NEW YORK, 13 July (United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs) — The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will hold its forty-seventh session from 16 July to 31 August 2018. The plenary segments of the session will be held from 6 to 10 August and from 27 to 31 August. The remainder of the session will be devoted to the technical examination of submissions at the Division’s geographic information systems laboratories and other technical facilities.
As for the workload of the forty-seventh session, 10 subcommissions will continue their active consideration of submissions made by: the Russian Federation in respect of the Arctic Ocean (partial revised submission); Brazil in respect of the Brazilian Southern Region (partial revised submission); France and South Africa jointly in respect of the area of the Crozet Archipelago and the Prince Edward Islands; Kenya; Nigeria; France in respect of La Réunion Island and Saint-Paul and Amsterdam Islands; Côte d’Ivoire; Sri Lanka; Portugal; and Tonga in the eastern part of the Kermadec Ridge.
Additionally, the Commission will consider the course of its action with regard to the draft recommendations relating to the submission made by Norway in respect of Bouvetøya. These draft recommendations, which are before the plenary of the Commission, were put to the vote at the forty-third session and did not receive the support of the required two-thirds majority of members for approval. Also at the plenary level, the Commission will continue its consideration of the draft recommendations relating to the submission by Seychelles in respect of the Northern Plateau Region.
Before each session, coastal States that have not yet done so are routinely invited to present their submissions in the plenary. Some of them may avail themselves of this opportunity during the present session. Others may, as in the past, opt to present their submissions at a future session on the understanding that such deferrals would not affect the position of the submissions in the queue.
Established pursuant to article 2, annex II to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Commission is a body of 21 experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography, all serving in their personal capacities. Members of the Commission are elected for a term of five years by the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention from among their nationals, with due regard to the need to ensure equitable geographical representation. Not fewer than three members will be elected from each geographical region. Currently, one seat on the Commission is vacant due to the lack of nominations from one of those regions.
The Convention provides that the State party which submitted the nomination of a member of the Commission will defray the expenses of that member while in performance of Commission duties. However, the participation of several members of the Commission from developing countries has been facilitated by financial assistance from a voluntary trust fund for the purpose of defraying the cost of participation of Commission members from developing countries.
Under rule 23 of its Rules of Procedure (Public and private meetings), the meetings of the Commission, its subcommissions and subsidiary bodies are held in private, unless the Commission decides otherwise.
The Commission makes recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of their continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, based on information submitted by coastal States. These recommendations are based on the scientific and technical data and other material provided by States in relation to the implementation of article 76 of the Convention. The recommendations do not prejudice matters relating to the delimitation of boundaries between States with opposite or adjacent coasts, or prejudice the position of States that are parties to a land or maritime dispute, or application of other parts of the Convention or any other treaties. The limits of the continental shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding. In the case of disagreement by the coastal State with the recommendations of the Commission, the coastal State shall, within a reasonable time, make a revised or new submission.
As required under the Commission Rules of Procedure, the executive summaries of all the submissions, including all charts and coordinates, have been made public by the Secretary‑General through continental shelf notifications circulated to Member States of the United Nations, as well as States parties to the Convention. The executive summaries are available on the Division’s website at www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/clcs_home.htm. The summaries of recommendations adopted by the Commission are also available on the above-referenced website.
For additional information on the work of the Commission, see the Division’s website at www.un.org/depts/los/index.htm. In particular, the most recent Statements by the Chair on the progress in the work of the Commission are available at www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/commission_documents.