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Annick de Marffy-Mantuano on The Legacy of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
4 Dec 2013 -  Ms. Annick de Marffy-Mantuano, Former Director, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs

"The Legacy of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea"
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea celebrated in 2012 the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Convention. In assessing the legacy of the most significant treaty regulating all activities in the oceans, it should be kept in mind the complexity of finding equilibrium between dialectic tensions: on one hand for coastal states the right to extend their domain of control over maritime zones while pushed by the desire of establishing a public domain for the benefit of all; on the other hand, the maritime powers were adamant to invoke the age old freedom to maintain a free circulation of their ships while maintaining the possibility of accessing to the newly discovered wealth. The deterioration of marine ecosystems, overfishing and the increase of illicit acts such as piracy force to reflect on the reasons why such illegal activities have developped. Is it due to the lack of regulations? Or is it the lack of implementation of all the very complex set of rules?