SEVENTEENTH MEETING OF
STATES PARTIES TO THE UNITED
NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. EDDY PRATOMO
DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR TREATIES AFFAIRS
THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL OF THE LAW OF THE SEA FOR 2007
NEW YORK, 18 JUNE 2007
Let me seize the opportunity to congratulate you upon your election as President of the 17th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). My congratulation also goes to all members of the bureau. Let me assure you my delegation’s cooperation for the success of our meeting.
I would like also to express my delegation’s appreciation to Ambassador Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica for his excellent work during the 16th Meeting of States Parties.
Before proceeding, my delegation would like to extend congratulation to all incoming members of the CLCL. We wish them every success in meeting entrusted tasks by the Convention, particularly in view of the increasing workloads of the Commission approaching the deadline of submission of the continental shelf beyond national jurisdiction by 2009.
Let there be no doubt that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 provides a universally agreed legal framework for the use of all ocean space and its resources. The 155 of its current members has clearly a testament of this universal character. And in this regard, my delegation wishes to join you in welcoming Morocco and Lesotho to the Convention.
One special characteristic of the Convention rests on the fact that the 1982 Convention provides a comprehensive dispute settlement mechanism. While acknowledging the free choice of means of the parties to settle cases over law of the sea disputes, it incorporates also an obligatory system for the settlement of disputes. Part XV regulates that if parties fail to reach a settlement by voluntary means, they are obliged to resort to compulsory dispute settlement procedures entailing binding decisions.
In this regard, the Tribunal constitutes one of the four compulsory means, and the States Parties may choose for resolving their disputes concerning the interpretation of the Convention in accordance with article 287. Nowadays, the Tribunal - together with the ICJ - has played significant role in ensuring the duly implementation of the Convention through peaceful means, thereby strengthening the regime of the oceans.
Thirteen cases in the first decade of its works mirrors this achievement; thus establish a good reputation of the Tribunal to settle cases in an expeditious and efficient manner, e.g. relating to the freedom of navigation, prompt release of vessels and their crews, protection and preservation of the marine environment.
Contribution of the Tribunal in shaping international norms on the law of the sea has further recognized by the ICJ. As the President of ICJ, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, stated in her speech during ten-year commemoration of the establishment of the Tribunal, September last year, in Hamburg, the ICJ had been following the Tribunal’s work closely, and especially its already well-developed jurisprudence on provisional measures. This manifests the role of the Tribunal in the development of a corpus of jurisprudence which envisioned to ensure the universality application of the Convention.
We appreciate initiatives of Tribunal, therefore, among other, publication on the guidance to the proceedings before the Tribunal as well as its outreaching program to all regions. The regional workshops organized by the Tribunal will certainly assist member states to have better understanding on the complexity of dispute settlement mechanism under the Convention. We look forward to having such workshop for Asian countries.
We hope that this path could be strengthened in the future to complement the Trust Fund already established to assist developing countries to settle their disputes on law of the sea through the Tribunal.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org