UN-OHRLLS and OLA Side Event

in the margins of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea — 30th Anniversary of UNCLOS


“UNCLOS and Landlocked Developing Countries: practical implications”


Background: UNCLOS defines “land-locked States” as those having no sea-coast. Given their lack of direct access to seaborne trade, landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) find themselves on an inherently disadvantaged development path compared with countries with coastlines and deep-sea ports.  LLDCs are obliged to enter into agreements with coastal States in order to secure transit rights and use port facilities. They also are disadvantaged with respect to the exploitation of the natural resources of the sea. In addition, other conditions such as remoteness from major markets, tropical or desert ecology, poor transport infrastructure and widespread poverty compound the adverse effects of their geographically disadvantaged position. UNCLOS refers to the “land-locked States” in several of its provisions, such as part X of the Convention, aimed at providing the right of access to and from the sea and reinforcing their freedom of transit. Other relevant provisions relate to the exclusive economic zone and the regime for the international sea-bed area. There are currently 16 LLDCs that are State Parties to UNCLOS.

Objective: With a view to contributing to the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of UNCLOS as well as to the substantive preparations for the comprehensive 10-year review Conference on the Almaty Programme of Action, this panel discussion aims to draw upon experts and policy makers to examine the practical implications of the UNCLOS provisions on the landlocked developing countries. Issues related to the rights of access to and from the sea and freedom of transit will be explored, as well as opportunities and challenges related to marine renewable energies and the work of the International Sea-bed Authority.


Date & Time: Friday, 1 June 2012, 1:15-2:45 p.m.

Venue: UN Headquarters, CR 6, NLB

Chair: Mr. Cheick Sidi Diarra, USG and High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS

Presentations by Mr. Julio A. Baez, Senior Legal Officer, OLA Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, and Mr. Michael Lodge, Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel, International Seabed Authority