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UN CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA:

The next round of the UN Secretary-General's informal consultations on Part XI of the Law of the Sea was scheduled to be held immediately following this session of the Conference, 2-6 August 1993. Part XI deals with the exploitation of sea-bed resources and the establishment of the International Sea-Bed Authority. Disagreement on this part of the Convention has delayed ratification by many States and its entry into force. At the last round of these informal consultations in May 1993, the US stated that it is now ready to participate in negotiations to "repair" Part XI. If some agreement is reached at this round of informal consultations, it is likely that an appropriate process will be found to commence accelerated negotiations on this section, making it possible for many countries to ratify the Convention. The Convention has been ratified by 56 of the 60 countries necessary for it to enter into force. Look for movement on this issue over the next several months, with possible resolution during the coming session of the General Assembly.