Headquarters to Host Forty-Fourth Meeting of Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf, 24 July to 8 September

NEW YORK, 19 July (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea) ― The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will hold its forty-fourth session from 24 July to 8 September.

The first plenary part of the session will be held on 24 July and the second from 28 to 30 August and on 1 September, while the remainder of the time will be devoted to the technical examination of submissions at the Geographic Information Systems laboratories and other technical facilities of the Division.

This will be the first session of the Commission following the election of its members, held on 14 June at the twenty-seventh Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  The following 20 members were elected for a term of five years commencing on 16 June 2017 and ending on 15 June 2022:  Adnan Rashid Nasser al-Azri (Oman), Lawrence Folajimi Awosika (Nigeria), Aldino Campos (Portugal), Wanda-Lee De Landro-Clarke (Trinidad and Tobago), Ivan F. Glumov (Russian Federation), Martin Vang Heinesen (Denmark), Emmanuel Kalngui (Cameroon), Wenzheng Lyu (China), Mazlan Bin Madon (Malaysia), Estevao Stefane Mahanjane (Mozambique), Jair Alberto Ribas Marques (Brazil), Marcin Mazurowski (Poland), Domingos de Carvalho Viana Moreira (Angola), David Cole Mosher (Canada), Simon Njuguna (Kenya), Yong Ahn Park (Republic of Korea), Carlos Marcelo Paterlini (Argentina), Clodette Raharimananirina (Madagascar), Toshitsugu Yamazaki (Japan) and Gonzalo Alejandro Yãnez Carrizo  (Chile).  At the request of the Group of Eastern European States, the election of one member of the Commission was postponed in order to allow for additional nomination(s) from that Group.

As to the workload of the forty-fourth session, eight subcommissions will continue to actively consider submissions made by the Russian Federation, in respect of the Arctic Ocean (partial revised submission); Brazil, in respect of the Brazilian Southern Region (partial revised submission); France and South Africa jointly, in respect of the area of the Crozet Archipelago and the Prince Edward Island; Kenya; Nigeria; France, in respect of La Réunion Island and Saint‑Paul and Amsterdam Islands; Côte d’Ivoire; and Sri Lanka.  A newly established subcommission will commence the examination of the submission made by Portugal.

Additionally, the Commission will further consider the course of its action with regard to the draft recommendations relating to the submission made by Norway in respect of Bouvetøya, which were put to vote at the forty-third session and were not approved.  It will also continue its consideration of the draft recommendations relating to the submission made by Seychelles in respect of the Northern Plateau region.

A further Press Release will be issued shortly regarding the election, on the first day of the forty-fourth session of the Commission, of the officers of the Commission, namely its Chair and Vice-Chairs and the appointment of members of the Commission to the subcommissions and other subsidiary bodies.

Background

The Commission is a body of 21 experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography, which was established pursuant to article 2, annex II to the Convention.  Members of the Commission are elected for a term of five years by the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention from among their nationals having due regard to the need to ensure equitable geographical representation.  They serve in their personal capacities.

The Convention provides that the State Party which submitted the nomination of a member of the Commission shall defray the expenses of that member while in performance of Commission duties.  However, the participation of several members of the Commission from developing countries has been facilitated by financial assistance from a voluntary trust fund for the purpose of defraying the cost of participation of the members of the Commission from developing countries.  With respect to the 2017 sessions, support to these members has been possible and will continue thanks to generous contributions received so far from Canada, China, Iceland, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.

The Commission makes recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of their continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, based on information submitted to it by coastal States.  These recommendations are based on the scientific and technical data and other material provided by States in relation to the implementation of article 76 of the Convention.  The recommendations do not prejudice matters relating to the delimitation of boundaries between States with opposite or adjacent coasts, or prejudice the position of States that are parties to a land or maritime dispute, or application of other parts of the Convention or any other treaties.  The limits of the continental shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding. In the case of disagreement by the coastal State with the recommendations of the Commission, the coastal State shall, within a reasonable time, make a revised or new submission to the Commission.

As required under the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, the executive summaries of all the submissions, including all charts and coordinates, have been made public by the Secretary‑General through continental shelf notifications circulated to Member States of the United Nations, as well as States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  The executive summaries are available on the Division’s website at www.un.org/Depts/los/clcs_new/clcs_home.htm.  The summaries of recommendations adopted by the Commission are also available on the above-referenced website.

For additional information on the work of the Commission, please visit the website of the Division at www.un.org/depts/los/index.htm.

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