General Assembly Resolution 1307 (XIII) of 10 December 1958 (Convening a second United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea) 6 and 8. General Assembly resolution 2574 A (XXIV) of 15 December 1969 (Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the sea-bed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interests of mankind) 268 (also commonly known as: Kokuren kaiyōhō jōyaku [no see ref. The Ad Hoc Committee was requested to prepare a study, to be presented at the following session of the General Assembly, on the scientific, technical, economic, legal and other aspects of use of the seabed and the ocean floor, including a survey of past and present activities of the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations in this regard. The Convention remains the recognized framework within which such developments occur and such challenges are met. Fifteen meetings were held under the auspices of the Secretary-General between 1990 and 1994. It was lengthy, extending the Conference up to 1982, because it involved the reconciliation of the interests of groups as well as of particular States in such a way that each party involved could perceive even in specific provisions not consonant to its desiderata a part of a package that, as a whole, it could consider to bring more advantages than disadvantages. Having considered the report, the General Assembly adopted on 21 December 1968 resolution 2467 A (XXIII), by which it decided to establish a Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction, consisting of forty-two Member States. General Assembly Resolution 2340 (XXII) of 18 December 1967 (Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the sea-bed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interest of mankind) Changes were progressively introduced when consensus was achieved. General Assembly resolution 2750 C (XXV) of 17 December 1970 (Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the sea-bed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction and the use of their resources in the interests of mankind, and convening of a conference on the law of the sea) No State can claim or exercise sovereignty or sovereign rights thereupon, and their use shall be for peaceful purposes only. 5928, extended U.S. territorial waters from three nautical miles to twelve nautical miles for national security purposes. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is an international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which took place between 1973 and 1982. A number of agreements concerning law of the sea matters, such as the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, have adopted the dispute-settlement provisions of the Law of the Sea Convention for the settlement of disputes concerning their application and interpretation, even when a party to the dispute is not a party to the Convention. On the initiative of the representative of the Government of Malta, the General Assembly considered at its twenty-second session, in 1967, an item entitled “Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the seabed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interests of mankind”. List of parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; United States and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; Global file usage. Flexibility is entrusted to the interpretations judicial and arbitral bodies may adopt while settling disputes. The United States is still not party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fifteen years after the treaty became operational. Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea Official Records, vols. for var. Speech by the Maltese Ambassador to the United Nations on 1 November 1967, 22nd session of the General Assembly (First Committee, 1515th meeting) [11], V Bantz, 'La Question De I'Adhesion Par Les Etats-Unis a La Convention Des Nations Unies Sur Le Droit De La Mer' (2003) 8 Annuaire Du Droit De La Mer 9–54, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, United States non-ratification of the UNCLOS, "The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (A historical perspective)", "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea", "Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea", "Chronological lists of ratifications of, accessions and successions to the Convention and the related Agreements", Roger Rufe, President of the Ocean Conservancy. The first phase was devoted to identification of issues of concern to some States, the approach to be taken in examining them and the search for solutions. Content. On 18 December 1972, having considered the report on the Committee’s work during its 1972 sessions (A/8721 and Corr.1), the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to convene the first session of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1973 to deal with organizational matters, and a second session in 1974, as well as subsequent sessions if necessary, to deal with substantive work (resolution 3029 (XXVII)). For the current participation status of the Agreement, as well as information and relevant texts of related treaty actions, such as reservations, declarations, objections, denunciations and notifications, see: The Conference, held from 17 March to 26 April 1960, was however unable to make any substantive decision on those issues. [2] An additional 14 UN member states have signed, but not ratified the convention. Notwithstanding the concerns of delegations excluded or only marginally involved in some groups, the process gained general acceptance as the products of the work of the various groups had to be submitted to plenary bodies. One UN member state has signed the Agreement but has not ratified it. By Leslie-Anne Duvic Paoli for RUSI.org The Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General, The Agreement regarding the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 entered into force provisionally on 16 November 1994, and definitively on 28 July 1996. 