I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The European Union and its Member States would like to thank the Tribunal for its comprehensive annual report for 2011. The Tribunal continues to play an important role in contributing to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means as well as to the implementation and development of the law of the sea, and has built a reputation for its qualitative, timely and efficient management of cases.
The EU and its Member States take note of the cases No. 16 (Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar)), No. 18 (The M/V “Louisa” Case (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Kingdom of Spain)) submitted to the Tribunal and No. 19 (The M/V “Virginia G” Case (Panama/Guinea-Bissau)) as well as of the case No 17 – Advisory Opinion Responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the Area submitted, in accordance with Article 191 of the Convention, to the Seabed Disputes Chamber by the International Seabed Authority.
With regard to the case concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal, the EU and its Member States would like to take this opportunity to note the consensual referral of the case to the Tribunal as a means of peaceful settlement of disputes relating to the law of the sea and in particular the judgment delivered on 14 March 2012.
The importance of the Advisory Opinion of the Chamber on Responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the Area will be addressed at the ISA meeting in July.
The EU and its Member States express their satisfaction that, as at 31 December 2011, 118 States Parties had made their contributions to the year 2011 of the 2011 – 2012 budget of the Tribunal. The EU and its Member States, however, continue to note with concern that 44 States Parties have not made any payments with respect to their assessed contributions for 2011 and that the balance of unpaid contributions to the overall budget of the Tribunal amounted to no less than € 516,531. Arrears in the payment of assessed contributions are a source of concern to the EU and its Member States, and we call upon States Parties to honour their commitments and pay outstanding contributions in full and on time.
The European Union and its Member States would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the capacity-building and training programme conducted by the Tribunal for the fifth time.
Thank you, Madam President.