Sea Law Commission registers India as first pioneer investor
Three other States to be registered by end of 1987
THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION for the International Sea-Bed Authority and for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, at its resumed fifth regular session (27 July-21 August, New York), registered India as the first pioneer investor in sea-bed mining, thus taking the first step towards implementation of the sea-bed mining regime as elaborated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Commission also continued work on rules of procedure for the Assembly, Council and the other organs of the International Sea-Bed Authority, the deep sea-bed mining code, the rules of the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea and other matters related to its establishment.
Jose Luis Jesus of Cape Verde was elected as the new Commission Chairman to replace Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania Joseph Warioba. Mr. Jesus said he would spare no effort in tackling the difficult tasks ahead, and would be guided by the need to find a balance of the interests of all delegations with a view to reaching generally acceptable solutions.
The registration of India gives that country exclusive rights to explore an area of 150,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean. The decision also reserves for the Enterprise--the mining arm of the Authority--an area of equal commercial value in the same region.
Satya N. Nandan, Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Law of the Sea Office for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, described India's registration as an "historic event' for the United Nations. He said it is the first time under the Organization's auspices that an area in the international deep sea-bed has been allocated exclusively to one nation for the purpose of development of its mineral resources.
The Commission also agreed to a timetable by which the three other applicants for pioneer investor status--France, Japan and the USSR--would be registered by the end of 1987.
Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar called the agreement "one of the most significant developments in the Law of the Sea since the adoption of the Convention'.
The registration of pioneer investors was delayed for three years because of the overlapping claims of France, Japan and the Soviet Union in the northern Pacific Ocean, and because of conflicts in the claims between the Soviet Union and four...