United Nations

A/52/260


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 July 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                            A/52/260


General Assembly
Fifty-second session
Item 39 (a) of the provisional agenda*

*/   A/52/150.


                OCEANS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA:  LAW OF THE SEA

                 Agreement concerning the Relationship between the
                 United Nations and the International Seabed
                                   Authority

                         Note by the Secretary-General


1.   On 9 December 1996, the General Assembly approved resolution 51/34, in
paragraph 7 of which it, inter alia, requested the Secretary-General to take
steps to conclude a relationship agreement between the United Nations and the
International Seabed Authority, to be applied provisionally pending the
approval by the General Assembly and as appropriate by the Assembly of the
Authority.

2.   Following the completion of the negotiations, on 14 March 1997, the
Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the
International Seabed Authority signed the Agreement concerning the
Relationship between the United Nations and the International Seabed
Authority, which since that date has been applied provisionally in accordance
with the resolution.

3.   On 14 April 1997, I was informed by the Secretary-General of the
International Seabed Authority that on 27 March 1997, at the 45th meeting of
its third session, the Assembly of the Authority had formally approved the
above Agreement.

4.   Pursuant to paragraph 7 of General Assembly resolution 51/34, I herewith
submit to the Assembly for its approval the Agreement concerning the
Relationship between the United Nations and the International Seabed
Authority, which is attached to the present note.  Pursuant to paragraph 1 of
article 18, the Agreement will enter into force on the date the General
Assembly approves it.

                                     ANNEX

                 Agreement concerning the Relationship between the
                 United Nations and the International Seabed
                                   Authority


     The United Nations and the International Seabed Authority,

     Bearing in mind that the General Assembly of the United Nations in its
resolution 3067 (XXVIII) of 16 November 1973 decided to convene the Third
United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea for the adoption of a
convention dealing with all matters relating to the law of the sea and that
the Conference adopted the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,
which, inter alia, establishes the International Seabed Authority,

     Recalling that the General Assembly of the United Nations in its
resolution 48/263 of 28 July 1994 adopted the Agreement relating to the
Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea of 10 December 1982,

     Mindful of the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea on 16 November 1994 and the entry into force of the Agreement
relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 on 28 July 1996,

     Noting General Assembly resolution 51/6 of 24 October 1996 inviting the
International Seabed Authority to participate in the deliberations of the
General Assembly in the capacity of observer, 

     Noting also article 162, paragraph 2 (f), of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982, General Assembly
resolution 51/34 of 9 December 1996 and decision ISBA/C/10 of 12 August 1996
of the Council of the International Seabed Authority calling for the
conclusion of a relationship agreement between the United Nations and the
International Seabed Authority,

     Desiring to make provision for an effective system of mutually
beneficial relationship whereby the discharge of their respective
responsibilities may be facilitated,

     Taking into account for this purpose the provisions of the Charter of
the United Nations, the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea and the provisions of the Agreement relating to the Implementation
of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of
10 December 1982,

     Have agreed as follows:


                                   Article 1

                           Purpose of the Agreement

     This Agreement, which is entered into by the United Nations and the
International Seabed Authority (hereinafter referred to as "the Authority"),
pursuant to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations (hereinafter
referred to as "the Charter") and the provisions of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention")
and the Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (hereinafter
referred to as "the Agreement") respectively, is intended to define the terms
on which the United Nations and the Authority shall be brought into
relationship. 


                                   Article 2

                                  Principles

1.   The United Nations recognizes the Authority as the organization through
which States Parties to the Convention shall, in accordance with Part XI of
the Convention and the Agreement, organize and control activities in the
seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national
jurisdiction (hereinafter referred to as "the Area"), in particular with a
view to administering the resources of the Area.  The United Nations
undertakes to conduct its activities in such a manner as to promote the legal
order for the seas and oceans established by the Convention and the Agreement.

2.   The United Nations recognizes that the Authority, by virtue of the
Convention and the Agreement, shall function as an autonomous international
organization in the working relationship with the United Nations established
by this Agreement. 

3.   The Authority recognizes the responsibilities of the United Nations
under the Charter and other international instruments, in particular in the
fields of international peace and security and economic, social, cultural and
humanitarian development and protection and preservation of the environment.

4.   The Authority undertakes to conduct its activities in accordance with
the purposes and principles of the Charter to promote peace and international
cooperation and in conformity with the policies of the United Nations
furthering these purposes and principles.


                                   Article 3

                         Cooperation and coordination

1.   The United Nations and the Authority recognize the desirability of
achieving effective coordination of the activities of the Authority with those
of the United Nations and the specialized agencies, and of avoiding
unnecessary duplication of activities.

