Office of Legal Affairs
Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the
Legal Counsel of the United Nations: Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares
To provide a unified central legal service for the Secretariat and the principal and other organs of the United Nations
To contribute to the progressive development and codification of international public and trade law
To promote the strengthening and development as well as the effective implementation of the international legal order for the seas and oceans
To register and publish treaties, and to perform the depositary functions of the Secretary-General.
The Office of Legal Affairs seeks to achieve this:
Through the provision of legal services on questions of international and national, public, private, procedural and administrative law
By providing substantive secretariat functions to United Nations bodies
By contributing to the understanding, acceptance and consistent application of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related implementing Agreements
Through the expeditious processing and publication of treaty-related actions and treaties registered and deposited, and by providing assistance to Member States in matters related to treaty law.