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with satisfaction that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee had examined the question of remote sensing of the earth from space and, as set forth in certain paragraphs of its report, had considered in detail the current preoperational/experimental phase as well as a possible future global/international operational remote sensing system or systems. (The paragraphs of the Subcommittee's report referred to featured the NASA LANDSAT program and noted that possible development of a global center should be studied in the light of such advantages as "dissemination of all data and information to all countries on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis.") The resolution also endorsed the other recommendations of the Outer Space Committee, including those calling for further studies and actions by the Secretary General. The draft resolution was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly on November 18.


The Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea held its third (second substantive) session in Geneva from March 17 to May 9, 1975. The Special Representative of the President to the Conference and the Head of the U.S. Delegation was Ambassador John R. Stevenson. The Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of Delegation was Ambassador John Norton Moore.

This session of the Conference came after 3 years of preparatory work in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed and Ocean Floor Beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction which had held sessions in New York and Geneva, 1971-73. The organizational session of the Conference was held in New York in December 1973 and the first substantive session in Caracas in 1974.

The basic Conference structure for the session remained the same as that of the Seabed Committee. In addition to the plenary Conference, presided over by President Amerasinghe of Sri Lanka, there were three main committees, an informal working group on dispute settlement, and a number of other working groups representing various geographic or special interest affinities. Committee I (chaired by Paul Engo of Cameroon) dealt with the principles and machinery for the exploitation of the deep seabed; Committee II (chaired by Reynaldo Galindo Pohl of El Salvador) dealt with traditional law of the sea issues, including baselines, the territorial sea, straits, the continental shelf, fisheries, the high seas, archipelagoes, islands, and the rights of landlocked, shelflocked, and other grographically disadvantaged states; and Committee III (chaired by Alexander Yankov of Bulgaria) addressed the subjects of marine pollution, scientific research, and the transfer of technology. The informal working group on dispute settlement was chaired by E. Lauterpacht of Australia.

The Conference agreed that a fourth session should be held in New York, March-May 1976, with a fifth session later in 1976 if it proved necessary. This would be followed by a formal signing session in Caracas. On December 12 the 30th General Assembly adopted without vote a resolution to that effect.

The most important development at the Geneva session of the Conference was the preparation by the chairmen of the committees and the dispute settlement group of an informal single negotiating text covering all subjects before the Conference. While the text did not represent agreed articles or consensus texts,

it represented the judgment of the chairmen, based on their assessments of the negotiation thus far, on the appropriate starting point for further negotiations. The text proved highly useful as a common basis of discussion during the intersessional period and was to be the basis of further negotiations at the 1976 New York session.

The virtual deadlock in the Committee I negotiations concerning the exploitation of the deep seabed remained the most serious obstacle to the successful completion of the Conference.

Exploitation of the Deep Seabed

Although serious negotiations took place in Committee I, with a number of compromise proposals being explored, the most striking feature of the session was the unwillingness of the developing countries to make concessions on what they considered their more fundamental ideological positions. Although the developing countries were somewhat receptive to basic U.S. concerns in the area of institutional structure and the need to limit the proposed international Authority's powers over exploitation, it proved impossible to bridge the ideological gap on the type of exploitation system. Despite a U.S. effort to be forthcoming on some of their demands for participation, the developing countries continued to support the view that only a system in which the proposed Authority directly exploited the seabed would protect their interests.

The United States entered the Committee I negotiations with a willingness to be flexible on issues of direct concern to the developing countries, while at the same time safeguarding its most important deep seabed mining interests in access to minerals. During the first half of the session, the United States agreed to consider including in the treaty basic conditions of exploitation as opposed to detailed regulatory provisions. The United States also proposed considering a system of joint ventures, with the possibility of profit-sharing with the Authority, as the single method of exploitation, and proposed a reservation-of-areas system. Under this approach, an applicant for a joint venture would submit two mine sites, one of which the Authority would approve, while the other would be designated as a reserved area.

