The United Nations Law of the Sea Conference resumed work in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday (17 March) after a recess of more than six months.
The United Nations Law of the Sea Conference resumed work in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday (17 March) after a recess of more than six months. It is concentrating on drafting a comprehensive oceans convention.
Delegate know that they are facing a daunting task after the previous ten-week conference session ended in Caracas, Venezuela, last August bogged down in polemics and having failed to produce a formal agreement on any of the key issues.
The 2,000 delegates are expected to move into groups to thrash out compromise solutions to outstanding problems.
These include the settling of the size of territorial seas over which a coastal state would have sovereign control, and wider economic zones over which it would have some jurisdiction over fishing and the mining of the seabed's mineral resources.
During the scheduled eight-week session in Geneva the Conference will attempt to slash the total of 250 draft texts and provisions, many in competing alternative versions, left by the Caracas conference.
Particularly hard bargaining is expected on the subject of the creation of an International Authority which would control the oceans outside the jurisdiction of individual countries. The Third World wants this body to have wide powers while industrialised states want its functions to be limited.