I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, the EFTA countries Iceland, and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
The EU and its Member States welcome the adoption of the Resolution on "Strengthening cooperation for Integrated Coastal Zone Management for achieving Sustainable Development".
We appreciate Morocco's efforts to draw the attention of the General Assembly to this important topic and reconfirm our commitment to enhance cooperation for improved integrated coastal zone management as an important contribution to make progress on a range of sustainable development goals.
While we join consensus on this resolution and have voted against the proposal to delete the language included in PP 2, we would like to express our disappointment that regarding UNCLOS, no consensus could be reached to include the agreed language from 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 for this resolution does for the reasons outlined not imply support for the language used in PP 2 for any other resolution in the future.