5 June 2014
Press Release

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

Background Release

States Parties to United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea Will Hold


Twenty-Fourth Meeting at Headquarters, 9-13 June


The twenty-fourth Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea will be held at Headquarters from 9 to 13 June.

Often referred to as “the constitution for the oceans”, the landmark Convention was adopted on 10 December 1982 and entered into force 20 years ago, on 16 November 1994.  Its 320 articles and nine annexes govern all aspects of ocean space and maritime issues, from navigational rights, maritime limits and marine scientific research to resource management, marine environment protection and dispute settlement.

Implementation of the Convention is supported by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (www.itlos.org), International Seabed Authority (www.isa.org.jm) and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/clcs_home.htm).  The treaty forms the basis for the creation of all three bodies.

The upcoming annual Meeting of States Parties will consider the report of the Tribunal, budgetary matters, including draft budget proposals for the 2015-2016 biennium, and information reported by the Secretary-General of the Authority and by the Chairman of the Commission.  It will also address the conditions of service for Commission members.

Also during the Meeting, elections will be held for seven members of the Tribunal and one member of the Commission.  The Meeting will also consider the report of the Secretary-General (document A/68/71/Add.1 and Corr. 1) under article 319 for the information of States parties on issues of a general nature, relevant to States parties, which have arisen with respect to the Convention.  The Meeting’s provisional agenda is contained in document SPLOS/L.73.

The twentieth anniversary of the Convention’s entry into force will be commemorated on Monday, 9 June, in conjunction with the observance of World Oceans Day.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to deliver remarks on the occasion of those commemorations, during the Meeting’s afternoon session.

For further information on the Meeting, including its documents, please see the website of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, at:  www.un.org/Depts/los/meeting_states_parties/twentyfourthmeetingstatesparties.htm.

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For information media • not an official record