Talk by Rodrigo F More, PhD, Professor, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil on Rights of Landlocked States under Law of the Sea Organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs, Jan 23, 2020
Address by the Executive Director of the Institute of Foreign Affairs
Your Excellency Madam Ambassador,
Professor Rodrigo Fernandes More,
Ladies and Gentleman,
Today we are happy to have Prof. Rodrigo Fernandes More with us to speak on Rights of Landlocked States under law of the Sea. Professor More is an expert on Law of the Sea, which occupies an important space in the international dealings of all nation states of the world, whether they be landlocked or coastal states.
Today we are here to listen to Prof. More on Nepal’s special concerns under the various provisions of convention on law of the sea. Probably Prof. More is aware of Nepal’s projection of graduating from the least developed status to the developing status by 2022 and aspiring to become a middle income country by 2030.
The government of Nepal is striving hard to achieve that lofty objective as planned. Important indicators are showing achievements to reach out to goals as projected.
Today we are hopeful as Nepal has a strong and effective government which has an assured backing from the popularly representatives in the parliament of Nepal. On the economic front also the growth is appreciable with more than seven percent as an annual rate. This year as well, indicators shows the rate becoming achievable as targeted under the annual budget.
We feel positively to improve and expand our bilateral relations between Nepal and Brazil, although geographically we are far apart. Today the geographical distance has shrunk with the rapid development of the means of transportation and more so, with fast moving development of information technology. We are coming closer each year as Nepal has opened its residential embassy Brasilia in 2010 and Brazil established its embassy in 2011.
Along with the opening of embassy in the capitals of both countries, our contact and interaction have become frequent. Your talk program today will be an event which will, I hope, be infighting us on law of the sea convention and more particularly Nepal’s interest in the application of various provisions of the global conventions of the maritime law that governs with all aspects of maritime transportation. This important means of transportation is closely concerned with the wellbeing of the Nepali people and development of the country. Those concerns of Nepal is very high as Nepal is a hinterland country whose boundaries are abutted on three sides in the east, west and south with India and in the north with China.
As you are aware of Nepal’s international connectivity through sea lane is mostly carried through India. However, from the beginning this year, Nepal sea transportation with the overseas countries could also be carried out through China’s four sea ports and three dry ports as an implementation, process of some protocols signed between Nepal and China. This is one of the signature achievements of the present government led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The sea transportation through Chinese ports are expected to have good access to the develop countries of East Asia Japan and South Korea. This opening has giver good hopes for the Nepalese people as an alternative route to the overseas countries.
I need emphasize on the important needs of Nepal as a hinterland and landlocked country for its economic development and social progress. I hope today’s discussion here with you would be helpful to understand to understand various aspects and spectrums of Nepal’s status under the law of the sea.
Before I conclude my few words, I should introduce our main guest Prof. More briefly.
Prof. Rodrigo Fernandes More is an expert on international law with his good interest in law of the sea. He was born in Sao Paulo of Brazil in 1973. He is a good student of international law with Ph.D. done with distinction in international law currently he is working as Adjunct Professor on the law of the sea at the Institute of sea, Federal University of Sao Paulo. He is also working as coordinator at the center of Studies of the oceanic space, collaborating professor in maritime studies and also as instructor on the law of armed conflicts of defense diplomacy.
He is also active as conciliator, legal counselor, full partner, director and full partner coordinator on blue economy in various functions related with the United Nations and other important organization of Brazil.
As an academic, he is also the author and editor of five books and more than 40 articles on the law of the sea, environmental law and international law.
We can see him as an expert on the various aspects of international law and other related activities concerned with the law of the sea.
May now I request you all toe listen to him at this hour!
Address by Professor Rodrigo F More [Full Text]
On behalf of Institute of Foreign Affairs [IFA], I'd like to welcome Professor Doctor Rodrigo F More, Federative University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Her Excellency Mari Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Ambassador of Brazil to Nepal and Deputy Chief of Mission Jose Mario Ferreira Filho, Embassy of Brazil, Kathmandu, former foreign secretary and distinguished guests.