2.   The United Nations and the Authority agree that, with a view to
facilitating the effective discharge of their respective responsibilities,
they will cooperate closely with each other and consult each other on matters
of mutual interest.


                                   Article 4

                      Assistance to the Security Council

1.   The Authority shall cooperate with the Security Council by providing to
it at its request such information and assistance as may be required in the
exercise of its responsibility for the maintenance or restoration of
international peace and security.  In case confidential information is
provided, the Security Council shall preserve its confidential character.

2.   At the invitation of the Security Council, the Secretary-General of the
Authority may attend its meetings to supply it with information or give it
other assistance with regard to matters within the competence of the
Authority.


                                   Article 5

                        International Court of Justice

     The Authority agrees, subject to the provisions of this Agreement
relating to the safeguarding of confidential material, data and information,
to provide any information that may be requested by the International Court of
Justice in accordance with the Statute of that Court.


                                   Article 6

                           Reciprocal representation

1.   Without prejudice to the decision of the General Assembly in its
resolution 51/6 of 4 November 1996 granting observer status to the Authority,
and subject to such decisions as may be taken concerning the attendance of
their meetings by observers, the United Nations shall, subject to the rules of
procedure and practice of the bodies concerned, invite the Authority to send
representatives to meetings and conferences of other competent bodies,
whenever matters of interest to the Authority are discussed.

2.   Subject to such decisions as may be taken by its competent bodies
concerning the attendance of their meetings by observers, the Authority shall,
subject to the rules of procedure and practice of the bodies concerned, invite
the United Nations to send representatives to all its meetings and
conferences, whenever matters of interest to the United Nations are discussed.

3.   Written statements submitted by the United Nations to the Authority for
distribution shall be distributed by the secretariat of the Authority to all
members of the appropriate organ or organs of the Authority in accordance with
the relevant rules of procedure.  Written statements presented by the
Authority to the United Nations for distribution shall be distributed by the
Secretariat of the United Nations to all members of the appropriate organ or
organs of the United Nations in accordance with the relevant rules of
procedure.  Such written statements will be circulated in the quantities and
languages in which they are made available to the respective secretariat.


                                   Article 7

                   Cooperation between the two secretariats

     The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of
the Authority shall consult from time to time regarding the implementation of
their respective responsibilities under the Convention and the Agreement. 
They shall consult, in particular, regarding such administrative arrangements
as may be necessary to enable the two organizations effectively to carry out
their functions and to ensure effective cooperation and liaison between their
secretariats.


                                   Article 8

                  Exchange of information, data and documents

1.   The United Nations and the Authority shall arrange for the exchange of
information, publications and reports of mutual interest.

2.   In fulfilment of the responsibilities entrusted to him under article
319, subparagraphs 1 (a) and (b) of the Convention and assumed by him pursuant
to General Assembly resolution 37/66 of 3 December 1982, the Secretary-General
of the United Nations shall report to the Authority from time to time on
issues of a general nature that have arisen with respect to the Convention and
shall regularly notify the Authority of ratifications and formal confirmations
of and accessions to the Convention and amendments thereto, as well as of
denunciations of the Convention.

3.   The United Nations and the Authority shall cooperate in obtaining from
States Parties to the Convention copies of charts or lists of geographical
coordinates of the outer limit lines of their continental shelf as referred to
in article 84 of the Convention.  They will exchange copies of such lists of
coordinates or, to the extent practicable, charts.

4.   Where the outer limits of the national jurisdiction of a State Party are
defined by the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone, the United Nations
shall provide to the Authority copies of such lists of geographical
coordinates or, to the extent practicable, charts, indicating the outer limit
lines of the exclusive economic zone of such State Party as may be deposited
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations pursuant to article 75,
paragraph 2, of the Convention.

5.   The Authority, to the extent practicable, shall furnish special studies
or information requested by the United Nations.  The submission of such
reports, studies and information shall be subject to conditions set forth in
article 14.

6.   The United Nations and the Authority are subject to necessary
limitations for the safeguarding of confidential material, data and
information furnished to them by their members or others.  Subject to article
4, paragraph 1, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to require either
the United Nations or the Authority to furnish any material, data and
information the furnishing of which could, in its judgement, constitute a
violation of the confidence of any of its members or anyone from whom it shall
have received such information, or which would otherwise interfere with the
orderly conduct of its operation.


