Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf
Purpose, functions and sessions
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of the Commission
The purpose of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (the
Commission or CLCS) is to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (the Convention) in respect of the
establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical
miles (M) from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is
measured. Under the Convention, the coastal State shall establish the outer
limits of its continental shelf where it extends beyond 200
M on the basis
of the recommendation of the Commission. The Commission
shall make recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the
establishment of those limits; its recommendations and actions shall not
prejudice matters relating to the delimitation of boundaries between States with
opposite or adjacent coasts.
Annex II to the
Convention contains the provisions governing the Commission. As set forth in
article 3 of Annex II, the functions of the Commission are:
(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
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 preparation of such data.
In accordance with article 76(8), the Commission shall make recommendations
to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of
their continental shelf. The limits of the shelf established by a coastal State
on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding.
Sessions of the
The Commission ordinarily meets twice a year, in the spring and fall, at
United Nations Headquarters in New York. The convening of these sessions and
services to be provided are subject to approval by the General Assembly of the
United Nations in its annual
oceans and the law of the sea.
The meetings of the Commission, its subcommissions and subsidiary bodies
are held in private, unless the
Commission decides otherwise (Rule 23 - Public and private meetings - of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission).
on the progress in the work of the Commission at its sessions is contained in the
statements by the Chairman.