Thank you Mr. Rajesh Shrestha, the Executive Director, for the introduction.
The request for this meeting by the Embassy of Brazil to this Institute could create some expectations on the subject of this presentation. I’m happy to be able to talk to your here, in your respectable institute and beloved country.
I’m really glad and honored in being here today. I came here today to share some moments and points of view with such a select distinguished audience. This is my first time in Nepal. I hope it is not the last but the first of many. Therefore, I will wait for new invitations and I invite you to go to Brazil.
I hope this occasion can be fruitful for research cooperation on ocean and public international law.
A dear mentor advised me once: you don't learn to swim by hand. You have to jump in the water. It has to get wet. Know the real world. International law, international relations and, consequently, sea law, coexist with all shades of blue between realism and idealism. The law of the sea navigates in a very realistic context.
Ocean levels are rising regardless of whether or not you believe in the deleterious effects of climate change. As sure as we get old, wiser, but less listened to by younger people.
It is necessary to hear the cry that many peoples cast about the loss of their motherland, part of their culture, part of their territory, and part of their living and non-living natural riches. The time factor must be associated with science, technology and innovation, law, international politics to favor us, to reach solutions far beyond formal political decisions.
Decisions whether political or legal must be effective and effective. They must provide solutions. In this meeting we will talk about challenges, barriers and tools for finding solutions to some issues related to the oceans.
My proposal is to address (7) Current Topics on the law of the Sea” with close connection with the rights of landlocked states.
The first one is the “Implementation of SDG 14”.
i. Some points concerning the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
ii. International Seabed Authority
iii. Climate change
iv. Access to Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction
v. Piracy, drug trafficking, and weapons trafficking
vi. And Fishing wars
Let’s start with the “implementation of SDG 14”. The SDGs were established on September 2015. The leaders of 193 countries agreed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the most ambitious plan ever to promote human development – by 2030.
The SDGs aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, and build strong institutions and partnerships, and more.
The United Nations 2019 report on the progress of Goal 14 indicates that. Ocean acidification is rising with serious consequences for marine life, especially over coral reefs by causing tis bleach. It is caused by the uptake of atmospheric CO2 by the ocean, which changes the chemical composition of the seawater. It is locally observed specially at the Equatorial line.
The UN report analysis reveals that the fraction of world marine fish stocks that are within biologically sustainable levels declined from 90 per cent in 1974 to 66.9 per cent in 2015.
To achieve sustainable development of fisheries, fish stocks must be maintained at a biologically sustainable level. Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) under national jurisdictions has increased significantly in the last 5 years, from 6% in 2010 to 12% in 2015.
Brazil advanced from 1,5% (2010) to 25%,(2018) of marine protected areas, outperforming the 10% up to 2020 of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of th
The IUU - Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing remains one of the greatest threats to sustainable fisheries, the livelihoods of those who depend upon them and marine ecosystems.
We will dedicate some additional words on IUU later on this presentation. However it is relevant to take note that the first international binding agreement to combat IUU, the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing approved by the FAO Conference in 2009, entered into force in June 2016.
The number of parties to the Agreement has rapidly increased and stood at 62 as of September 2019. Small-scale fisheries are present in almost all countries. It is especially relevant to small islands developing states and to all coastal populations. However, the UN report indicates that more than 20 per cent of countries have a low to medium level of implementation of such frameworks, particularly in Oceania and Central and South Asia.
These are some of challenges I have mentioned in the beginning of this presentation. As we may see we have a lot of hurdling to be overpassed.
How to end poverty, hunger and inequality? How to prevent the effects of climate change and protect the environment with no access to health and education as human rights?
The next current topic on the law of the sea is THE ROLE AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA
The most relevant and common themes dealt with under the jurisdiction of ITLOS are Maritime delimitation, ILLEGAL BUNKERING AND IUU, Detention of vessels (whether or not in connection with IUU) and Advisory Opinions.
