I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its member States.
Firstly, we would like to extend our congratulations to Mr. Awosika on his election as Chairman of the Commission and we wish him every success in carrying out his duties in this important position.
The EU and itsMemberStateswish to highlight the vital nature of the work of the Commission for coastal States and for the international community as a whole. We recognise therefore the importance of ensuring that the Commission can perform its functions under the Convention in an effective and timely manner, and with the necessary level of expertise. Accordingly, it is essential that the Commission can rely on the full participation of all its members in plenary meetings and in the meetings of its subcommissions. Nominating states have a particular responsibility in this regard.
We welcome the letter of the Chairman of the Commission to this Meeting and take note of the information provided by him on the Commission’s work during its thirtieth and thirty-first sessions. We appreciate the concrete steps taken by the Commission to implement the measures proposed by the Meeting of States Parties in its Decision regarding the Workload of the Commission (SPLOS/229, of 16 June 2011). In particular we welcome the decision of the Commission to hold in 2013 three meetings of the Commission and its sub-commissions for a total of 21 weeks and we encourage it to maintain at a minimum this level of activity throughout the five year term of the present Commission.
We also welcome the decision of the Commission at its thirtieth session to establish four new subcommissions so that six subcommissions would now be actively considering submissions. We also welcome its decision to appoint members of the Commission to subcommissions in such a way that three groups of members would be formed to handle the work of two separate subcommissions each. This methodology has already enabled the Commission to expedite its consideration of submissions and we look forward to the continuing efficiencies this will deliver.
We note also the discussions of the Commission at its last session concerning the possibility of increasing the number of submissions currently considered by each subcommission, as well as the possibility, with the agreement of the Meeting of States Parties, of adopting a flexible approach as to which submission from the queue should be considered next when the available members are ineligible to consider the submission next in the queue. We look forward to hearing further details of these ideas.
It is clear that the greater level of activity of the Commission increases the costs of participation of its members in its meetings. While we recall that nominating states have a particular responsibility in this regard, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome the efforts of states that have made voluntary contributions to the trust fund established for the purpose of defraying the cost of participation of the members of the Commission from developing States in the meetings of the Commission. We wish to encourage states in a position to do so to give favourable consideration to contributing to this fund, as well as to the Voluntary Trust Fund for the purpose of facilitating the preparation of submissions.
Finally, Mr. President, we wish to thank DOALOS and its staff for the continuing, very valuable support they provide to the Commission.