STATEMENT BY NORMA TAYLOR ROBERTS

DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE

PERMANENT MISSION OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED

NATIONS ON ITEM 8: THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL

TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA

 

FIFTEENTH MEETING OF STATES PARTIES TO THE

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

16TH JUNE 2005, NEW YORK

 

Mr. President,

Let me first of all express my delegationís thanks for the words of sympathy expressed by you and the President of the Tribunal in respect of the passing of Dr. Kenneth Rattray.  My delegation will ensure that the message of condolence on behalf of the delegations to this meeting is transmitted to the family of Dr. Rattray and the Government of Jamaica.

 

My delegation takes this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as President of the 15th meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  We are confident that under your able leadership the outcome of the meeting will be positive and my delegation is prepared to fully cooperate with the Chair towards this end.  We also extend our congratulations to the other members of the Bureau who were elected this morning.

 

Mr. President,

Let me state our appreciation to the President of the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for presenting the annual report of the Tribunal for 2004.  We found the report to be a very comprehensive record of the activities of the Tribunal during the period.  We are pleased to note that the Tribunal has conducted its affairs successfully.

 

 

Mr. President,

My delegation expresses its delight that the Headquarters Agreement has now been signed between the Tribunal and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.  This is an important step which not only defines the legal status of the Tribunal in Germany but also solidifies the feeling of stability of the institution as well as the well-being of the staff.

 

We wish to express our thanks to the Government of Germany for their sterling support of the Tribunal.

 

 

Mr. President,

We note that the Tribunal had one new case before it last year - the Juno Trader.  While my delegation is not apprised of any analysis regarding other cases that could have potentially been referred to the Tribunal, we would nevertheless encourage States in this position to have recourse to the Tribunal which, as we have seen from the report, continues to deliver its judgments in a very efficient manner.

 

We also note that the Tribunal reviewed a number of legal and judicial matters over the period.  We commend it for the initiative in this regard and we also express appreciation to the Registrar and staff for the background documents provided to facilitate such reviews.

 

On the subject of reviews, Mr. President, we wish to refer to that of the code of conduct for counsel appearing before the Tribunal.  We think that, with the emphasis today within the United Nations system on responsibility and accountability, this is a very encouraging step and we hope that it will receive priority consideration.  We are also pleased to see that discussions have started on the question of expenses relating to cases brought by an entity other than a State Party and we believe that this should also be accorded priority.

 

On the issue of implementation of decisions by the Tribunal we think that the information prepared by the Registry would be of interest to Member States.

 

Mr. President,

We reiterate our appreciation to the Governments of the United Kingdom and Finland for the contributions they made to the Trust Fund to assist States in the settlement of disputes and we encourage other States in a position to do so, to contribute to this Fund.

 

We continue to support the internship programme of the Tribunal and commend the Korea International Cooperation Agency for the generous endowment which assisted many candidates from developing countries in 2004 to participate in the Tribunalís internship programme.

 

Mr. President,

We have a full agenda before us.  We are confident that you and the Bureau will make any adjustment to the programme of work, where necessary, in order to facilitate full exchange of views by delegations.

 

I thank you.