Activities of the Legal Counsel of the
United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, at the Opening of the 28th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
11 June 2018
On 11 June 2018, the Legal Counsel made a statement at the opening of the 28th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The annual Meeting of States Parties considers the report of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and deals with budgetary and administrative matters of the Tribunal, as well as with issues concerning the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Meeting also hears information reported by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority and by the Chairman of the Commission. In addition, the Meeting considers the report of the Secretary-General under article 319 for the information of States Parties on issues of a general nature, relevant to States Parties, which have arisen with respect to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In his remarks, the Legal Counsel highlighted the continuing significance of the Convention in providing the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out and drew attention to the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (General Assembly resolution 72/249). Mr. Serpa Soares referred to the importance of indicator 14c of Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the 2030 Agenda, which calls for the enhancement of the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the Convention.
As focal point of UN Oceans, the Legal Counsel further remarked that the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is currently coordinating the development by UN-Oceans of a methodology for the indicator for target 14c.
He encouraged States Parties to devote attention to the need to ensure full membership in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to ensure that soon the Commission will return to operate with 21 members.
The Legal Counsel, Mr Serpa Soares, participated in the Meetings of States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.