The two most relevant cases about maritime delimitation are: Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana / Côte), judgment of 2017. Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal, Judgment of 2012.
Most cases are related to provisional prompt release measures of vessels held by
overcathing (The "Tomimaru" Case (Japan v. Russian Federation), Judgement in 2007), illegal bunkering (supply of gasoil to vessels) (The M/V "Norstar" Case (Panama v. Italy), Judgement in 2019, and the most recent one, The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria) asking for Provisional Measures, under appreciationof ITLOS. Illegal fishing in EEZ (The "Volga" Case (Russian Federation v. Australia), Judgement in 2002.
Finally, two advisory opinions stand out: The first of 2012 related Responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the Area (Request for Advisory Opinion submitted to the Seabed Disputes Chamber). The second, 2015, submitted by the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission on the obligations of the flag State in cases where illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities conducted within the Exclusive Economic Zone of third party States.
Both are extremely interesting, but they extrapolate the object of this succinct presentation.
However, the growing importance of environmental issues, especially related to marine pollution under UNCLOS Part XII, should lead to climate change litigation cases in ITLOS. Soon the first cases related to rising sea levels and their effects on baselines, perhaps as an advisory opinion, may also arrive at ITLOS.
Meanwhile, the ICJ, the PCA, and arbitral tribunals, in the International Court for the Law of the Sea; (b) the International Court of Justice; (c) an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII; or (d) a special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII.
The next current topic on the law of the sea is THE ROLE AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY. I have selected 4 themes related to Authority: First, REMP - Regional Environmental Management Plans; Second, Exploitation Regulations; Third, Trigger to the implementation of Article 82 and fourth one is its connection to the Submissions to CLCS.
Succinctly, a regional environmental management plan (REMP) is ISA’sregulatory tool for environmental protections custom designed for a particular area under ISA powers and functions.
At recent sessions of the ISA Council and Assembly, Member States have called for the development of REMPs as a precondition of mining in any given area. As of 2018, the CCZ was the only area with an ISA-approved REMP.
In July 2018, the ISA approved a two-year plan to support the development of REMPs to cover the Western Pacific seamount region (home to ferromanganese crusts, a mineral resource being explored) as well as the hydrothermal vent systems in the Mid-Atlantic and Indian oceans (currently being explored for polymetallic sulphides).
The ISA has scheduled a series of workshops for each area. Portugal will convene the First Workshop on REMP for the Area of the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), at the University of Évora, from 25-29 November 2019.
In my opinion, REMPs are extremely necessary. It is an unavoidable measure, an indispensable tool for environmental protection to “ensure the effective protection for the marine environment” as set out in Articles 140 and 145 of UNCLOS.
Last April, the ISA have released the draft regulations on exploitation of the mineral resources in the international seabed area, prepared by its Legal and Technical Commission. The next session of the Council of the ISA to deal with the draft will take place in next March 2020.
However, member states were invited to delivery their contributions to the negotiation process up to end of next October 2019 by allowing the Director-General to consolidate it all and deliver a revised draft.
It is a complex document. It is uncompleted in many items. It does not comprise any approach on the mining business, for example, under the view of competition law for avoiding negative impacts over some mineral markets. And, of course, the Regulation must be approved by consensus. The consensus, as you may know, rises when negotiators “agree in not disagree”. As a legal counselor to my country to ISA negotiations, I don’t believe it may occur in the near future.
However, we must keep moving forward with REMPs, for instance. Someday the exploration regulation will be approved and the environmental must be duly protected.
Finally, the ISA has a special interest to trigger Article 82 of UNCLOS; the paragraph 1 of article 82 provides that.
The coastal State shall make payments or contributions in kind in respect of the exploitation of the non-living resources of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
The paragraph 4:
The payments or contributions shall be made through the Authority, which shall distribute them to States Parties to this Convention, on the basis of equitable sharing criteria, taking into account the interests and needs of developing States, particularly the least developed and the land-locked among them.
