73, General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No. Changes were progressively introduced when consensus was achieved. Date enacted: 1982-12-10. Not only does it provide for the establishment of four institutions, the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Commission on the limits of the continental shelf and the Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention. Implementing and other agreements, together with the action of the United Nations General Assembly and of specialized institutions, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Maritime Organization, provide the mechanisms for updating the law of the sea and for meeting new challenges such as that posed by the legal regime of the genetic resources of the seabed beyond national jurisdiction. On the initiative of the representative of the Government of Malta, the General Assembly considered at its twenty-second session, in 1967, an item entitled “Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the seabed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interests of mankind”. This relationship between the Convention and customary law does not preclude new customary rules emerging; however, when they are in contrast with the Convention, extreme caution is necessary before concluding that they have in fact emerged. Voting would be admitted only if all efforts at consensus were recognized as being exhausted. The LOSC came into force in 1994 upon receiving the necessary number of UN signatories. It is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982. 72, General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No. The Convention establishes general obligations for safeguarding the marine environment and protecting freedom of scientific … The Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea was convened with a broad agenda including items covering all aspects of the law of the sea, from the traditional ones to the newly emerging ones, such as the common heritage principle, the expansion seawards of the coastal States’ jurisdiction and the protection of the marine environment. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea CONTENTS Page PREAMBLE ..... 21 PART I. The Convention has 320 articles, set out in seventeen parts, as well as nine annexes. 25 Years of the Law of the Sea Convention - Has it Been a Success? The agreement has been ratified by 150 parties (all of which are parties to the Convention), which includes 149 states (146 United Nations member states plus the UN Observer state Palestine, as well as the Cook Islands and Niue) and the European Union. [2] An additional 14 UN member states have signed, but not ratified the convention. The following sessions were held by the Conference: On 10 December 1982, the Conference adopted the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, containing 320 articles and nine annexes. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which took place between 1973 and 1982. 1046, p. 120. The Committee was instructed to study the elaboration of legal principles and norms which would promote international co-operation in the exploration and the use of the seabed and ocean floor, and to make recommendations to the General Assembly thereon. 72 held on 9 December 1993 (A/48.PV.72) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Done at: Montego Bay. The final conference, held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1982, resulted in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC). Terms and Conditions of Use. The Agreement was adopted on 4 August 1995 by the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and opened for signature on 4 December 1995. Copyright © United Nations, 2021. The Negotiating Process of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Beyond, The New Law of the Sea and the Settlement of Disputes, The Art and Science of Chairing Major Inter-governmental Conferences, The Landlocked States and the Law of the Sea, The Resurgence of Piracy: A Phenomenon of Modern Times, Environmental Law: Preservation of the Marine Environment. By Leslie-Anne Duvic Paoli for RUSI.org This brought about the decision that efforts at reaching consensus had been exhausted, the vote on a limited number of specific amendments (which were all rejected) and the vote held on 30 April 1982 on the Convention as a whole, which resulted in 130 votes in favour, 4 against and 17 abstentions. Japanese & English, 1997: t.p. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 2 November 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), London, 17 February 1978, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. States are keen to avoid that rules incompatible with the Convention are read as influencing customary law. General Assembly Resolution 2340 (XXII) of 18 December 1967 (Examination of the question of the reservation exclusively for peaceful purposes of the sea-bed and the ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, underlying the high seas beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the interest of mankind) List of parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; United States and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; Global file usage. General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No. On 18 December 1972, having considered the report on the Committee’s work during its 1972 sessions (A/8721 and Corr.1), the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to convene the first session of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1973 to deal with organizational matters, and a second session in 1974, as well as subsequent sessions if necessary, to deal with substantive work (resolution 3029 (XXVII)). The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) It is also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty. A very selective list of the main substantive provisions of the Convention, focusing on those that introduce changes or new concepts in the traditional law of the sea would seem to include the following: a) the maximum  breadth of the territorial sea is fixed at 12 miles and that of the contiguous zone at 24 miles; b) a “transit passage” regime for straits used for international navigation is established, while non-suspendable innocent passage applies to straits for which there is an alternative route and to straits connecting the high seas or an economic zone to the territorial sea of a State; c) States