NEW YORK, 15 June (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea) ― The twenty-fifth Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was held at Headquarters from 8 to 12 June.
On the first day, which coincided with World Oceans Day, the Meeting took note of the annual report of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for 2014, as well as of the information reported by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority and the Chairperson of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Extensive coverage of the first day can be found at www.un.org/press/en/2015/sea2016.doc.htm. The Meeting continued its work on the remaining agenda items in the days that followed.
The Meeting’s Open-Ended Working Group on the conditions of service of the members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, coordinated by Alexandra Lennox-Marwick (New Zealand) and James Waweru (Kenya), prepared a draft decision, which was later adopted by the Meeting. The decision (document SPLOS/286) emphasized the need for Commission members to have more suitable working space during its sessions and those of its subcommissions and urged the General Assembly, at its seventieth session, to take appropriate and necessary measures to resolve this matter.
The Open-Ended Working Group will continue to consider that issue, as well as options for mechanisms to provide medical insurance coverage to Commission members, based on information to be provided by the Secretary-General in early September.
The Meeting also considered budgetary matters of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (www.itlos.org) and in this regard, took note with satisfaction of the report by the external auditor for the financial period 2013-2014 (document SPLOS/279) and that of the Registrar of the Tribunal on budgetary matters for the financial periods 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 (document SPLOS/280). The States parties decided that funds should be allocated for the Tribunal to subscribe to the Statute of the International Civil Service Commission, with effect from 1 January 2016.
The Meeting elected one candidate to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to fill a vacancy resulting from the resignation of a Commission member. In one round of balloting, Nenad Leder of Croatia was elected, with 112 votes in favour. Mr. Leder will serve on the Commission from the date of election until 15 June 2017.
The Meeting also considered, under article 319 of the Convention, the report of the Secretary-General for the information of States parties on issues of a general nature, relevant to States parties, which have arisen with respect to the Convention (documents A/69/71/Add.1 and A/70/74).
During the deliberations under this agenda item, many States parties highlighted the Convention as the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, as well as the importance of its effective implementation, including for the sustainable development of oceans and seas and their resources, the need for capacity-building and cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination. The Convention, which entered into force on 16 November 1994, governs 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.
For further information on the Meeting, please visit 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/twentyfifthmeetingstatesparties.htm.