United Nations

A/RES/50/23


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  
50th session
22 December 1995


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 39


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

         [without reference to a Main Committee (A/50/L.34 and Add.1)]


                          50/23.   Law of the Sea


      The General Assembly,

      Emphasizing the universal character of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea  1/ and its fundamental importance
for the maintenance and strengthening of international peace and
security, as well as for the sustainable use and development of the
seas and oceans and their resources,

      Considering that, in its resolution 2749 (XXV) of 17 December
1970, it proclaimed that the seabed and ocean floor, and the subsoil
thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction (hereinafter
referred to as "the Area"), as well as the resources of the Area, are
the common heritage of mankind, and considering also that the
Convention, together with the Agreement relating to the implementation
of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of
10 December 1982,  2/ provides the regime to be applied to the
Area and its resources,

      Recalling its resolution 49/28 of 6 December 1994 on the law of
the sea, adopted consequent to the entry into force of the Convention
on 16 November 1994,

      Aware of the importance of the effective implementation of the
Convention and its uniform and consistent application, as well as of
the growing need to promote and facilitate international cooperation
on the law of the sea and ocean affairs at the global, regional and
subregional levels,

      Conscious of the strategic importance of the Convention as a
framework for national, regional and global action in the marine
sector, as recognized also by the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development in chapter 17 of Agenda 21,  3/

      Recognizing the impact on States of the entry into force of the
Convention and the increasing need, particularly of developing States,
for advice and assistance in its implementation in order to benefit
thereunder,

      Noting the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and
competent international organizations under the Convention, in
particular pursuant to its entry into force and as required by
resolution 49/28,

      Reaffirming the importance of the annual consideration and review
by the General Assembly of the overall developments pertaining to the
implementation of the Convention, as well as of other developments
relating to the law of the sea and ocean affairs,

      Noting the decisions taken by States parties to the Convention to
convene meetings of States parties to deal with the initial budget and
organizational and other related matters of the International Tribunal
for the Law of the Sea in preparation for its establishment and the
election of its members,  4/ as well as to prepare for and
organize the election of the members of the Commission on the Limits
of the Continental Shelf,

      Noting also that the Assembly of the International Seabed
Authority has concluded its first session and has scheduled two
meetings of the Authority for 1996, from 11 March for up to three
weeks, if necessary, and from 5 August for up to two weeks, in
Kingston,  5/

      Noting further that the Assembly of the Authority requested
arrangements for the interim secretariat of the Authority, authorizing
the Secretary-General to administer the interim secretariat until the
Secretary-General of the Authority is able to assume effectively the
responsibility of the Authority's secretariat,  6/

      Recalling that the Agreement relating to the implementation of
Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10
December 1982 provides that the institutions established by the
Convention shall be cost-effective,  7/ and recalling also that
the meeting of States parties to the Convention decided that this
principle would apply to all aspects of the work of the Tribunal, 8/

      Emphasizing the importance of making adequate provisions for the
efficient functioning of the institutions established by the
Convention,

      1.    Calls upon all States that have not done so to become
parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and to
ratify, confirm formally or accede to the Agreement relating to the
implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea of 10 December 1982 in order to achieve the goal of
universal participation;

      2.    Calls upon States to harmonize their national legislation
with the provisions of the Convention and to ensure the consistent
application of those provisions;

      3.    Reaffirms the unified character of the Convention;

      4.    Recalls its decision to fund the budget for the
administrative expenses of the International Seabed Authority
initially from the regular budget of the United Nations, in accordance
with the provisions of the Agreement;  9/

      5.    Approves the provision by the Secretary-General of such
services as may be required for the two meetings of the Authority to
be held in 1996, from 11 to 22 March and from 5 to 16 August;

      6.    Approves also the request of the Assembly of the Authority
to continue the staff and facilities previously available to the
Kingston Office for the Law of the Sea as the interim secretariat of
the Authority, and authorizes the Secretary-General to administer the
interim secretariat until the Secretary-General of the Authority is
able to assume effectively the responsibility of the Authority's
secretariat;

      7.    Requests the Secretary-General to convene the meetings of
States parties to the Convention from 4 to 8 March, from 6 to 10 May
and from 29 July to 2 August 1996;

      8.    Notes with appreciation the progress made in practical
arrangements for the establishment of the International Tribunal for
the Law of the Sea and in preparations for the establishment of the
Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf;

      9.    Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for the
annual comprehensive report on the law of the sea  10/ and the
activities of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of
the Office of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat, in accordance with the
provisions of the Convention and the mandate set forth in resolution
49/28;

      10.    Reaffirms the importance of ensuring the uniform and
consistent application of the Convention and a coordinated approach to
its effective implementation, and of strengthening technical
cooperation and financial assistance for this purpose, stresses once
again the continuing importance of the Secretary-General's efforts to
these ends, and reiterates its invitation to the competent
international organizations and other international bodies to support
these objectives;

      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the
institutional capacity of the Organization adequately responds to the
needs of States and competent international organizations by providing
advice and assistance, taking into account the special needs of
developing countries;

      12.   Invites Member States and others in a position to do so to
contribute to the further development of the fellowship programme on
the law of the sea and training and educational activities on the law
of the sea and ocean affairs established by the Assembly in its
resolution 35/116 of 10 December 1980, and advisory services in
support of effective implementation of the Convention;

      13.   Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at
its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present
resolution, in connection with his annual comprehensive report on the
law of the sea;

      14.   Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its
fifty-first session the item entitled "Law of the sea".

                                                          81st plenary meeting
                                                               5 December 1995



                                   Notes

1/   Official Records of the Third United Nations Conference on
the Law of the Sea, vol. XVII (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.84.V.3), document A/CONF.62/122.

2/   Resolution 48/263, annex.

3/   Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol.
I and Vol. I/Corr.1, Vol. II, Vol. III and Vol. III/Corr.1)) (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), Vol. I: 
Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.

4/   See SPLOS/4, para. 38.

5/   See ISBA/A/L.7/Rev.1, para. 35.

6/   See ISBA/A/L.5 and ISBA/A/L.7/Rev.1, para. 33.

7/   See resolution 48/263, annex:  Annex to the Agreement, sect. 1, para. 2.

8/   See SPLOS/4, para. 25 (e).

9/   See resolution 48/263, para. 8; and ibid., annex:  Annex to
the Agreement, sect. 1, para. 14.

10/  A/50/713.

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: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org