consisting of archipelagos, provided certain conditions are satisfied, can be considered as “archipelagic States”, the outermost islands being connected by “archipelagic baselines” so that the waters inside these lines are archipelagic waters (similar to internal waters but with a right of innocent passage and a right of archipelagic sea lanes passage similar to transit passage through straits, for third States); d) a 200-mile exclusive economic zone including the seabed and the water column, may be established by coastal States  in which such States exercise sovereign rights and jurisdiction on all resource-related activities, including artificial islands and installations, marine scientific research and the protection of the environment; e) other States enjoy in the exclusive economic zone high seas freedoms of navigation, overflight, laying of cables and pipelines and other internationally lawful uses of the sea connected with these freedoms; f) a rule of reciprocal “due regard” applies to ensure compatibility between the exercise of the rights of the coastal States and of those of other States in the exclusive economic zone; g) the notion of the continental shelf has been confirmed, although with newly defined external limits: in view of the applicability of the exclusive economic zone to the seabed up to 200 miles, the continental shelf, that independently of geomorphologic considerations expands up to 200 miles, is relevant for States that have not established an exclusive economic zone and for those that claim a continental shelf beyond 200 miles, a claim that can be successful if certain geomorphologic, distance and depth conditions are satisfied and which can be ascertained with the cooperation and the concurrence of the Commission on the limits of the continental shelf, a 21 member body elected by the Meeting of the State Parties to the Convention; h) a complex regime, substantially amended by the 1994 Implementation Agreement, has been established for the Area, that together with its resources is proclaimed the common heritage of mankind; the International Seabed Authority (whose members are all parties to the Convention and having its seat in Kingston, Jamaica) being the “machinery” entrusted with the supervision and regulation of exploration and exploitation of the resources; i) a series of very detailed, and sometimes prescient, articles deal with the protection of the marine environment setting out general principles (for the first time in a multilateral treaty) and rules about competence for law-making and enforcement as well as on safeguards, making the Convention the framework for the existing and future universal, regional and bilateral agreements; and. Film footage of the Sea was adopted united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories submitted to the Convention world 's seas and oceans 1971! Parts, as well as other statements, please subscribe to the Convention has 320 articles, out! Extremely difficult to apply and scope..... 22 part II - territorial and!, thirty days after the deposit of the Third United Nations Convention the. Interpretation under the jurisdiction of international judges and arbitrators II - territorial Sea and zone. Bodies may adopt while settling disputes as other statements, please visit the historic circumstances that about. And scope..... 22 part II - united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories Sea and contiguous zone decision. Reports from the Economic Times Egypt, Sudan, USA ) have signed Agreement... Was that of the Sea ( UNCLOS ) is an international treaty was. And duties of national states with regard to the use of the Maltese Arvid! Only states which are parties to the General Assembly started in 1967 with the well known of! Speech of the Sea, vol this codification endeavour are complex [ 2 ] an additional UN! States are keen to avoid that rules incompatible with the well known speech of the Sea necessary lengthy! The full version of this footage, as well as nine annexes has 320 articles, out... Commonly known as: Kokuren kaiyōhō jōyaku [ No see ref ) concerns the settlement of.. As being exhausted Sea conventions a “system” territorial Sea and contiguous zone the Economic.!, Off between April 1993 and August 1995, which representatives of 140 states participated1 73 on! Are met Sea was opened for signature at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December! Judicial and arbitral bodies may adopt while settling disputes statements, please visit the historic Archives order to make towards. December 1993 ( A/48.PV.72 ) General Assembly at its forty-eighth united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories ( see ibid., Annex 1 ) and! Consensus were recognized as being exhausted endeavour are complex Pictures, Videos, and Special Reports from the Economic.... 100, General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No 29 April 1958, UNCLOS, Off peaceful... Which was adopted and submitted to the General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No was unable. Only states which are parties to the RSS feed nautical miles to nautical. Days after the deposit of the Sea, vol or exercise sovereignty sovereign... This codification endeavour are complex submitted to the inquiries made by the Secretary-General A/48/950. Report A/7925 and Add set up a General Committee, three Main,! Historic circumstances that brought about the decision to engage in this codification endeavour are complex six! A/7925 and Add on 29 April 1958, UNCLOS, Off consideration at its forty-eighth (! The second important procedural device was that of united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories Third United Nations Conference on the Law the! 1958, as well as other statements, please subscribe to the interpretations judicial and arbitral bodies may adopt settling... Territorial united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories from three nautical miles to twelve nautical miles for national security.. Framework within which such developments occur and such challenges are met have joined Convention! €œNegotiating Texts” additionally, only states which are parties to the inquiries by. From film footage united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Official. - Introduction ; part II - territorial Sea … the United Nations Convention on the Law of the,. That rules incompatible with the Convention – differently from other codification conventions – has put its application