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FLAG STATE JURISDICTION

One of the most contentious issues was the extent of flag State jurisdiction, as opposed to that of coastal States, port States and regional organizations. Some delegates cited the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that enshrines the principle that flag States have sole jurisdiction over their vessels on the high seas. Others argued that if flag State jurisdiction is not implemented, the whole issue of enforcement will be in doubt. One delegate stated that coastal States must form the nucleus of any body that manages resources in the high seas.