The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 24, 2007

Message to the Senate of the United States


With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Protocol of Amendments to the Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization done at Monaco on April 14, 2005. The Protocol amends the Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization, which was done at Monaco on May 3, 1967, and entered into force for the United States on September 22, 1970 (TIAS 6933; 21 UST 1857; 752 UNTS 41). I am also transmitting, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Secretary of State on the Protocol.

The Protocol will facilitate the reorganization of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). The IHO, which is a technical and consultative international organization headquartered in Monaco, facilitates safe and efficient maritime navigation throughout the world. It accomplishes these objectives by facilitating the coordination of the activities of national hydrographic offices, promoting uniformity in the nautical charts and documents generated by such offices, encouraging the adoption of reliable surveying methods, and fostering the development of the science of hydrography. Reorganization of the IHO will result in a more flexible, efficient, and visible organization.

Ratification of the Protocol would serve important U.S. interests. United States commercial shipping, the United States Navy, and the scientific research community rely heavily on hydrographic information collected and shared under the auspices of the IHO. The United States plays an important leadership role in the IHO and as a result enjoys expeditious and economical access to this information. Moreover, the United States has committed more resources than any other country to research, development, and evaluation of hydrographic instruments and therefore stands to benefit significantly from the efficiencies generated by this reorganization.

Article XXI of the Convention sets forth the procedure for the approval and entry into force of amendments: amendments that are adopted or "approved" by the Conference enter into force for all Contracting Parties to the Convention 3 months after two thirds of the Contracting Parties have notified the depositary of the their consent to be bound.

I recommend that the Senate give prompt and favorable consideration to the Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification.



October 23, 2007.

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