Oceans and Law of the Sea

ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE TO STATES
General Information

Updated on 08 April 2009

    Article 3 of Annex II to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 stipulates that the functions of the Commission shall be:

(a) to consider the data and other material submitted by coastal States concerning the outer limits of the continental shelf in areas where those limits extend beyond 200 nautical miles, and to make recommendations in accordance with article 76 and the Statement of Understanding adopted on 29 August 1980 by the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea;

(b) to provide scientific and technical advice, if requested by the coastal State concerned during the preparation of the data referred to in subparagraph (a).

 

    In June 1997, at its first session, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf established a subsidiary body - the Standing Committee on provision of scientific and technical advice to coastal States.

      In April - May 2003, the Committee had discussed various ways to facilitate the role of the Committee. Among other things, the Committee recommended that a list of Commission members should be compiled, accompanied by short biographical notes and a brief statement of expertise.

     In 2007, at its twentieth session, the Commission renewed the composition of this Committee and appointed Messrs. Charles, German, Kalngui, Rajan and Symonds as members. The Committee elected Mr. Symonds as Chairman and Messrs. Kalngui and Rajan as Vice-Chairmen.

       The Commission determined that advice provided by a member of the Commission does not commit the subcommission and the Commission when deliberating on the merits of a submission and should not be prejudicial to such deliberation.

     Requests for advice and assistance should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission. It would be helpful to the Scientific and Technical Advice Committee in fulfilling its functions if States could specify details of the nature of the assistance required to enable the Committee to prepare a list of the “proposed members who may provide advice taking into consideration the technical and scientific nature of each request”.

Prepared by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations.

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