1-8). General Assembly resolution 3067 (XXVIII) of 16 November 1973 (Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the sea-bed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interests of mankind, and convening of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea) The United Nations (UN) held its first Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS I) in 1956, which resulted in a 1958 Convention. This led to the recognition, in the above quoted resolution 2750 (XXV), “that the problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be considered as a whole”. By resolution 48/263 of 28 July 1994 the General Assembly 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, consisting of ten articles and nine annexes. In practice, some flexibility has been ensured by the Meeting of States Parties adopting by consensus changes to time limits established by the Convention, and by the possibility of adopting “implementing agreements”, on the model of the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, which, although not requiring that States parties coincide with those of the Convention, develop insufficiently detailed provisions of it, or areas not covered by it, while stating that they shall be interpreted and applied in the context of and in a manner consistent with the Convention. Additionally, only states which are parties to the Convention can ratify the Agreement. In the case of the Drafting Committee, the creation of six “language groups” which, together with the meeting of their coordinators and the Chairman of the Committee, did most of the work, was due to the need to ensure that the six official authentic texts had been in fact negotiated by the Conference from the point of view of linguistic equivalence. General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No. Report of the Secretary-General, A/48/950 of 9 June 1994, pp. This emerges in the cautionary language used in Security Council resolution 1816 of 2 June 2008 authorizing States to repress acts of piracy in the territorial sea of Somalia and not only on the high seas as specified in the Convention. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea entered into force twelve months after the deposit of the sixtieth instrument of ratification, on 16 November 1994. In force: 1994-11-16. UNCLOS, also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty, defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans; it establishes guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. 100 held on 27 July 1994 (A/48/PV.100) XI, A/CONF.62/SR.115); Ninth session held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, 3 March to 4 April 1980 (General Assembly resolution 34/20 of 9 November 1979); Resumed ninth session held at the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, 28 July to 29 August 1980 (General Assembly resolution 34/20 of 9 November 1979); Tenth session held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, 9 March to 24 April 1981 (General Assembly resolution 35/116 of 10 December 1980, and decision taken at the 147th meeting of the plenary Conference on 20 April 1981, A/CONF.62/SR.147). The Committee was instructed to study the elaboration of legal principles and norms which would promote international co-operation in the exploration and the use of the seabed and ocean floor, and to make recommendations to the General Assembly thereon. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (or UNCLOS) has been described as “the constitution of the oceans.” Originally finalized in 1982, UNCLOS’ 320 articles and nine annexes represent arguably the most holistic codification of international law in history. 101, Final Act of the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, The Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is considered the “constitution of the oceans”. So it was that the last negotiating text, “The Draft Convention on the Law of the Sea” (1981), could be considered in most of its provisions a consensus text. The Convention has 320 articles, set out in seventeen parts, as well as nine annexes. See Official Records of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, vol. These groups were made necessary by the difficulty of negotiating in plenary bodies and the need to achieve progress between the most interested delegations and group representatives. Note: The Convention was adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and opened for signature, together with the Final Act of the Conference, at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 10 December 1982. [10], Some American commentators, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have warned that ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty might create a precedent with regard to resources of outer space. Draft Convention on the Law of the Sea, Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea Official Records, Vol. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“the Convention”) sets out the overarching legal regime for the conservation and management of marine living resources within areas under national jurisdiction and on the high seas and contains specific provisions relating to straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks (articles 63 and 64). Parts XVI and XVII set out general and final clauses. 73 held on 9 December 1993 (A/48.PV.73) Exploitation of the living and non-living resources was seen as more important than, or as important as, navigation of merchant and military fleets. The Negotiating Process of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Beyond, The New Law of the Sea and the Settlement of Disputes, The Art and Science of Chairing Major Inter-governmental Conferences, The Landlocked States and the Law of the Sea, The Resurgence of Piracy: A Phenomenon of Modern Times, Environmental Law: Preservation of the Marine Environment. This relationship between the Convention and customary law does not preclude new customary rules emerging; however, when they are in contrast with the Convention, extreme caution is necessary before concluding that they have in fact emerged. The International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and arbitral tribunals have often applied the Convention, and sometimes they have done so as a reflection of customary law. IX, A/CONF.62/SR.106); Eighth session held at the Office of the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, 19 March to 27 April 1979 (General Assembly resolution 33/17 of 10 November 1978); Resumed eighth session held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, 19 July to 24 August 1979 (Decision taken at the 115th meeting of the plenary on 27 April 1979. 