Conference on UNCLOS and the challenges of implementation

Academics, State representatives, former judges and navy staff discuss strengthening the implementation of UNCLOS in the Indo-Pacific

The Conference on ‘UNCLOS: Solutions for managing the Maritime Global Commons’ was held from 4 to 6 October 2017 in Port Blair, India, organised by the India Foundation. Representatives from the Max Planck Foundation were invited to attend the conference as delegates.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) comprises a wide range of topics concerning maritime zones, the rights of passage and navigation, peace and security of oceans and seas, the environment and dispute settlement procedures.

The theme of the three-day conference focused on the implementation of UNCLOS and discussion centered on four main areas. Specifically, panels were held on the legitimacy of UNCLOS, as well as issues of non-compliance with UNCLOS. The conference raised pertinent aspects of peaceful dispute settlement and maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. The delegates constructively discussed solutions to the challenges to implementing UNCLOS and emphasised the importance of the international legal order.

The conference was attended by delegates, including high-level State representatives from India, Bangladesh, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam; former judges and the navy staff; and academics.