, inter alia, that an “Assessment of Assessments” be undertaken as part of the start-up phase of the Regular Process. The outcome of its discussions was submitted to an International Workshop held in New York from 7 to 11 June 2004. A second International Workshop, held in New York from 13 to 15 June 2005, considered a number of conclusions about the nature, aims and output of the “Assessment of Assessments”, and recommended an organizational structure.