Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf to Hold Sixtieth Session at Headquarters, 22 January-8 March
NEW YORK, 22 January (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea) — The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will hold its sixtieth session from 22 January to 8 March at United Nations Headquarters in New York. During the session, plenary meetings will be held from 29 January to 2 February and from 26 February to 1 March. The remainder of the session will be devoted to the technical examination of submissions by subcommissions in the Division premises, including geographic information systems laboratories and other technical facilities.
The upcoming session of the Commission will be the first to be held since the passing of Ivan F. Glumov (Russian Federation) on 20 December 2023. Mr. Glumov served as a member of the Commission for three terms of office since 2012, and as its Vice-Chairperson from 2012 to 2019. In addition to contributing to the work of several subcommissions as Vice-Chairperson, Mr. Glumov also actively served on a number of subsidiary bodies of the Commission, including the Scientific and Technical Advice Committee.
The expertise of Mr. Glumov in marine geophysics and oceanology was well recognized within the Commission. Prior to joining it, Mr. Glumov had a distinguished scientific and diplomatic career within the Russian Federation, including as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and Head of Delegation of the Russian Federation before the Commission. Past and present Members of the Commission will warmly remember Mr. Glumov as an esteemed colleague. Mr. Glumov also contributed to the work of the International Seabed Authority for two decades, including as a member of the Legal and Technical Commission and a member of the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the Authority and its Preparatory Commission.
The sixtieth session of the Commission will also be the first to be attended by Michał Tomczak (Poland), who was elected as a member of the Commission during the by-election conducted at the resumed thirty-third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on 28 November 2023, following the resignation of Mateusz Damrat (Poland) (see SEA/2188).
During the session, nine subcommissions will continue to consider submissions made by Mauritius in respect of the region of Rodrigues Island (partial submission); Palau in respect of the North Area (partial amended submission); Portugal; Spain in respect of the area of Galicia (partial submission); Trinidad and Tobago; and Namibia; as well as revised submissions made by Brazil in respect of the Brazilian Equatorial Margin (partial revised submission); Cook Islands concerning the Manihiki Plateau (revised submission); and Iceland in respect of the western, southern and south-eastern parts of the Reykjanes Ridge (partial revised submission).
Established pursuant to article 2 of annex II to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 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, based on information submitted by those coastal States. The recommendations are based on the scientific and technical data and other material provided by coastal States in relation to the implementation of article 76 of the Convention and do not prejudice matters relating to the delimitation of boundaries between States with opposite or adjacent coasts or prejudice the position of States that are parties to a land or maritime dispute, or application of other parts of the Convention or any other treaties. The limits of the continental shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of the recommendations are final and binding. In the case of disagreement by a coastal State with the recommendations of the Commission, the coastal State shall, within a reasonable time, make a revised or new submission to the Commission.
Under rule 23 of its rules of procedure (Public and private meetings), the meetings of the Commission, its subcommissions and subsidiary bodies are held in private, unless the Commission decides otherwise.
As required under the rules of procedure of the Commission, the executive summaries of all the submissions, including all charts and coordinates, have been made public by the Secretary‑General through continental shelf notifications circulated to Member States of the United Nations, as well as States parties to the Convention. The executive summaries are available on the Division’s website at: www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/clcs_home.htm. The summaries of recommendations adopted by the Commission are also available on the above-referenced website.
The Commission is a body of 21 experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography serving in their personal capacities. Members of the Commission are elected for a term of five years by the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention having due regard to the need to ensure equitable geographical representation. Not fewer than three members shall be elected from each geographical region.
A by-election to fill the vacancy resulting from the passing of Mr. Glumov will be held at the thirty-fourth Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, scheduled to be convened from 10 to 14 June 2024. An election for another seat allocated to members from the Group of Eastern European States which has remained vacant would also be held on that occasion.
The Convention provides that the State party which submitted the nomination of a member of the Commission shall defray the expenses of that member while in performance of Commission duties. A voluntary trust fund for the purpose of defraying the cost of participation of the members of the Commission from developing countries has been established. It has facilitated the participation of several members of the Commission from developing countries in the sessions of the Commission.
The convening by the Secretary-General of the sessions of the Commission, with full conference services, including documentation, for the plenary parts of these sessions, is subject to approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Assembly does so in its annual resolutions on oceans and the law of the sea, which also address other matters relevant to the work of the Commission and the conditions of service of its members.
For additional information on the work of the Commission see the website of the Division at: www.un.org/depts/los/index.htm. In particular, the most recent Statements by the Chair on the progress in the work of the Commission are available at: www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/commission_documents.