Landlocked states, under the current leardership of Paraguay, have a special interest, and rights, on the sharing of benefits deriving from the exploitation of seabed.
It is remarkable to remember that Paraguay become the first landlocked state in history to take a seat at ITLOS in 2017 election. As of 2015, Brazil is sponsoring an agreement between a national state company and ISA for the exploration of cobalt rich-crusts in the Rio Grande Rise, a geological positive feature in the Atlantic Ocean. Recently, on December 2018, Brazil presented a submission to CLCS regarding to the Meridional Margin.
The polygon and related coordinates of the Meridional Margin comprises the Rio Grande Rise as natural prolongation of Brazil’s land territory, existing “ipso facto” and “ab initio” pursuant Articles 76, 77, and Annex II of the Convention.
This situation has no precedent.
An area once under ISA powers and functions turned into national sovereignty.
Consequently, Brazil has decided to withdraw the granted sponsorship, and the national state company has decided to renounce to the rights of the agreement. The agreement shall be considered terminated after duly noticed to ISA.
However, Brazil will not be the first coastal state to trigger article 82. This map shows oil fields in the region of New Foundland, Canada located beyond the 200 nautical miles limit, included in the Canadian submission to CLCS. Those oil fields were offered in public bid in November last year.
The next current topic on the law of the sea is CLIMATE CHANGE. There is an important relationship between the ocean and climate change in terms of management of carbon, the absorption of heat and regulation of global climate system.
The climate change poses the single greatest threat to the human rights and security of present and future generations, especially of Pacific Island peoples; The climate change is displacing people and impedes access to basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for many millions of people around the world.The climate change already has its “climate refugees”, as highlighted by the prime minister of Bahamas.
The sea level is rising. It is a fact. It doesn't matter if you believe in climate change or not. In July, a group of Pacific island nations - including Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Timor Leste and Tonga - came together to declare their situation a climate crisis and demand major emitters around the world do something about it.
As early as 2030, they say, their lands could become uninhabitable. Among many negative impacts, rising sea levels affect so-called baselines. Each state has the right to determine its baselines unilaterally, i.e. without need according to neighboring countries, but must follow the rules set out in UNCLOS Articles 5 (normal) and 7 (straight). These articles are based on the geographical elements of the back.
Once determined, they are deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. All other maritime spaces are measured from these lines: territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
With rising sea levels these geographical elements disappear and baselines come into existence only as a legal fact, no longer based on technical criteria. A debate then arose over negotiating an agreement to provide for fixed baselines that are independent of geographical elements.
There are also law firms, hired by some of these islands, advocating the idea of exchanging sovereign rights and jurisdiction for space on islands in neighboring countries. In my opinion, it is unlikely that fixed baselines will be established. There will be no amendment to UNCLOS, whose process is politically difficult. There will be no separate new agreement, as richer countries do not want to recognize the impacts of climate change on the oceans.
In my opinion, which I have already had the opportunity to share with some of those small developing islands; these countries should consider requesting an advisory opinion on the effects of climate change on baselines from an international tribunal such as ITLOS.
This figure shows the location of one of the small Pacific islands threatened by rising sea levels: Tuvalu. This figure shows another small Pacific island threatened by rising sea levels: Fiji. The EEZ is highlighted in red. The baselines are highlighted in blue. Looking more closely, one can see the effect of rising sea levels.
The next current topic on the law of the sea is ACCESS TO BIODIVERSITY BEYOND NATIONAL JURISDICTION. In the oceans there is a large gray area on marine biodiversity use rights beyond national jurisdiction. While the Convention on Biological Diversity deals with areas under national jurisdiction, including in marine spaces, UNCLOS does not address this issue in spaces beyond national jurisdiction, such as the high seas and the Area, whose resources and space are defined as the common heritage of humanity.
In 2017, the General Assembly decided to convene an Intergovernmental Conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, to consider the recommendations of the Preparatory Committee established in 2015 on the elements and to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, with a view to developing the instrument as soon as possible.
