This meeting is the first session of the annual meeting of states to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The meeting began with the opening remarks given by Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares. He gave the background of UNCLOS and reiterated the role of it as the constitution of the seas. He then emphasized the main objective of the counsel, which is to dedicate to the conservation of the oceans and the sustainable use of the resources in the seas, as outlined in SDG 14.
Following the introduction, the meeting went on to focus on the annual report of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in 2017. The newly elected president of ITLOS firstly announced and congratulated the seven elected judges as members of the Tribunal. Additionally, he highlighted the judicial work of ITLOS on the dispute between Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana on the delimitation of maritime boundary. Seeing the non-existence of agreement, the Tribunal delimited the boundary for territorial sea, the exclusive economic area and the continental shelf between the Parties. Also, the Tribunal rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s claim that Ghana violated its sovereign rights. As for the case of the disputes between Panama and Italy, the Tribunal announced that it has not reached the final decisions. Apart from the judicial matters, Mr. Paik highlighted the capacity-building activities to empower developing countries with personnel and expertise on the law of the sea.
The second half of the meeting centered on the annual report of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The Secretary General summarized three major ongoing developments in the Authority, namely, the strategic plan, the Mining Code, and the Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs). Having recognized the decreased contribution of the member states, Mr. Michael Lodge called for continuing budgetary commitments.
Meeting: Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – Meeting 28
Date/Location: Monday 11th June 2018; 10:00 to 13:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations
Mr. Jin-Hyun Paik, President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)
Mr. Michael W Lodge, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA)
Written By: WIT Representative Vivian Wang