1340, p. 61. Â. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 : La Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer du 10 décembre 1982 : 168. To view the full version of this footage, as well as other statements, please visit the Historic Archives. Not only does it provide for the establishment of four institutions, the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Commission on the limits of the continental shelf and the Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention. The Agreement entered into force on 11 December 2001, thirty days after the deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification. Irreconcilable divergences remained (especially in light of the changed position of the United States, due to the accession to the Presidency of Ronald Reagan) only regarding Part XI, on the International Seabed Area. These texts contained a draft of the articles of the future convention prepared, in separate parts, under their responsibility, by the Chairmen of the main committees starting in 1975, then progressively refined in successive versions and since 1977 unified under the responsibility of the “Collegium” of the main officers of the Conference. … It also entrusts existing organizations, in particular the International Maritime Organization, with a number of tasks and refers to their rules and standards or recommendations as criteria against which to assess the conformity to the Convention of domestic laws and regulations. While having carried out a comprehensive study of the various aspects of the item within the limits of the time available, the Ad Hoc Committee recognized the need for further study, and made suggestions for this purpose. The main difficulties concerning the International Seabed Area regime were overcome in informal consultations conducted under the aegis of the United Nations Secretary-General between 1990 and 1994. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was opened for signature at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 10 December 1982. By resolution 2340 (XXII) of 18 December 1967, the Assembly established an Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction, consisting of thirty-six Member States. The most important of the relatively few missing accessions is that of the United States, whose Government, nevertheless, has, since 1994, submitted the Convention to the Senate to obtain its advice and consent for accession. The agreement has been ratified by 150 parties (all of which are parties to the Convention), which includes 149 states (146 United Nations member states plus the UN Observer state Palestine, as well as the Cook Islands and Niue) and the European Union. During the second phase more precision was given to the results reached so far; additional points were raised for consideration and participants directed their attention to an examination of consolidated texts embodying these solutions and on the procedure by which they might be adopted (See Consultations of the Secretary-General on outstanding issues relating to the deep seabed mining provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. [8][9], On 16 July 2012, the U.S. Senate had 34 Republican Senators who indicated their intention to vote against ratification of the Treaty if it came to a vote. A draft resolution was adopted and submitted to the General Assembly for consideration at its forty-eighth session (See ibid., Annex 1). Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, New York, 4 August 1995, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. Date enacted: 1982-12-10. This device had the advantage of providing the Conference with a basic draft that would become the exclusive object of amendment proposals. A claim for exclusive or sovereign rights over an area of the sea well beyond the territorial sea, previously put forward only by South American States, gained wide acceptance. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's … Already at the final session held in Montego Bay in December 1982, some of the abstaining States signed the Convention, and more did so before the final date for signature, 10 December 1984. The convention has been ratified by 168 parties, which includes 167 states (164 United Nations member states plus the UN Observer state Palestine, as well as the Cook Islands and Niue) and the European Union. The latter, as well as the topic of enhancing the universal participation of States in multilateral conventions relating to the law of the sea, were to be considered directly by the plenary (see A/CONF.62/29). General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No. Part I - Introduction; Part II - Territorial sea and contiguous zone. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, edited by Alexander Proelss [C.H. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. The Convention was opened for signature, until 9 December 1984, first at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica (from 10 December 1982), and then at United Nations Headquarters in New York (from 1 July 1983). j) detailed provisions concerning marine scientific research, based on the principle of consent of the coastal State, consent which should be the norm for pure research and discretionary for resource-oriented research. title: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea = Ei-Wa taiyaku Kokuren kaiyōhō jōyaku) at head of treaty (Kaiyōhō ni kansuru Kokusai Rengō jōyaku) pref./p. 72 held on 9 December 1993 (A/48.PV.72) In accordance with its mandate under Agenda 21, agreed upon at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, the General Assembly decided in resolution 47/192 of 22 December 1992 to convene the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. After a short procedural session in New York in 1973, the Conference started its substantive work in Caracas in 1974 