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SEA/2125
21 August 2020

Thirtieth Meeting of States Parties to United Nations Convention on Law of Sea postponed until 24 August

NEW YORK, 21 August (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea) — In light of the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, States parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea decided to postpone the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention, which was originally scheduled to be held at United Nations Headquarters from 15 to 19 June 2020 pursuant to paragraph 56 of General Assembly resolution 74/19 of 10 December 2019, to a period from 24 to 28 August 2020, subject to the availability of a conference room and conference services.

On 6 July, the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties was formally opened by a letter of the President of the twenty-ninth Meeting of States Parties addressed to all States parties, and on 24 July, States parties adopted a proposal to take certain decisions of a procedural nature by a silence procedure similar to that contained in General Assembly decision 74/544, as decision 30/1.

On 29 July, Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations, was elected President of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties by the silence procedure pursuant to decision 30/1.  On 14 August, States parties, by silence procedure, adopted, pursuant to decision 30/3, the provisional agenda of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties; elected, pursuant to decision 30/4, Ibrahima Toure of Côte d’Ivoire, Oleksiy Ilnytskyi of Ukraine, Edgar Daniel Leal Matta of Guatemala and Cary Scott-Kemmis of Australia as Vice-Presidents of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties; and appointed, pursuant to decision 30/5, Chile, China, Finland, Honduras, Monaco, Myanmar, Namibia, Russian Federation, and Sierra Leone as members of the Credentials Committee of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties.

On 18 August, the President of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties, proposed an organization of work according to which “[f]ollowing the opening of the plenary meeting of the thirtieth Meeting in the morning of Monday, 24 August 2020, the Meeting would first take note of the decisions adopted by the silence procedure (30/1:  “Procedure for taking decisions of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic”; 30/2:  “Election of the President”; 30/3:  “Adoption of the agenda”; 30/4:  “Election of Vice-Presidents”; and 30/5:  “Appointment of the Credentials Committee”).  Thereafter, the Meeting would address, in the following order:  agenda item 7, entitled “Organization of work”; agenda item 12, entitled “Report of the Credentials Committee”; and agenda item 13, entitled “Election of seven members of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea”.  In addition, the President proposed that, in light of the limited availability of meeting room facilities, the need to maintain vigilance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity to minimize the risks arising from in-person meetings, the plenary meeting on Monday, 24 August be adjourned after having completed consideration of agenda item 13, and that the meeting continue on 25 and 26 August, as necessary, to complete the consideration of this agenda item.  Also, the President proposed that the consideration of the remaining items on the agenda of the thirtieth Meeting be taken up at a later stage; and will, to that end, conduct consultations with the Bureau and delegations and revert to States parties with the proposed organization of work for the remaining items on the agenda in due course, bearing in mind that agenda item 11(c), entitled “Draft budget proposals of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for the budget period 2021-2022”, will have to be completed prior to the end of the year.

The agenda of the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties is contained in document SPLOS/30/1.

For further information on the thirtieth Meeting of States Parties, including its documents, please see 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/thirtiethmeetingstatesparties.htm.

For information media. Not an official record.