19 December 2012
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

States Parties to Law of the Sea Convention Hold Election to Fill Vacancy

In Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf


Special Meeting also Approves Report of Credentials Committee by Consensus

A Special Meeting of the States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea today elected Szymon Uścinowicz of Poland to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, filling the 21-member body’s last seat allotted to the Group of Eastern European States.

Mr. Uścinowicz, the only candidate, received 119 votes in favour to 0 against, with 2 abstentions in a secret ballot.  He met the required two-thirds majority and will serve a five-year term, effective immediately, until 15 June 2017.  His curriculum vitae were circulated in document SPLOS/252.  The other 20 members were elected in June (see press releases SEA/1971 and SEA/1972).

The Commission, comprising experts in the fields of geology, geophysics or hydrography, is mandated to make recommendations to coastal States on matters relating to their outermost limits.  In accordance with the rules of procedure, its members — elected by secret ballot — represent an agreed geographic distribution, with no fewer than three members from each region.  Successful candidates are required to receive a two-thirds majority of votes cast by those present and voting.

In consultations earlier this year, the Meeting of States Parties agreed to allocate seats as follows:  five for the African States; five for the Asian and Pacific States; three for the Eastern European States; four for the Latin American and Caribbean States; three for the Western European and Other States; and one “floating” seat to be filled from among all the regional groups.

As today’s Special Meeting turned to other business, Erika Schafer (Hungary), Chairperson of the Credential Committee, presented that body’s report (document SPLOS/254), saying that representatives of 82 States parties participating in today’s meeting had presented their formal credentials to the Secretariat.  The Committee had also received information concerning the appointment of representatives from 59 States parties participating in the meeting.

She then presented a draft resolution requesting that the Special Meeting approve the report of the Credential Committee, which that body then approved by consensus.

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For information media • not an official record