United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Cyprus

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Republic of Cyprus
Partnership Dialogue 7: Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their
resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea
Speaker: Kornelios Korneliou, Permanent Representative
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1. UNCLOS is rightly referred to as the "Constitution for the Oceans", as it provides the·
effective, comprehensive and overarching international legal framework for the oceans
and seas. By setting out the overall legal framework for all activities on the oceans
and sea, it also provides the legal framework for their sustainable development. We
therefore welcome the recognition of its prominent role in this Conference and through
this important partnership dialogue.
2. Indeed, the General Assembly has recognized the pre-eminent contribution of the
Convention to the strengthening of peace, security, cooperation and friendly relations
among all nations, to the promotion of the economic and social advancement, as well as
to the sustainable development of the oceans and seas.
3. In providing the global community with a carefully balanced package of rights and
duties in the various maritime zones, UNCLOS carefully balances the enjoyment of
rights and benefits with the undertaking of duties and obligations. Moreover its
implementation cannot be effected in a pi~cemeal fashion since its provisions are closely
interrelated and form an integral package.
4. The Convention has a universal character, having been ratified by 168 parties. Its
provisions reflect customary international law. In addition, the principle of sustainable
development has becom~ a principle of general international law. However, while we do
possess a strong legal regime, it is important to acknowledge that effective
implementation can be a challenge, especially for developing states. Effective
implementation of the UNCLOS regime and its implementing agreements, requires
giving greater prominence to ocean issues at the national level, effective national
legislative, administrative and technical frameworks and adequate technological,
financial and human capabilities. Effective implementation of UNCLOS provisions also
requires cooperation.
5. Cyprus's national legal framework is solidly based on UNCLOS, as well as the relevant
European Union legal framework. We are also committed to effective cooperation with
our neighbours and partners in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, aiming towards the
harmonious implemei;itation of the UNCLOS regime for the conservation and
sustainable use of the sea and its resources.
6. In closing, I wish to emphasise a point highlighted by many throughout this conference:
that the Goals of Agenda 2030 cannot be effected in a fragmented fashion, as they are
mutually dependent. I would like to add in this respect, that the significance of
UNCLOS is not only instrumental to the implementation of Goal 14, but also to the
overall implementation of the Agenda, due to the perennial connection between
development and security, because of its significant contribution to peace, security, and
cooperation.
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