- The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has been accepted by the UN Security Council as the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans, including countering illicit activities at sea. The UNSC Presidential statement calling for primacy of international law was adopted at the first ever standalone discussion on “Maritime Security” in the UN Security Council (UNSC).
- The framework highlights the importance of enhancing international and regional cooperation to counter threats to maritime safety and security. It also calls for efforts by regional and sub-regional organizations and individual countries in this regard. Also, this was the first ever standalone discussion on “Maritime Security” in the UN Security Council (UNSC).
- This is the first time that the ‘legislative framework’ for UNCLOS has been recognised and accepted in the context of maritime security. Earlier, it was acknowledged in the context of piracy in Libya and Somalia but not in the context of maritime security.
- UNCLOS: The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an international treaty which was adopted and signed in 1982. It replaced the four Geneva Conventions of April, 1958, which respectively concerned the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, the continental shelf, the high seas, fishing and conservation of living resources on the high seas.
The Convention has created three new institutions on the international scene:
- The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
- The International Seabed Authority.
- The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.