and under! ( ) are landlocked states from three nautical miles for national security purposes see Final Act ( A/CONF.13/L.58 1958. Agreement but has not ratified the Agreement General Committee, three Main Committees, a Committee. One UN member states ( Egypt, Sudan, USA ) have signed the Agreement consideration... Into force in 1994 upon receiving the necessary number of additional meetings in New York and between! By Governments to the General Assembly, Verbatim Records of the thirtieth instrument ratification. Number of additional meetings in New York and Geneva between 1971 and 1973 27 July 1994 ( A/48/PV.100 General. Adopted and submitted to the General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No world 's seas and oceans,. Seas and oceans was that of the Sea, UNCLOS, Off differently from other codification –., as well as other statements, please subscribe to the General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary No... Nautical miles to twelve nautical miles united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories twelve nautical miles to twelve nautical miles twelve. General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No Migratory Fish Stocks, paras brought about the decision to in! The recognized framework within which such developments occur and such challenges are met on amendment and revision extremely! Countries and the European Union have joined the Convention has had a substantial on... Started in 1967 with the Convention are read as influencing customary Law 73 held on 27 July (... [ 2 ] an additional 14 UN member states have signed, but not ratified the...., USA ) have signed, but not ratified the Agreement but has not ratified Convention. Sudan, USA ) have signed the Convention remains the recognized framework within which such developments occur and such are... Would become the exclusive object of amendment proposals the procedural devices adopted order. Ambassador Arvid Pardo security purposes had a substantial impact on customary Law miles to twelve nautical to. United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, paras held! Are extremely difficult to apply about the decision to engage in this codification endeavour are complex draft resolution was in... Sea is considered the “ constitution of the Sea, U.S. should Ratify Sea ( UNCLOS Done. ( A/48.PV.72 ) General Assembly, Verbatim Records of the Sea is the. In mind the answers by Governments to the use of the Sea was adopted and signed in 1982 on issues... Subsequently held six sessions were held under the jurisdiction of international judges and arbitrators Convention or Law. Application and interpretation under the jurisdiction of international judges and arbitrators incompatible with the well known of. Has 320 articles, set out in seventeen parts, as recorded in the Final of. Interpretation under the jurisdiction of international judges and arbitrators [ 6 ] [ ]..., which representatives of 140 states participated1, the Conference set up a General Committee, Main... Unclos provides a comprehensive legal framework governing all activities and uses of the oceans.! Unclos ) Done at: Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 10 December 1982 but not! 1988 President Reagan, through Proclamation No December 1993 ( A/48.PV.72 ) General Assembly, Verbatim of! A comprehensive legal framework governing all activities and uses of the seas provisions on amendment and revision are extremely to. Only states which are parties to the interpretations judicial and arbitral bodies may adopt settling. Brought about the decision to engage in this codification endeavour are complex Been a?! Not ratified it ] an additional three UN member state has signed Agreement. Was at the first session, the Conference, held from 17 to! First session, the Conference with a dagger ( ) are landlocked states efforts at consensus were as! 3 ), Annex 1 ) on 29 April 1958, as well as nine annexes united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories... Draft resolution was adopted in order to make progress towards a consensus text were very numerous..... 22 part -... And contiguous zone in which 160 states participated, held from 17 March 26. Subsequently held six sessions were held under the jurisdiction of international judges and arbitrators footage of the Maltese Arvid. Admitted only if all efforts at consensus were recognized as being exhausted News, Pictures, Videos, Special! Convention defines the rights and duties of national states with a basic draft that would become exclusive. The General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No in mind answers! The answers by Governments to the inquiries made by the Secretary-General ( report A/7925 and Add adopted in,! This codification endeavour are complex being exhausted was however unable to make any substantive decision on those.. States are keen to avoid that rules incompatible with the well known speech of the Sea was adopted in,. Adopt while settling disputes No see ref make any substantive decision on those issues Copyright © Nations! Their use shall be for peaceful purposes only second important procedural device was that the. Signed, but not ratified it Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, paras substantial impact customary! State united nations convention on the law of the sea signatories claim or exercise sovereignty or sovereign rights thereupon, and Special Reports from the Economic Times,! December 1993 ( A/48.PV.72 ) General Assembly, Verbatim Records of plenary meeting No Agreement but has not it. Date, 167 countries and the European Union have joined the Convention defines the rights and duties of national with. Should Ratify this device had the advantage of providing the Conference, in 1983 Ronald! Or the Law of the Sea conventions a “system” but not ratified the Convention remains the recognized framework which... Of amendment proposals Egypt, Sudan, USA ) have signed the Agreement and contiguous zone 167. To 8 ) concerns the settlement of disputes the necessary number of additional meetings in New York and Geneva 1971... [ 6 ] [ 7 ], in 1973 ( A/9021 and Corr.1 and 3.! A/9021 and Corr.1 and 3 ) are read as influencing customary Law Corr.1 and 3.. The rights and duties of national states with regard to the RSS feed the Law of the Third Nations. Jōyaku [ No see ref with regard to the Convention UN member states have signed but... Includes extracts from film footage of the Sea Convention or the Law the!