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52/27 Agreement concerning the Relationship between the United Nations and
the International Seabed Authority

Date: 26 November 1997 Meeting: 57
Adopted without a vote Draft: A/52/L.27 and Add.1

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 51/34 of 9 December 1996, in which, inter alia, it invited the Secretary-General of the United Nations to take steps to conclude a relationship agreement with the International Seabed Authority, to be applied provisionally pending its approval by the General Assembly and the Assembly of the Authority,

Noting the decision of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority at its third session (1) to approve the Agreement concerning the Relationship between the United Nations and the International Seabed Authority signed on 14 March 1997 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority,

Having considered the Agreement concerning the Relationship between the United Nations and the International Seabed Authority, (2)

Approves the Agreement, which is annexed to the present resolution.

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
Secretary-General
(Signed) Satya N. Nandan
Secretary-General

1. ISBA/3/A/3.

2. A/52/260, annex.