I have the honor to speak on behalf of the EU and its member States.
The EU and its Member States first of all would like to add their voice to the deep sympathy expressed by the Chairperson of the Commission on the demise of Mr. Alexandre Tagore Medeiros de Albuquerque and convey our gratitude and appreciation for the work he performed in the Commission in his terms of office since the beginning in 1997.
The EU and its Member States are grateful for the report and take note of the information submitted by the Chairperson of the Commission on its work during.the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth sessions.In particular, we note the reference to the workload of the Commission in paragraph 20 and appreciate that the Commission considers it as a matter of high importance for its future work and is keeping it on its agenda.
Once again, the EU and its Member States wish to highlight the importance of the work of the Commission for coastal States and the international community as a whole and we want to stress again that the heavy workload of the Commission, and the delays affecting submitting States, are matters of great concern to the Member States. Furthermore, we acknowledge the need to ensure that:
(i) the Commission can perform its functions under the Convention effectively, timely and ensure the high level of quality and expertise required; and we look forward to the improvement of the swiftness and efficiency of the Commission’s work as it gains more experience.
(ii) the Commission members can fulfil their duties effectively, including full participation in the sessions of the Commission and the meetings of the sub-commissions, taking into account the need for nominating States to defray their expenses.
The implementation of the decision (SPLOS/229) by States Parties at the 21st Meeting should indeed be considered a matter of the highest priority. It is imperative that a full Commission can effectively perform its functions at a high level of quality and expertise. We expect the new Commission to be elected in full and to continue their efforts to consider the submissions in a timely, efficient and effective manner. The EU and its Member States believe that this can only be achieved if there is a full complement of members of the Commission as prescribed in UNCLOS, Annex II.
Furthermore, we would like to encourage States to contribute to the Voluntary Trust Fund for the purpose of facilitating the preparation of submissions as well as the Voluntary Trust Fund for the purpose of defraying the cost of participation of the members of the Commission from developing States in the meetings of the Commission. There is also scope for more bilateral assistance in order to help in particular least developed countries and small islands developing states in the preparation of their submissions.
The European Union and its Member States would finally like to pay tribute to DOALOS for for its support to the Commission and its efforts to provide adequate assistance to the future extended periods of work in New York.
Thank you, Madam President.