Issues Brief 4 - Oceans
UN-DESA, 2011
This brief is aimed at providing an overview of international commitments, implementation successes, remaining gaps, challenges and emerging issues in the area of oceans, with a view to facilitating constructive discussion around oceans and marine resources in the course of the preparation for UNSD.



The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called ?Constitution of the oceans?, has 161 parties, including 135 coastal states, and sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. It established three institutions: the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Seabed Authority and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The work under the auspices of the Law of the Sea and the Commission on Sustainable Development has become more closely linkedin recognition of the importance of oceans and marine life in achieving sustainable development goals. In addition, several United Nations agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have undertaken work in order to promote sustainable ocean development and the protection of marine resources.

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