76th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 51st Session - Part 1

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09-Dec-1996 01:34:56
Seabed Authority, International Tribunal for Law of the Sea constituted in 1996, General Assembly told at 76th plenary meeting of the 51st session.

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Establishment in 1997 of Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf Will Complete Process Envisioned by Law of Sea Convention.

Two important ocean institutions had been constituted in 1996, with the International Seabed Authority establishing its principal organs and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea electing its 21 members, the General Assembly was told this morning, as it began its discussion on the Law of the Sea.

The establishment of nearly all the institutions foreseen by the Convention on the Law of the Sea was the year's most important development, the representative of Cameroon told the Assembly. The constitution of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, at the States parties meeting in March 1997, would complete the process.

Several delegations praised the comprehensiveness of the Secretary- General's report on the Law of the Sea. The representative of New Zealand, who introduced the three draft resolutions before the Assembly on the agenda item, noted that the report was the single means by which the international community reflected on all the issues facing the oceans today.

The Convention itself, the representative of Sri Lanka said, was indisputably one of the major achievements of the United Nations and had come to be regarded as a multilateral instrument of vast potential for the maintenance of peace, an equitable basis of sharing the resources of the world's oceans and a means for securing economic progress for all peoples of the earth.

The representatives of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, and the United States both urged States parties that had submitted statements or declarations upon signing or ratifying the Convention on the Law of the Sea, to review them and withdraw those that were not in conformity with the Convention.

Statements were also made by the Marshall Islands, Ghana, Namibia, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea.

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