Delegates from 149 nations have set their course for nine weeks of negotiations which will prepare a new set of regulations governing the way man exploits one of nature's greatest resources -- the sea.
Delegates from 149 nations have set their course for nine weeks of negotiations which will prepare a new set of regulations governing the way man exploits one of nature's greatest resources -- the sea. After a week of involved wrangling at the United Nations Law of the Sea conference in Caracas, Venezuela, delegates broke a week-long procedural deadlock on Thursday night, (June 27).
The row which delayed the talks centred on voting procedure and majority requirements. The Conference got down to serious discussion on Friday (28 June) and it's hoped the talks will emerge with new guidelines for the regulation, control and exploitation of the seas -- which cover more than two thirds of the earth's surface.
Once the conference got under way, Brazil reaffirmed its doctrine of a 200-mile (300 kilometre) territorial sea, but indicated willingness to consider other States' economic interests within that limit. Brazil's chief delegate, Dr. Ramiro Saraiva Guerreiro, said there was a growing acceptance of this limit.
Dr. Guerreiro said Brazil and many other countries had always contended that a 200-mile "open ocean" zone was necessary to protect the interests of coastal States. He said Brazil had long struggled for recognition of ocean resources as the common heritage of mankind. Now, he said, Brazil would seek that this principle be translated into an operative system which would ensure equal rights for all people.
The chief delegate from Barbados, Mr. G. C. Moe, pledged support for a 12-mile (18 km) territorial waters limit, plus a zone of international jurisdiction extending up to 200 miles. A transcript of Mr. Moe's comments on film appear below: