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Convention on the Law of the Sea

"...problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be considered as a whole..."

(United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Preamble)

Last updated: 3 November 1998

Page d'accueil "Océans et droit de la mer" en français

1998 - International Year of the Ocean

Convention on the Law of the Sea (text and overview)
Status of the Convention and related instruments (ratifications, accessions, etc.)
Marine Resources
Marine Environment

International Organizations and Institutions
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Resolution on the internal judicial practice of the Tribunal dated 24 November 1997
Rules of the Tribunal
Guidelines concerning the preparation and presentation of cases before the Tribunal
ITLOS Press Release 8 - Tribunal receives application for Prompt release of a vessel
and its crew dated 13 November 1997
ITLOS Press Release 10 - Hearings concluded in the M/V "Saiga" Case - Judgment
orders Prompt Release" dated 4 December 1997
ITLOS Judgment and dissenting opinions (Mensah; Wolfrum and Yamamoto;
Anderson; Park, Nelson, Chandrasekhara Rao, Vukas and Ndiaye) in the case M/V
"Saiga" (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Guinea) dated 4 December 1997
ITLOS Request for provisional measures: Order Separate opinion(Laing); and
Declarations (Vukas, Warioba) in the case M/V "Saiga" (No.2) (Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines v. Guinea) dated 11 March 1998

Settlement of Disputes17 January 1998
Documents and Publications
Conferences and Meetings
Education and Training10 January 1998
In the News

Information for delegations regarding the reports of the Secretary-General to he 53rd session of the General Assembly under agenda item 38 "Oceans and the law of the sea"

Search all Oceans and Law of the Sea documents

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world's oceans and seas; it is an umbrella convention which establishes rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. In so doing, it embodies in one instrument raditional rules for the uses of the oceans and at the same time introduces new legal concepts and
regimes and addresses new concerns. The Convention provides the framework for further development of specific areas of the law of the sea.

Developments relating to the oceans and the law of the sea are monitored at the global level by the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), Office of Legal Affairs. The Division serves as the secretariat of the Convention and provides assistance to States in the effective implementation and uniform and consistent application of the Convention. It also monitors all issues relevant to the Convention and reports annually to the General Assembly of the United Nations on those developments. (see "About the Division")

This text is issued, prepared and maintained by the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs
(DOALOS), Office of Legal Affairs, New York. It may be used and reproduced freely by giving
acknowledgment to the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations. This is not an official document.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was opened for signature on 10 December 1982 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This marked the culmination of more than 14 years of work involving participation by more than 150 countries representing all regions of the world, all legal and political systems and the spectrum of socio/economic development. The Convention, which entered into force on 16 November 1994, embodies and enshrines the notion that all
problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole. Today it is the globally recognized regime dealing with all matters relating to the law of the sea...

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