Some of the topics under negotiation on the zero draft prepared by Conference President Raina Lee, Singapore:
• Marine genetic resource
• Sharing of benefits
• Area-based management tools
• Marine protected areas
• Environmental impact assessment
• Capacity building
• Transfer of Marine Technology
In practice, a tuna can be as much a genetic resource for pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes as a food. There is a legal conflict between these categories with elements of intellectual property. I also note as a member of delegation that developed countries must press for intellectual property rights.
There are also more complex technical issues still unresolved, such as the definition of “access” to a genetic resource. This is a complex subject on which we could exchange views after this presentation
So, next current topic on the law of the sea is PIRACY, DRUGS TRAFFICKING, AND WEAPONS TRAFFICKING. Piracy is a serious threatto maritime security by endangering, in particular, the welfare of seafarers and the security of navigation and commerce.
In the Gulf of Guinea, piracy is causing significant disruptions to commerce and navigation, financial losses to ship-owners, increasing insurance premiums and security costs, increasing costs to consumers and producers, and damage to the marine environment.
The environment of insecurity caused by piracy favors drug and arms trafficking.
These are the most common criminal acts in developing countries that draw the attention of the richest countries because of the impacts on the flow of trade. In fact, they further damage coastal states. This figure shows the actions of pirates and other offenses committed at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
Finally, the next and final current topic on the law of the sea is FISHING WARS. IUU fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems due to its potent ability to undermine national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably as well as endeavors to conserve marine biodiversity.
• depletes fish stocks
• distorts competition
• weakens coastal communities, particularly in developing countries
• threatens food security
• robs governments of revenue
• disadvantages honest fishers and
• destroys marine habitats.
There are many fishing wars occurring right now. On November last year, a small Brazilian flag fishing vessel were pursued and attacked by a Chinese flag tuna vessel in the high sea.
Acts of piracy undermines the framework of UNCLOS. I would like to thank you for your kind attention. I apologize for some simplifications that we can deepen in our conversation. At the beginning, I said that at this meeting we would talk about challenges, barriers and tools for finding solutions to some ocean issues. Now I would like to hear from you, your experiences and perceptions about the future of our ocean, about our future and the generations to come.
Executive Director of IFA:
I extend my sincere gratitude to the Professor Rodrigo for highlighting the rights of the landlocked states under the Law of Sea.
Now, I'd like to request the distinguished scholars, experts on foreign affairs and participants for the necessary comments, supplementary notes and queries on the issues put forward by Professor Rodrigo.
Dr. Madhuraman Acharya,
Former Nepali Envoy to the United Nations
Question: How do landlocked countries like Nepal increase the capacity to negotiate on the instruments such as this and also access to the dispute resolution mechanisms such as the tribunals, we do not have those experiences as the cases you referred the cases between Myanmar and Bangladesh, and Cote d'voir and Ghana ? How can we increase the negotiating power? What are the hindrances? How can we make use of tribunals, dispute settlement mechanisms so that our transit rights will not be restricted?
Answered by Prof. More: Thank you very much. There primary obligations and secondary obligations of the responsible states for that. It's clause 2112, paragraph 65 is the relevant one for your queries regarding the situations of the landlocked countries and the coastal countries.
Rabindra Shakya, Former Vice-Chairperson, National Planning Commission, Nepal
Question: The international laws and international tribunals are always in favour of the global powers. These institutions have not been able to assist the relatively weaker states for their inherent rights to the access of the sea. It's been very difficult for the state like Nepal for having the unchecked access to the international water ways. How can the privileges endowed to the landlocked states under law of sea be helpful?
Answered by Prof. More: As far as the right of land-locked states on the unchecked access to the sea is concerned, I've got an opportunity to listen from the two superpowers regarding this issue in terms of the international legal arrangements under the International Court of Justice (ICJ). And, I have found that ICJ is only International Court but no Justice--it does not do Justice. There are so many uncomfortable decisions on it. The judges are becoming the activists; they do not act on the legal bases--especially under the international public law, but on the political bases. In my opinion, they are wrong. But we must hope affirmatively.
