JAMAICA, Kingston (10 March 2017) – –  Secretary-General Michael Lodge today spoke at the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf open meeting held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its establishment.

Secretary-General Lodge said the work of the Commission was highly relevant and extremely important to the work of the Authority.

“Under the Convention, both the Commission and the Authority have very specific and narrowly defined mandates and responsibilities.”

“These must be carefully understood and respected in order for the overall scheme of the Convention to work properly.”

“The Commission is tasked to consider data and information submitted by coastal States and to make recommendations in accordance with Article 76 relating to the outer limits of the continental shelf. The Authority is the organization through which States Parties shall organize and control activities in the Area”

“The relationship between the Area and the continental shelf is complex. Whereas the Convention defines the maritime zones pertaining to the national jurisdiction of coastal States by reference to objective criteria, such as baselines, or in the case of the continental shelf, by reference to criteria set out in Article 76, it defines the extent of the Area only by reference to what it is not. Thus the Area is simply defined as the seabed and subsoil thereof beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. Its geographical boundaries are still fluid and furthermore they are residual in nature to the maritime zones under national jurisdiction. Article 134(4) of the Convention, which deals with the scope of Part XI, illustrates this point; providing that nothing in that article affects the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf in accordance with Part VI. This means that the only way we can accurately delineate the boundary of the Area is by first knowing the limits of national jurisdiction.”

Other speakers at the open meeting were Mr Galo Carrera, Vice-Chairperson of the Commission; Mr Mazlan Bin Madon, Member of the Commission; Mr Walter Roest, Vice-Chairperson of the Commission; Mr Lawrence F. Awosika, Chairperson of the Commission and Mr Vladimir Golitsyn, President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

The Commission is a body of 21 experts in the fields of geology, geophysics or hydrography, established in 1997 pursuant to article 2 of Annex II to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 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.

Full Statement

CLCS Open Meeting  ©UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

L-R: Mr Vladimir Golitsyn, Mr Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera and Mr Michael Lodge 
©UN Photo/Rick Bajornas


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