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83 

deficiencies in the expertise available to the Commission could be made up for by including additional disciplines that were not represented by the original 15 members elected to the Commission. It was not meant to provide increases for political convenience. If the latter were the case, the Convention would have established a higher number for the membership, such as 21, as was done for the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.   

8. Furthermore, experience to date has shown that the number of members actually attending meetings of the Commission since 2003 has never exceeded 21 (see table 1). One effect of this is that the Commission has noted that it has not always been able to utilize all the expertise available from all its members.  3  It is important therefore that Member States, when submitting nominations of candidates for election to the Commission, ensure that such candidates will be in a position to participate on a regular basis in the meetings of the Commission.  

Table 1  

Summary of attendance at meetings of the Legal and Technical Commission, 2003 to 2009 

 

 Total membership In attendance Unable to attend 

2003 24 18 6 2004 24 20 4 2005 24 19 5 2006 24 17 7 2007 25 20 4 2008 25 21 4 2009 25 20 3 

  

9. One of the concerns expressed about increasing the size of the Commission was that any increase in membership would have significant cost implications for the Authority, including a potential increase in the demands on the Voluntary Trust Fund to defray the costs of the participation of members from developing countries. In 2007, it was estimated that approximately $41,200 per annum would be needed to support the participation of such members (on the basis that 8 of the 25 members would need financial support). In practice, since 2004, the Voluntary Trust Fund has been used to support an average of six members per year at an average annual cost of approximately $31,000 (see table 2). 4  

 

Table 2 

Summary of costs defrayed from the Voluntary Trust Fund towards supporting the participation of members of the Legal and Technical Commission in meetings of the Commission, from 2004 to 2009  

(United States dollars)  

Year Beneficiaries

Daily subsistence 

allowance Airfare Total 

2004 4 13 068.00 17 598.38 30 666.38 2005 7 18 640.00 17 470.32 36 110.32 2006 5 10 798.00 9 513.51 20 311.51 2007 6 14 579.00 11 463.72 26 042.72 2008 7 16 622.00 11 319.37 27 941.37 2009 9 26 457.00 18 943.52 45 400.52 

 Total 38 100 164.00 86 308.82 186 472.82 

     

__________________ 

3.  See ISBA/11/C/8, para. 29. 

4.  In comparison, in the same period only three members of the Finance Committee (which has 15 members) received support 

from the Voluntary Trust Fund each year.

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