Pres­i­dent urges sign­ing of oil pol­lu­tion con­ven­tion

The Myanmar Times - - News - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com

PAR­LIA­MENT has been asked to al­low the gov­ern­ment to sign up to an in­ter­na­tional sys­tem of com­bat­ing oil spills and mar­itime pol­lu­tion.

On Septem­ber 16, MPs were in­vited to de­bate a re­quest from Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw to sign the In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion on Oil Pol­lu­tion Pre­pared­ness, Response and Co­op­er­a­tion (OPRC).

The re­quest comes as foreign oil tankers and cargo ships are mak­ing in­creas­ing use of Myan­mar ports. Sign­ing the 1990 agree­ment would help the coun­try deal with an oil spill in its wa­ters by re­ceiv­ing in­ter­na­tional ad­vice and as­sis­tance, deputy trans­port min­is­ter U Kyaw Myo told MPs.

The deputy min­is­ter said the con­ven­tion es­tab­lished mea­sures for deal­ing with mar­itime oil pol­lu­tion caused by ships, sea­ports and off­shore in­fra­struc­ture. The In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion-backed text was adopted in 1990 and en­tered into force in 1995. As of April, 109 coun­tries have signed it, in­clud­ing fel­low ASEAN mem­bers Malaysia, the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore and Thai­land, as well as Bangladesh.

Sig­na­to­ries re­ceive co­op­er­a­tion from fel­low mem­bers in the re­gion in cop­ing with oil spills at sea, shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and costs.

If it be­comes a sig­na­tory, the gov­ern­ment would be ex­pected to ad­just lo­cal laws, draw up mea­sures to deal with oil spills and pol­lu­tion, form a pol­lu­tion task force and work with coun­ter­part or­gan­i­sa­tions in the re­gion. The con­ven­tion re­quires ships to cre­ate an oil pol­lu­tion emer­gency plan

MPs were in­vited to ex­press their in­ter­est in de­bat­ing the pres­i­dent’s re­quest.

– Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

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