Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Explanation of Position – United Nations 2nd Committee: Resolution on Environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea

New York, 26/11/2019 - 21:08, UNIQUE ID: 191202_16
Statements on behalf of the EU

26 November 2019, New York – European Union Explanation of Position delivered by Helge Elisabeth Zeitler, European Union Delegation, on behalf of the European Union and its Member States at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee, 24th meeting on the Resolution on Cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea

Mr Chairman,

 

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

 

The Candidate Countries, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

 

Mr Chairman,

 

The EU welcomes the adoption of this Resolution and reconfirms its commitment to enhance cooperation with a view to improving awareness of environmental effects related to the waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea.

 

We would like to seize this opportunity to thank all colleagues involved in the work on this resolution, submitted by Lithuania.

 

While we are co-sponsoring this resolution in view of the importance of the topic and join consensus on the text, we would like to express our disappointment – as we did three years ago - that no agreement could be found to include regarding UNCLOS the agreed language in the Omnibus resolution on oceans and the law of the sea which, in our view, is and should remain the authoritative source of any reference to the Convention in resolutions of the UN General Assembly, namely: 

 

“Emphasizing the universal and unified character of the Convention, and reaffirming that the Convention sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out and is of strategic importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector, and that its integrity needs to be maintained, as recognized also by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in chapter 17 of Agenda 21”

 

In this respect, we wish to reiterate that by establishing the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, the Convention promotes stability of the law as well as maintenance of international peace and security. The universal character of the Convention is not only evidenced in its universal language and purpose and the commitment to settle all law of the sea issues on the basis that they are interrelated and need to be considered as a whole, but primarily in its unprecedented, almost universal, participation - to date 168 States Parties, including the European Union, are bound by its provisions. In addition, international jurisprudence has long accepted that its provisions either embody or reflect customary international law.

 

In concluding, joining consensus on this resolution or its co-sponsoring does not imply support for the use of the language in PP 11 in any other resolution in the future.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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