December 10, 2016

Twenty-fourth Meeting of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Statement by Ms. Melivia Demetriou, Second Secretary

New York, 13 June, 2014

Thank you Mr. President

Allow me to also thank you for the way in which you have taken our discussions forward during this SPLOS – it has been a pleasure to serve on the bureau under your leadership. 

My delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary General and to the Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea (DOALOS) for the report and its useful contents. We wish to take this opportunity to raise an issue concerning Maritime Space, covered in Chapter III of the report, and in particular, regarding the presentation of communications on maritime space received by DOALOS from all UN Member States.

The Division’s current practice is to publish communications on the DOALOS website and in the Law of the Sea Bulletin in exactly the same manner and format, regardless of whether they originate from states parties to UNCLOS or non states parties.

Since DOALOS is seen as an authoritative source on maritime issues, it would be useful to have clarity on this matter, when accessing information on the website and in the Law of the Sea Bulletin. We understand that at the moment there is a table of ratifications and information regarding the status of the Convention in both.

My delegation thinks it would be most useful and practical to have this information clearly stated and visible when actually accessing the specific pages of UN member states.

For example, the DOALOS website could indicate whether a communication is received from a state party with a reference on a particular state’s page of the date it ratified UNCLOS.

Additionally, for a non state party it could be indicated on the website, on the particular country page, that it has not ratified UNCLOS. However, in the Law of the Sea Bulletin we find it would be useful to have a separate chapter for communications received from non state parties.

Undoubtedly, Mr. President, monitoring of relevant information on maritime space and publication of that information is a vital function of DOALOS and an important source for all of us and the wider public. For States Parties it is not only useful, it is essential, as it facilitates the discharge of our legal obligations for due publicity under the Convention.

We are appreciative for the two sources maintained by DOALOS. We see though that there is some room for improvement for the sake of clarity, which can be easily achieved, without any budgetary implications and in a very practical manner.

My delegation remains ready to further exchange views on these issues. We have already been in contact with DOALOS to convey our views.

Having brought it today also to the other state’s parties attention, we request that within the course of the regular review of its activities, the Division reflects on the aforementioned issues, taking also into account the particular suggestions made today.

I thank you Mr. President.

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