on the basis of a multi-volume report of the Seabed Committee, without the benefit of the previous work of experts, such as that of the International Law Commission (as in the case of the 1958 Conventions), and without a basic draft. Naval War College. On 29 April 1958, as recorded in the Final Act (A/CONF.13/L.58, 1958, UNCLOS, Off. See Official Records of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, vol. [3] An additional three UN member states (Egypt, Sudan, USA) have signed, but not ratified the agreement. Resumed tenth session held at the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, 3 to 28 August 1981 (General Assembly resolution 35/452 of 11 May 1981); Eleventh session held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, 8 March to 30 April 1982 (General Assembly resolution 36/79 of 9 December 1981); Resumed eleventh session held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, 22 to 24 September 1982 (Decision taken at the 182nd meeting of the plenary Conference on 30 April 1982, A/CONF.62/SR.182). III: Documents of the Conference (A/CONF.62/29, 1974) The consultations can be divided into two phases. The Committee submitted its final report to the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth session, in 1973 (A/9021 and Corr.1 and 3). General Assembly resolution 2881 (XXVI) of 21 December 1971 (Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the sea-bed and ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interests of mankind, and convening of a conference on the law of the sea) States are keen to avoid that rules incompatible with the Convention are read as influencing customary law. The General Assembly considered the agenda item entitled “The Law of the Sea” in 1993 on 9 December, and in 1994 on 27 and 28 July. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was adopted in 1982. Legal Instruments The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. This brought about the decision that efforts at reaching consensus had been exhausted, the vote on a limited number of specific amendments (which were all rejected) and the vote held on 30 April 1982 on the Convention as a whole, which resulted in 130 votes in favour, 4 against and 17 abstentions. Subsequent to the adoption of the 1958 Conventions (see the 1958 Conventions on the Law of the Sea), the General Assembly requested that the Secretary-General convene a Second United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea to consider the topics of the breadth of the territorial sea and fishery limits, which had not been agreed upon in the said Conventions (resolution 1307 (XIII) of 10 December 1958). It embodies in one instrument traditional rules for the uses of the oceans and at the same time introduces new legal concepts and regimes and addresses new … XV (A/CONF.62/L.78, 28 August 1981) 1046, p. 120. To be notified when new lectures become available, please subscribe to the RSS feed. Parts XII to XIV concern specific marine activities and questions in all areas: the protection of the environment, marine scientific research, and the development and transfer of marine technology. Report of the Secretary-General (A/48/950, 9 June 1994) The process within the United Nations General Assembly started in 1967 with the well known speech of the Maltese Ambassador Arvid Pardo. The second important procedural device was that of the “Negotiating Texts”. The Convention entered into force on 16 November 1994. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. ), such as those of coastal States, maritime States, archipelagic States, landlocked States, land-based producers of the minerals to be extracted from the nodules, etc. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 in Montego Bay, Jamaica and entered into force on 16 November 1994. The General Assembly noted the progress in the Committee’s work in resolution 2881 (XXVI) of 21 December 1971, by which it also decided to enlarge the Committee, adding another five members to its membership. 25 Years of the Law of the Sea Convention - Has it Been a Success? Report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction to the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth session (A/8721, 1972 and Corr. The merger of the two trends was so accomplished. 73, General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No. UNCLOS. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Blogs, Comments and Archive News on Economictimes.com ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_parties_to_the_United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea&oldid=966206359, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 July 2020, at 18:28. "In fact, the irony is that the United States already scrupulously follows the rules in the convention," said James Kraska, an international law expert at the U.S. Copyright © United Nations, 2021. This procedure was at the same time necessary and lengthy. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982. They consist, on one side, in a process within the United Nations General Assembly concerning a specific aspect of the law of the sea, and, on the other side, in momentous changes in the structure of international society and in the uses of the sea. At the same time, the need to protect the marine environment, after the 1972 United Nations Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, and the conclusion of significant specific conventions (the London Dumping Convention of 1972 and the MARPOL convention of 1973) became a broadly accepted objective. Rec. States with a dagger () are landlocked states. [6][7], In 1983 President Ronald Reagan, through Proclamation No. The Agreement was adopted on 4 August 1995 by the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and opened for signature on 4 December 1995. 1 See Final Act of the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, paras. Though this has been driven by internal concerns about losing sovereignty, an opportunity now presents itself for the US to enhance its maritime interests by joining the Convention. … the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, vol see! 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