Maritime Security the Context

Maritime security in the context of
the 1982 United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea
Presentation to AU Commission Meeting of Experts on
Maritime Security Addis Ababa, 6 to 7 April 2010
Background: The United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea
• The United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea (the Convention) sets out the legal framework
within which all activities in the oceans and seas
must be carried out
• 44 AU Member States are parties to UNCLOS
• UNCLOS, as complemented by other legal
instruments, provides the legal basis for
enforcement action in the territorial sea, straits
used for international navigation, archipelagic
waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone
and the high seas
Implementing Agreements
(i) Agreement relating to the implementation of
Part XI of the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982;
(ii) The United Nations Agreement for the
Implementation of the Provisions of the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of
10 December 1982 relating to the
Conservation and Management of Straddling
Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
Major threats to maritime security
• Piracy, illicit traffic in drugs, smuggling of
migrants, illegal, unreported and unregulated
fishing and dumping of toxic waste
• UNCLOS provides preventive and enforcement
measures regarding unlawful acts at sea.
• There are different enforcement rights in the
different maritime zones
Flag State jurisdiction
• Under article 94 of UNCLOS, the principle of Flag
State jurisdiction applies to all threats i.e. duty of
Flag State to effectively exercise its jurisdiction
and control over ships flying its flag
• The right of visit - a State other than the flag State
has the right to board a foreign ship in specific
circumstances, including in cases of piracy and
where a ship is without nationality (Article 110)
• UNCLOS also recognizes the possibility of other
treaties providing for a right of boarding
• Articles 100-107 and 110
• Only on the High Seas, EEZ or in areas beyond
the jurisdiction of any State
• Duty to cooperate in repression of piracy
• States may exercise universal jurisdiction
• Piratical acts within the territorial sea are
considered armed robbery at sea and, are
subject to the jurisdiction of the Coastal State
• General Assembly and the Security Council have
addressed piracy in a number of resolutions
Illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic
• Article 108 of UNCLOS:
• Duty to cooperate on the high seas and EEZ
• Flag State jurisdiction
• Right of hot pursuit (article 111, UNCLOS)
• 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic SubstancesArticle 17 on boarding rights of non- Flag States
Smuggling and trafficking of migrants by sea
Territorial sea and contiguous zone
• Coastal State enforcement rights under
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and High Seas
• Hot pursuit under article 111 of UNCLOS
• Right of visit under article 110 of UNCLOS
• 1988 Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants
by Land, Sea and Air
• Smuggling Protocol provides for boarding,
search and other rights
Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU)
Articles 61,62, 73 of UNCLOS- enforcement
rights of coastal State in Territorial Sea and EEZ
Complemented by 1995 United Nations Fish
Stocks Agreement (Articles 21, 22 and 23)
Boarding and Inspection; Port State Measures
2003 FAO Compliance Agreement
2001 International Plan of Action against Illegal,
Unregulated and Unreported Fishing
2009 Agreement on Port State Measures to
Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported
and Unregulated Fishing
Dumping of toxic wastes
• Article 210 of UNCLOS- States shall adopt
national laws, regulations and measures that
shall be no less effective than the global rules
and standards to prevent, reduce and control
• 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine
Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter,
(London Convention) and its 2006 Protocol set
applicable global rules and standards
• Article 216- Coastal State jurisdiction over
dumping in Territorial Sea, EEZ or Continental
• The Convention stresses the importance of
international cooperation in dealing with threats
to maritime security
• Exemplified through recent regional initiatives
such as the MoU on a Sub-regional Integrated
Coast Guard Network for West and central Africa
under the auspices of the Maritime Organization
of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) and the
Djibouti Code of Conduct under the auspices of
the IMO
Trust Fund
as referred to in
Resolution 55/7
(Informal Consultative Process)
UN-FAO Assistance Fund
(Fish Stocks Agreement)
UN-Nippon Foundation of Japan
Fellowship Programme
Activities and Related
Trust Funds
Training activities
Train-Sea-Coast Programme
Hamilton Shirley
Amerasinghe Memorial
Fellowship Programme
Thank you for your kind attention!
Ms. Vita Onwuasoanya
Associate Law of the Sea/Ocean Affairs Officer
Division for Ocean Affairs and the law of the Sea
United Nations Office of Legal Affairs