During the third United Nations conference on the Law of the Sea on Tuesday (6 April) delegates from several countries gave their views on the question of setting up a framework for dealing with disputes between countries on the control of sea resources.
GV EXTERIOR UN buildings (MUTE)
SV INTERIOR Conference room with delegates seated (MUTE)
SV Icelandic delegate speaking
SV Japanese delegate speaking
SPEECH ON FILM STARTS: "Some states, although.
SPEECH ON FILM ENDS: the package solution ".
SPEECH ON FILM STARTS: "The first point.
SPEECH ON FILM ENDS: settlement of disputes ".
ICELANDIC DELEGATE: "Some state,s although they say that they support the concept of the economic zone, are making various efforts to weaken the very concept itself. In that connection they want to open up the possibility of disputing the decisions of the coastal states and if the substantive positions are not clear enough such possibilities might arise in connection with, for instance conservation standards applied by the coastal states, the decision of the coastal state with regard to the total allowable catch, the extent of the coastal state's capacity to utilise the stocks and so on and so forth. Such an attitude would, in reality, make the very concept of the exclusive economic zone illusory and meaningless and would in effect provide a standing invitation to all interested parties to erode the concept and destroy a vital element of the package solution."
JAPANESE DELEGATE: "The first point that I wish to emphasise is that the general obligation of states to settle their disputes by peaceful means and their right to choose their own methods should be recognised and respected as having equal validity and strength in the field of the law of the sea, as in all other fields of international law. The second point we wish to emphasise is the necessity, failing agreement on a dispute settlement procedure between the parties to a dispute, of having the compulsory settlement of disputes accepted, not as an option to the state parties to the new convention, but as an integral part of it. The acceptance of the substantive provisions of the convention must be accompanied, in our view, by the acceptance of the provisions concerning the compulsory settlement of disputes."
Initials CL/0225 CL/0230
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Background: During the third United Nations conference on the Law of the Sea on Tuesday (6 April) delegates from several countries gave their views on the question of setting up a framework for dealing with disputes between countries on the control of sea resources.
Among them was iceland's delegate, Hans Andersen. He emphasised the point that unless agreement could be reached on the concept of an economic zone giving exclusive fishing and other rights in coastal waters, disputes would continue.
The Icelandic view of the coastal water zoning problem is in the limelight at the moment, owing to the continuing bitter fisheries dispute between Iceland and the United Kingdom, which has led to the severing of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Also on the subject of the settlement of disputes, the Japanese delegate, Masato Fujisaki, called for the compulsory settlement of disputes to be made an integral part of a new Law of the Sea Convention.
On Monday (5 April) - the first day of the debate - the President of the conference, Mr. Shirley Amersinghe of Sri Lanka, said that there had been a "hardening of positions" in relation to the establishment of exclusive fishing and other rights in coastal waters.
He appealed to delegations especially interested in the subject to meet informally to try to reach some understanding before engaging in long debates in committee.
This film is serviced with extracts from the speeches by the Icelandic and Japanese delegates. A transcript follows.
SYNOPSIS: The Law of the Sea Conference continued at the United Nations on Tuesday with a debate on the question of setting up a framework for dealing with disputes on the control of sea resources. The Icelandic delegate - Hans Andersen - gave his country's views and so too did Masato Fujisaki of Japan.