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United Nations: Commission On Limits Of Continental Shelf Concludes Nineteenth Session


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United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea -- The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf held its nineteenth session at United Nations Headquarters from 5 March to 13 April, pursuant to the decision taken at its eighteenth session (CLCS/52, paragraph. 53) and paragraph 45 of General Assembly resolution 61/222. The plenary part of the session was held from 26 March to 5 April, while the periods from 5 to 23 March and 9 to 13 April were used for the technical examination of submissions at the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratories and other technical facilities of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea.

At the nineteenth session, the Commission began the examination of the submission made by Norway. After the submissions made by the Russian Federation in 2001, Brazil and Australia in 2004, Ireland in 2005, New Zealand in 2006 and the partial joint submission by France, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2006, the submission by Norway is the seventh one to be received by the Commission.

The Norwegian submission was presented at the plenary part of the session, by the delegation of Norway headed by Rolf Einar Fife on 2 April.

After this presentation, the Commission decided that the submission of Norway would be examined through the establishment of a subcommission. For this purpose, a subcommission was established with the following members: Lawrence Folajimi Awosika, Peter F. Croker, Noel Newton St. Claver Francis, Mihai Silviu German, Abu Bakar Jaafar, Yong-Ahn Park and Philip Alexander Symonds. The subcommission elected Mr. Symonds as its Chairman and Mr. Awosika and Mr. Park as Vice-Chairmen, and proceeded with the preliminary examination of the submission during the week from 9 to 13 April, in the course of which it held several meetings with the delegation of Norway. On the basis of this preliminary examination, the subcommission determined that it would continue its work during the twentieth session.

At the nineteenth session, the Commission continued the examination of the submissions made by Brazil, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the joint submission by France, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The subcommissions, which had been established at the previous sessions to examine those submissions, reported to the Commission on the work that they had carried out intersessionaly and continued the examination of their submissions.

During this session, the subcommissions established for consideration of the submissions made, respectively, by Brazil and by Australia completed their work and presented their recommendations to the Commission. The Commission also had before it the recommendations prepared by the subcommission established for consideration of the partial submission by Ireland, which had been presented at the eighteenth session.

The Commission decided to adopt the recommendations prepared by the subcommissions established for consideration of the submissions made by, respectively, Brazil and Ireland, by a vote. It also decided to defer further consideration of the recommendations prepared by the subcommissions established for consideration of the submissions made by Australia to the twentieth session, in order to provide its members with more time to examine them.

At the nineteenth session, the Commission again addressed the suggestions voiced at the sixteenth session of the Meeting of States Parties with regard to its work. The Commission decided that the Chairman will again address this matter in his statement to the seventeenth Meeting of States Parties and make a more detailed presentation at that Meeting.

The nineteenth session was the last one of the five-year term of the current members of the Commission. The election of the new members of the Commission will be held on 14 June 2007, during the seventeenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention.

For information on the history and purpose of the Commission, see earlier Press Release SEA/1818. For additional information, please visit the website of the Commission at www.un.org/Depts/los/index.htm.



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