|Statement by H.E.Ambassador Wang Min Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN At the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly On Oceans and the Law of the Sea|
With technological progress and social development, the link betweenmankind and the oceans is getting ever closer. How to make sustainableuse and effective protection of marine resources, to achieve harmoniouscoexistence between mankind and the oceans is high on the currentagenda of the international community.
The Chinese delegation maintains that States shall,based on scienceand the rule of law, through equal dialogue and mutual cooperation,achieve peace, security,.openness, effective protection and sustainable useof the oceans, as well as common development and "win-win" benefitsfor all members of the international community. I wish to take thisopportunity to make the following comments on the issues relating tooceans and the law of the sea:
First, on the Commission on the Limits of the ContinentalShelf(CLCS). The Chinese Government attaches great importance to therole of the Commission in the implementation of the relevant provisionsset out in the United Nations Convention oh the Law of the Sea, and takesnote the achievements of its work in this regard. The Chinese delegationsupports the Commission in fulfilling its responsibilities strictly in linewith the UNCLOS and the Rules of Procedure of the Commission,meeting all high standards with quality performance, and hopes that itsconsideration of the submissions by coastal States will not only meet theexpectations of the international community, but also stand the test of science, law, and time. The Chinese delegation, while appreciating theefforts made by all the parties to address the workload of the Commission,calls for a balance approach between speed and quality in the work of theCommission to consider submissions relating to the continental shelfbeyond 200 nautical miles. In other words, the need to expediteconsideration should not be allowed to compromise the serious, scientificand professional nature of the Commission's work.
Second, on the International Seabed Authority. The Chinesedelegation wishes to congratulate the International Seabed Authority onits achievements over the past year. The Authority at its 16th Sessionadopted the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for PolymetallicSulphides in the Area. The introduction of the Regulations is conducive tothe orderly exploitation of new marine resources, helps boost theAuthority's vitality, contributes to the management of the internationalcommunity to the Area and its resources, and facilitates States,developing States in particular, in sharing the benefits of the Area and itsresources. China hopes that States will continue the efforts to promote anearly adoption of the regulations on prospecting and exploration ofcobalt-rich crusts in a pragmatic and cooperative manner.
Third, on the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. TheChinese delegation has noted that, as a judicial body established byUNCLOS for the settlement of disputes with respect to the interpretationand application of the Convention, the Tribunal is handling its first caseof maritime delimitation, and its Seabed Disputes Chamber accepted arequest for advisory opinion on responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in theInternational Seabed Area. The role of the Tribunal has received broadattention from the international community. The Chinese Governmentalways attaches importance to the significant role of the Tribunal in thepeaceful settlement of maritime disputes and in the maintenance ofinternational maritime order, and supports the Tribunal in fulfilling itsresponsibilities in line with the provisions of the Convention.
Fourth, on the issue of conservation and sustainable use of marinebiodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The internationalcommunity has given great deal of attention on this topic, of which theissue of marine protected areas is highly controversial. The Chinesedelegation believes that oceans, especially the high seas and the Area,involve national interests of all states. In addressing the issue of marinebiodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, there is a need tobalance the protection and the use, as well as a need to take into accountthe dependence of developing countries on oceans. Right now, theinternational community has yet to establish common standards and legalframework which is universally accepted and operational on the issue ofmarine protected areas beyond national jurisdiction. States therefore needto be cautious in establishing marine protected areas.
Fifth, on the issue of Regular Process for Global Reporting andAssessment of the State of Marine Environment. The Regular Process hasbeen officially launched. The Chinese delegation is of the view that, forthe Regular Process to work and function properly, it is imperative thatthis Process be country-led, abide by the relevant international law including the Convention, respect coastal States for their sovereignty,sovereign rights and jurisdiction, refrain from intervening in disputesbetween States over sovereignty and maritime delimitation, and focus onmaking recommendations on the sustainable development of the oceans.
Sixth，on the issue of sustainable fisheries. As a responsible fisherycountry, China actively participates in the work of various internationalfisheries organizations, and commits to strengthen the conservation andmanagement of fishery resources. The Chinese government will continueto work with the interested States to promote the development andimprovement of the international fisheries regime which will contributeto the reasonable management of fisheries, and make vigorous effortstowards achieving susiainable use of marine living resources, ensuringmarine ecological balance, and sharing the benefits of fisheries among allStates.
Oceans are a strategic base for the development and progress ofmankind. To make the oceans benefit mankind forever, the internationalcommunity should further strengthen its cooperation and solidarity,jointly respond to the challenges at the oceans, share the opportunitiesand wealth provided by the oceans, and seek together their sustainabledevelopment.
Thank you, Mr. President!