I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
At the outset, let me congratulate you and the other members of the bureau upon your election. The European Union and its MemberStatesare pleased to see you chairing the 23rd Meeting of States Parties to UNCLOS and we look forward to working with you to achieve the objectives of this Meeting.
The European Union and itsMemberStateswould like to thank the Tribunal for its comprehensive annual report for 2012 and to President Yanai for his presentation this morning. The Tribunal continues to play an important role in contributing to the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means as well as in the interpretation and application of the Convention.
In this connection we note that during 2012 the Tribunal delivered its judgment in case No. 16 (Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar)) and its order in Case No. 20 (the ARA Libertad (Argentina v. Ghana)). We note also the developments during 2012 in Cases Nos. 18 and 19 (the M/V Louisa and the M/V Virginia G cases).
We note with satisfaction that, as of 31 December 2012, 117 States Parties to the Convention had made their assessed contributions in respect of the year 2012 of the 2011–2012 Budget of the Tribunal. We note with concern however that 47 States Parties have not made any payments with respect to their assessed contributions for 2012 and that the balance of unpaid contributions to the overall budget of the Tribunal amounted to no less than € 544,637. Taking into account previous years, as of 31 December 2012 outstanding assessed contributions of States Parties total €1,035,254. This constitutes a considerable increase compared to the total amount outstanding at the end of 2010. We are concerned about this negative development and urge States Parties to honour their commitments and pay outstanding contributions in full and on time.
We would like to welcome the adherence ofEcuador,Swazilandand Timor-Leste to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which now has 165 States Parties, and urge all states that have not yet done so to become parties as soon as possible.
We are pleased to note that Maltarecently became the 41st State Party to the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. We encourage all States Parties to the Convention to give favourable consideration to adhering to this Agreement.
Finally, the European Union and itsMemberStateswould like to take this opportunity to welcome the sixth capacity-building and training programme conducted by the Tribunal and to commend the Nippon Foundation for its continuing support of the programme.
Thank you, Mr President.