In the reserved area, the Authority could negotiate with applicants for the most favorable financial terms and commitments to transfer technology.

At mid-session, the Representative of Sri Lanka (C. W. Pinto) introduced a personal draft of proposed basic conditions for exploitation which focused primarily on a contractual joint venture system that included reservation of some areas for states and others for direct exploitation by the Authority. This elaboration of a parallel system was intensively considered by the group of developing countries, who eventually rejected both the concept of designating some areas solely for state exploitation and the concept of a parallel system as elaborated in the Sri Lankan draft. The reasons given by the developing countries for this rejection was their ideological difficulty with establishing two separate regimes for the international Area beyond national control.

The single negotiating text on the machinery for exploitation in the Area was based primarily on a new, unified position reached by the developing countries. It provided that the principal organs of the proposed world Authority for the seabed should be an assembly, a council, a tribunal, an enterprise, and a secretariat. The assembly would be the supreme policy-making organ; it would elect members of the council and appoint members of the tribunal and of the governing board of the enterprise. The council would be a 36-member executive organ; the tribunal would consist of 9 independent judges; and the enterprise would undertake preparation and execution of the Authority's activities in the Area. The most important aspects of the developing countries' new position were their willingness (1) to reserve a portion of the seats on the council for representatives of countries that have a special interest in the deep seabed, and (2) to submit the entire exploitation system to the control of the council. The developing countries did not reach an agreed position on production controls, apparently as a result of the differing interests of producers and consumers within the group.

Territorial Sea, Straits, and the Economic Zone

The single negotiating text reflected general agreement in Committee II on a 12-mile maximum territorial sea, unimpeded passage of straits, and a 200mile economic zone with sovereign rights over living and non-living resources and special treatment for anadromous species of fish (such as salmon). The committee completed, in informal meetings, a review of the paper developed in Caracas to reflect the main trends of the discussions. Working groups dealt with virtually all of the traditional details of the territorial sea question (including baselines and innocent passage) and the high seas regime, making some technical changes in the existing regime.

The Evensen Groupł3/prepared a text on the economic zone that reflected a broad trend of opinion. However, its circulation was followed by efforts of the extreme territorialists among the developing countries to make the economic zone more coastally oriented and by efforts of the landlocked and geographically disadvantaged states to secure greater rights of access to fisheries of neighboring coastal states. With respect to fisheries, the Evensen Group text proposed articles providing for both conservation and full utilization of stocks, and for the protection of the interests of the state of origin of anadromous stocks. While no agreement emerged on continental shelf jurisdiction beyond 200 miles, it was increasingly recognized by many moderates that coastal state jurisdiction to a precisely defined limit of the margin beyond 200 miles coupled with revenue sharing beyond 200 miles was the only way to achieve widespread agreement.

The main negotiating problems that remained before Committee II at the end of the session included (1) determination of whether the legal status of the economic zone would remain one of the high seas or would become de facto territorial waters; (2) the question of access by landlocked and geographically disadvantaged states to fisheries in the economic zones of their neighbors; (3) the scope of the right of access to the sea for landlocked states; (4) the nature of the protective measures to be accorded highly migratory species of fish, such as tuna; (5) determination of the status of the continental shelf where it extends beyond the proposed 200-mile economic zone; (6) determination of boundaries and related islands problems between adjacent and opposite coastal states; and (7) determination of an objective definition of archipelagoes and of transit rights adequate to permit general acceptance of special provisions for archipelagoes.

Marine Pollution and Scientific Research

Committee III reached agreement on texts concerned with monitoring the risks and effects of marine pollution, assessing the environmental impact of activities planned by states, and setting standards for land-based sources of marine pollution. It moved close to agreement on texts concerned with dumping wastes at sea and controlling pollution of the continental shelf. These texts included meaningful obligations to protect the

13 A broadly representative working group of states, including the United States, whose interests cut across the full range of conference issues. It was chaired by Jens Evensen of Norway.

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