A revised draft text of an agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) concerning the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction has been made available on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
The IMO Secretariat is attending the latest in a series of conferences to develop a legally binding international instrument, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – known as ‘BBNJ’.
The US highlighted the United Nations arbitral tribunal’s 2016 decision invalidating China’s line claim in the South China Sea is ‘final’ and ‘legally binding,’ as the US is strongly against China’s attempts to assert its ‘unlawful’ maritime claims. Namely, the US Department of State noted last weekend that breaching the tribunal decision that rejected China’s nine-dash line maritime claim would be against the law.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed by 157 countries 25 years ago, was the first form of international law for the oceans governance, acting as a cornerstone to launch the basis of UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and serving as EU’s framework for policymaking.
The high seas make up the nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction; they extend outside the boundaries of exclusive economic zones and have few rules or coordinated management mechanisms. The following statistics show why it crucial to take action for the protection of the high seas.
The ‘human rights at sea’ is a relatively new debate that gains significant attention of the maritime community. Human trafficking, illegal migration, abuse of fishermen, illegal trade of arms, nuclear weapons and drugs, illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste on the high seas are some of the urgent issues that the shipping industry has to deal with.
UN Preparatory Committee is developing a new legal instrument, under the UN UNCLOS, which will apply to ‘high seas’ areas beyond national jurisdiction. ICS says that developing new measures to the high seas is undoubtedly a very important and legitimate exercise, but that it wishes to ensure that the interests of shipping will not be unwittingly damaged.
ICS has sent a letter to the Canadian Government asking it to reconsider its proposed Moratorium on the shipment of crude oil concerning the waters of Northern British Columbia, adjacent to Alaska.
At the United Nations in New York, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing the interests of shipowners at the opening session of a UN Preparatory Committee starting work on a new legal instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
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