Scholar on Political Science, International Relations
Question/Comment: The institutions established on behalf of the land-locked states are not performing properly. But we are very much hopeful that the will come as the Momento Magico i.e. the magical moment, the time when we all will be treated equally. The ICJ will also be treating impartially to the states of the world whether they are land-locked or coastal.
Responded by Prof. More: We must be hopeful that there will be equal treatment. There are many books on the field of International Relations, Diplomacy and International Law in my digital library. I will send the link to Mr. Rajesh Shrestha for downloading them. There are six hundred books in PDF format. That's how I can help IFA to develop it as the diplomatic academy.
Scholar on Political Science, International Relations
Question: My question to you, since you are a professor, is what holds the bigger country like Brazil back? I mean, why Brazil is not acting up to its capacity in the world political sphere?
Answered by Prof. More: This is really a very difficult question to answer. You have put me in very unique situation. I am a professor in Brazil, not a politician or a diplomat. So, I cannot answer this question now.
As professor, I believe that my country Brazil has plenty of potentiality for delivery. We have many things to do. We have strong institutions. Brazil has been skillfully communicating with the superpowers and the global powers in order to negotiate on varied international crises. It is also concerned about the problem the land-locked states are facing. The contesting issues on the international waterways like South China Sea are also the matter of its concerns. The US and China are warring on various issues. Brazil always finds out a common ground in order to deal with the challenges. Brazil is waiting for the right time when it finds it feels convenience to act proactively in the international arena.
Her Excellency Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa,
Brazilian Ambassador to Nepal
Comment: If I may add a few words here! You asked 'what is hindering Brazil?' My perspective is, as a Brazilian citizen and the ambassador of Brazil, that Brazil is not hindered, Brazil has made great stride in last three or four decades. But for a process for any country, there is trial and error. It has been through many socio-political and economic ups and downs--it has experimented different economic models. Some models work while others do not. However, Brazil has been striving for multilateralism. Therefore, Prof. Rodrigo is here in Nepal, presenting his candidature for the Judge of International Court of Justice (ICJ).
As far as your (of Ananda Aditya) question is concerned, the small and land-locked states can increase their influence only through the multilateralism. For example, the outcome of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is significant one. It had a full session on ocean and fishery. This outcome has been crystallized now. The SDGs have been formulated. SDG 14 reveals, "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development". It was possible only through the multilateral forum of UNO G77--the group of 77 developing countries of the world which are the UN members too. The conference itself is the result of multilateral efforts applied collectively on behalf of the 77 developing countries. This is the articulations of the developing nations within the G77. That's why Brazil is the great believer in multilateralism. Both Nepal and Brazil have secured many combined actions in the United Nations.
Ministry of Law
Question: I found this discussion highly academic and of high level. I do not have scholarly observations as such. But I do have some questions. Regarding the application of Article 125, you have mentioned the case of Bolivia versus Chile, what the ICJ has said on it, I want to know about it. I would also like to know about the instruments illustrated in codes of the International Tribunals. And, I also want to know whether Article 125 is a right or freedom. Is there any financial responsibility of the member state or not?
Responded by Prof. More: There are other similar cases too: the cases of Bangladesh and Myanmar on the Bay of Bengal. The negotiation between these two nations in order to resolve the crisis is the strong example how that instrument can perform. It worked for respecting and securing reciprocal rights. To your second question, it's the right of the land-locked states. You also asked about International Tribunals, number of judges and their functions.
[The International Court of Justice was established by the Charter of the United Nations, which provides that all Member States of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Court’s Statute. The Statute, together with the Rules of Court, organizes the composition and functioning of the Court. Since October 2001, the Court has also issued Practice Directions for use by States appearing before it.
The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. They have mandates of nine years tenure. One third of the tribunal is renewed. By next June 7 positions for the judges will be vacant.]