                                   Article 9

                             Statistical services

     The United Nations and the Authority, recognizing the desirability of
maximum cooperation in the statistical field and of minimizing the burdens
placed on Governments and other organizations from which information may be
collected, undertake to avoid undesirable duplication between them with
respect to the collection, analysis and publication of statistics, and agree
to consult with each other on the most efficient use of resources and of
technical personnel in the field of statistics.


                                  Article 10

                             Technical assistance

     The United Nations and the Authority undertake to work together in the
provision of technical assistance in the fields of marine scientific research
in the Area, transfer of technology and the prevention, reduction and control
of pollution of the marine environment from activities in the Area.  In
particular, they agree to take such measures as may be necessary to achieve
effective coordination of their technical assistance activities within the
framework of existing coordinating machinery in the field of technical
assistance, taking into account the respective roles and responsibilities of
the United Nations and the Authority under their constitutive instruments, as
well as those of other organizations participating in technical assistance
activities. 


                                  Article 11

                            Personnel arrangements

1.   The United Nations and the Authority agree to apply, in the interests of
uniform standards of international employment and to the extent feasible,
common personnel standards, methods and arrangements designed to avoid
unjustified differences in terms and conditions of employment and to
facilitate interchange of personnel in order to obtain the maximum benefit
from their services.

2.   To this end, the United Nations and the Authority agree: 

     (a) To consult together from time to time concerning matters of common
interest relating to the terms and conditions of employment of the officers
and staff, with a view to securing as much uniformity in these matters as may
be feasible;

     (b) To cooperate in the interchange of personnel when desirable, on a
temporary or a permanent basis, making due provision for the retention of
seniority and pension rights;

     (c) To cooperate in the establishment and operation of suitable
machinery for the settlement of disputes arising in connection with the
employment of personnel and related matters.

3.   Pursuant to decision ISBA/A/15 of 15 August 1996 of the Assembly of the
International Seabed Authority, and upon the approval of the General Assembly
of the United Nations, the Authority shall participate in the United Nations
Joint Staff Pension Fund in accordance with the Regulations of the Fund and
shall accept the jurisdiction of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal in
matters involving applications alleging non-observance of those Regulations.

4.   The terms and conditions on which any facilities or services of the
Authority or the United Nations in connection with the matters referred to in
this article are to be extended to the other shall, where necessary, be the
subject of supplementary arrangements concluded for this purpose.


                                  Article 12

                              Conference services

1.   Unless the General Assembly of the United Nations, after giving
reasonable notice to the Authority, decides otherwise, the United Nations will
make available to the Authority, on a reimbursable basis, such facilities and
services as may be required for the meetings of the Authority, including
translation and interpretation services, documentation and conference
services.

2.   The terms and conditions on which any facilities or services of the
United Nations in connection with the matters referred to in this article may
be extended to the Authority shall, where necessary, be the subject of
separate arrangements concluded for this purpose.


                                  Article 13

                        Budgetary and financial matters

     The Authority recognizes the desirability of establishing close
budgetary and financial cooperation with the United Nations aimed at
benefiting from the experience of the United Nations in this field.


                                  Article 14

                             Financing of services

     The costs and expenses resulting from the provision of services pursuant
to this Agreement shall be the subject of separate arrangements between the
Authority and the United Nations.


                                  Article 15

                         United Nations laissez-passer

     Without prejudice to the right of the Authority to issue its own travel
documents, officials of the Authority shall be entitled, in accordance with
such special arrangements as may be concluded between the Secretary-General of
the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the Authority, to use the
laissez-passer of the United Nations as a valid travel document where such use
is recognized under the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the
International Seabed Authority or other agreements defining the privileges and
immunities of the Authority.


                                  Article 16

                        Implementation of the Agreement

     The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of
the Authority may enter into such supplementary arrangements for the
implementation of this Agreement as may be found desirable.


                                  Article 17

                                  Amendments

     This Agreement may be amended by agreement between the United Nations
and the Authority.  Any such amendment agreed upon shall enter into force on
its approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Assembly of
the Authority.


                                  Article 18

                               Entry into force

1.   This Agreement shall enter into force on its approval by the General
Assembly of the United Nations and the Assembly of the Authority.

2.   This Agreement shall be applied provisionally by the United Nations and
the Authority upon signature by the Secretary-General of the United Nations
and the Secretary-General of the Authority.


     IN WITNESS THEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized
representatives of the United Nations and the International Seabed Authority,
have signed the present agreement.

     SIGNED this 14th day of March 1997 at New York in two originals in the
English language.


FOR THE UNITED NATIONS:               FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY:

(Signed)  Kofi A. Annan               (Signed)  Satya N. Nandan
        Secretary-General                      Secretary-General


                                     -----
 

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org