Category Archives: Treaties

Caspian: Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea signed

The member states of the informal group “Caspian-five”, composed of Azerbaijan, IranKazakhstanRussia and Turkmenistan, have signed (12 August 2018) the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. This international treaty replaces previous Soviet-Iranian instruments, namely the Treaty of Friendship between Persia and the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic of February 26, 1921 and  the Treaty on trade and navigation of 25 March 1940. With this new treaty, the parties agree that the Caspian Sea is not a lake. Among other issues addressed by the treaty, the Caspian Sea bordering states will now be able to lay pipelines on the seabed without obtaining the approval of all the other coastal states, but rather only the approval from those coastal states whose sector the pipeline should pass through (Article 14). The treaty also features the principle of absence of armed forces not belonging to the parties in the Caspian Sea (Article 3). Six other international legal instruments were also signed by the parties, namely on the fight against terrorism, the fight against organised crime, economic cooperation, transportation, accident prevention, and  interaction of border authorities. The text of the agreement may be found here (in Farsi). A statement from the United Nations Secretary-General may be found here.

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Caspian Sea region oil and natural gas infrastructure. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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TPP-11: Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership signed

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, also known as the TPP11) was signed by 11 states, 8 March 2018, in Santiago, Chile. The agreement retains the contents of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but includes 20 agreed suspensions, mainly in the area of intellectual property. The annexed Joint Ministerial Statement by CPTPP signatories, “expressed their determination to complete their domestic processes to bring the Agreement into force expeditiously”. Without claiming to be exhaustive, Chapter 20, Environment, is of interest to the law of the sea given its inclusion of ship-source pollution and marine capture fisheries.

For more information, see the CPTPP text, Joint Statement, Press release (Chile) and original TPP text.

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Australia/Timor-Leste: Treaty establishing maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea signed

Following previous coverage (here), Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Timor-Leste’s Deputy Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Boundary Delimitation, signed the Treaty Between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Establishing Their Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea, 6 March 2018, at the United Nations Headquarters. The agreement may be found here.

For further information, see the respective press releases of Timor-Leste (2),  Australia (2) and the PCA. A video of the proceedings is available here.

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Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea. Source: Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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CBD: Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol enters into force

The Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, adopted 15 October 2010, entered into force 5 March 2018 with 41 contracting parties. The instrument provides for rules and procedures on liability and redress for damage resulting from transboundary movements of living modified organisms. Article 2(2)(b) defines “damage” to biodiversity.

For more information see the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol, press releasefactsheet and status.

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ILO: 2007 Work in Fishing Convention enters into force

ILO Convention (No. 188) concerning work in the fishing sector, entered into force, 16 November 2017, as per article 48(2).

For further information including supplementary material, see the ILO press release. For informaiton on the status of the convention, see the UNTS page here.

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CITES: Silky and thresher shark controls enter into force

The 17th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flaura (CITES) decided to expand the species of sharks protected by CITES controls, including silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), thresher sharks (Alopias spp.) and all nine devil ray species (Mobula spp.) within Appendix II. Listing of devil rays entered into effect on 04 April 2017, while silky and thresher shark listing was subject to a 12 month delay, entering into effect 4 October 2017.

For more information see the press release here, or the sharks and manta rays page here.

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IMO: MEPC agrees on implementation schedule for BMW Convention

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed, during its 71st session, to an implementation schedule for ships to comply with the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, set to enter into force on 8 September 2017. More information about this agreement may be found here.

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