Comment: We are at the beginning phase of launching a flag ship on the international water very soon. We are trying to formulate the necessary legal as well as diplomatic measures onto which Nepal can operate the shipping facility. We have got two ports to operate the maritime facility, the Haldia port and the Vishakhapatnam port. Primarily we are arranging to launch the freight vessels. There are some private companies which are showing interests in shipping. Since we new organization, we need to arrange many legal instruments before we can actually move into it. We are preparing for three types of water ways: the internal water ways-the rivers can also be the means for operating transportation, the water ways that connect India via rivers and the the other one is high sea. India has also agreed to allow Nepali flag ship to operate in on the Indian rivers. We must have the basic maritime legal arrangements of our own. We need many suggestions, advices and international supports in our very novel venture. Thank you professor for your valued talk on Law of Sea, ICJ and the other international political and legal conventions regarding the land-locked states.
My question is: What is the obligation of a nation that wishes to operate shipping in the internal water ways as well as on the high sea?
Responded by Prof. More: Every flag state has to abide by the standards set by the classification society that establishes and maintains technical standards for construction and operation of marine vessels and offshore structures. The primary role of the society is to classify ships and validate that their design and calculations are in accordance with the published standards. If there are the private sectors wishing to operate shipping, they must come to terms with the standards set by the Flag of Convenience (FOC). It is a business practice whereby a ship's owners register a merchant ship in a ship register of a country other than that of the ship's owners, and the ship flies the civil ensign of that country. The country is called the flag state. FOC is good for market.
Her Excellency Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa,
Brazilian Ambassador to Nepal
Comment: Dr. Bharat Raj Poudyal of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal, who was a joint secretary at the UN international law, said that Nepal has become much more involved in the meetings of IMO. IMO is the legislating machine. There are so many laws it has generated, especially, in the field of climate change. There is the big friction within the IMO between the big shipping countries and the developing countries which want to secure their rights in maritime transportations. And, for Brazil, maritime laws are extremely important because our most of the external trades are done via maritime transportation. Climate change has been the element of friction. That's why we are also coordinating with the developing countries. We want the developing but land-locked countries to be more active in view of securing the rights of the developing states. Building climate change friendly ship is very costly. (Professor Rodrigo intervened: Green vessel).
Representative from Judicial Academy
Comment: I am the Executive Director of the National Judicial Academy. Thank you very much for your enlightening lecture on the Law of Sea and International Maritime Law. I understand the complexities while dealing with the rights and freedom of the land-locked states. At the moment, we are in comfortable positions. Our exploration project is going on. We are worried about how Seabed Authority is working. We also want to know when we can get our share from the Seabed Authority. These are some expectations we have. Thank you very much.
Former Vice Chairperson
National Planning Commission, Nepal
Comment: It's so wonderful experiences to attend your valued and timely lecture. Thank you Professor Rodrigo for this. It would be more beneficial to us if Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) and similar institution of Brazil have establish bilateral ties and conduct the scholarly activities like this in order to share the experiences, exchange expertise and scholars. On top of that, we must work towards promoting Nepal-Brazil bilateral ties on coping with the socio-economic adversaries regarding various mutual concerns. We must find a common ground for navigating our foreign policies on the same boat.
I thank IFA for holding such program.
Dr. Rupak Sapkota
Deputy Executive Director,
Institute of Foreign Affairs
Closing Remarks: Thank you so much Professor More, Her Excellency Ambassador of Brazil, all the scholars participating this talk program. We are very grateful for the fascinating lecture on the current situation regarding law of Sea, freedom of transit, maritime law and climate change along with the challenges related to them. We hope we can conduct such kind of program in the future too, not only from Brazil, from other developing countries. We all are benefitted from the experiences shared by Prof. More and Her Excellency Ambassador. I believe that this is the first Guest at IFA.
Being as a small country, we do have concerns about multilateralism rightly mentioned by Her Excellency Ambassador. So, thank you all for being here for participating and making this discussion a meaningful one. Thank you all.