Capacity-Building and Trust Funds

The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) has been providing an ongoing programme of assistance to States and intergovernmental organizations in the field of oceans and the law of the sea since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.

The programme provides assistance to States in the uniform and consistent application of the Convention and related Agreements, as well as ocean affairs more broadly. Assistance is developed on a needs-basis, working closely with beneficiaries and donors, as well as relevant intergovernmental organizations and development partners. Priority is given to developing States.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals are mainstreamed into the programme, as are other contemporary and emerging topics of relevance to the beneficiaries. Such topics may include: ocean governance, the science-policy interface, oceans and climate change, sustainable ocean-based economies (blue economy), and marine protected areas, and etc.    

DOALOS also administers a number of Trust Funds established by the General Assembly which aim to assist States, particularly developing States, in the implementation of the Convention and to participate in ocean-related work of the General Assembly.


Technical Cooperation

Demand-driven and needs-based projects developed and implemented in partnership with the beneficiaries and donors


A range of programmes lasting from 3 to 9 months with a practicum at DOALOS and additional opportunities for placement in centres of excellence worldwide through the HSA and UNNF Fellowships

Trust Funds

A number of Trust Funds to assist developing States in the implementation of the Convention and in participating in the ocean-related work of the General Assembly

Advisory Services

Demand-driven and on issues related to the ratification of the Convention and related Agreements, their uniform and consistent application and effective implementation, as well as in ocean affairs more generally

Studies and Guidelines

Topical studies and guidelines on the application of provisions of the Convention as well as in oceans affairs more generally

Reference Collection and Databases

Specialized ocean and law of the sea reference collection and databases containing national legislation and delimitation treaties