ENB:07:39 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

UNCLOS UPDATE

On 16 November 1993, Guyana became the 60th State to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Consequently, the Convention will come into force on 16 November 1994. While 64 States had acceded to the Convention, Iceland was the only developed State who had ratified it and many felt that Part XI of UNCLOS, which deals with deep seabed mining, needed to be re-drafted. Negotiations were held and an "Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982" (the "Agreement") was adopted by the resumed session of the General Assembly on 28 July 1994. The Agreement in no way affects the provisions of UNCLOS that deal with the management of marine living resources, but several industrialized nations have either signed or announced their intention to sign the Agreement. UNCLOS will, therefore, come into force and include many more countries than it did prior to the Agreement.

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE

The third substantive session of the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks opened on Monday, 15 August 1994, at UN Headquarters in New York. Nandan announced the programme of work and said that after delegates made general statements, the Conference would convene in informal sessions to consider A/CONF.164/13/Rev.1, the Chair's Revised Negotiating Text (the "RNT") on a section-by-section basis. He also mentioned that at one point, the delegates would need to address the final outcome of the Conference.

The first day of the Conference consisted of general statements and then convened in informals as the delegates reviewed the RNT. A Draft 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 (the "Draft Agreement") was submitted by the Chair during the second week, and based on the comments that the delegates had made on the RNT. Informal consultations on the most difficult issues were then carried out between the Chair and interested delegations. The delegates reacted to the text on Thursday and the last version of the Draft Agreement was issued before the Conference adjourned the next day.

[Return to start of article]