02 November 2023, New York, USA - On 31 October 2023, in a collaborative effort, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) recently partnered with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Laws of the Sea (DOALOS) to host a groundbreaking briefing session that delved into critical aspects of international maritime law and the future of ocean governance. The event, led by Mr. Miguel De Serpa Soares, set the stage for a comprehensive exploration of key concepts and processes within the field.
Mr. De Serpa Soares commenced the session by providing an insightful overview of DOALOS, highlighting its pivotal role within the United Nations system. He underscored the division's commitment to fostering cooperation among nations, facilitating the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and guiding the sustainable use and protection of the world's oceans and seas.
One of the highlights of the briefing was the discussion of the Historic BBNJ (Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) agreement. Mr. Suazo shed light on the groundbreaking signing of this agreement during the high-level week, emphasizing its critical importance in addressing the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Mr. Vladimir Jares followed with a comprehensive account of the history of UNCLOS, he also highlighted key issues that must be addressed before the monumental UNCLOS convention, ensuring that international regulations continue to adapt to changing circumstances. Furthermore, Mr. Jares delved into the constitution of the laws of the sea, offering participants valuable insights into the legal framework that governs maritime activities. This in-depth discussion allowed delegates to grasp the core principles of international maritime law.
Mr Dmitry Gonchar took the floor to discuss the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, outlining its history and implications for the sustainable management of global fish stocks. He also shared key outcomes of the 2023 conference, providing attendees with an up-to-date perspective on the ongoing efforts to combat overfishing. A striking moment in the briefing was the screening of a video presenting the World Ocean Assessment. This comprehensive evaluation of the state of the world's oceans, conducted by DOALOS, serves as a valuable resource for delegates working toward the conservation of marine ecosystems.
Concluding the session, Ms. Alice Hicuburundi discussed the relationship between the United Nations Security Council and the laws of the sea, underscoring the Security Council's role in maintaining peace and security at sea. Ms Hicuburundi also shed light on the training and fellowships offered by DOALOS to enhance the capabilities and participation of delegates in international maritime affairs. The briefing concluded with a question-and-answer session.