Statement by Mr. Md. Monwar Hossain PhD, Deputy Permanent Representative and CDA of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the 31st Meeting of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 23 June 2021

Mr. President,

My delegation warmly congratulates you and other members on your election to the bureau of the 31st Meeting of the UNCLOS States Parties. I assure you of my delegation’s full support in fulfilling your mandate.

We take note of the analytical report of the Secretary-General A/75/340 highlighting the recent development on ocean and law of the sea.  Heathy ocean is critical for sustaining life, reducing poverty, and achieving development agenda.  At the national level, Bangladesh has put in place Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and Maritime Zone Act to ensure efficient utilization, conservation, protection, and scientific management of our marine resources.

We also take note of the comprehensive report of the President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea outlining its intensive judicial role in resolving maritime disputes in different parts of the world from 1 January to 31 December 2020. We have strong faith in the potential of ITLOS in ensuring the compliance of the UNCLOS. Our confidence in the Tribunal’s authority and competence is testified by the fact that Bangladesh was the first country to refer a maritime boundary dispute to ITLOS.

The work of CLCS has a critical role on the achievement of sustainable development goals. Bangladesh lodged an amended submission on the limits of its outer continental shelf in the Bay of Bengal to the Commission on 22 October 2020. The determination of the outer continental shelf will enable Bangladesh to explore for the natural resources, which is critical for attainment of our development agenda.

My delegation warmly congratulates Mr. Michael W. Lodge on his re-election as the Secretary General of the International Seabed Authority for the Second term. I thank him for his informative report on its ongoing work.  It is appreciating to see that ISA has managed to deal with the essential business of the Authority despite the lack of face-to-face meetings including the adoption of budget for the financial period 2021-2022, election of the members of Council, election of the Secretary-General and extension of  the terms of office of the members of the Legal and Technical Commission by one year. As a member of the Council and current President of the Council of the International Seabed Authority, we have remained fully engaged in the work of the ISA and would also continue our engagement both at the technical and political level.

Mr. President,

The ocean is our global ‘commons’. Our common future will be significantly determined by the way we conserve, develop, and tap into oceanic resources and services.  I wish to make a few points in this regard:

First, to address the impact of sea-level rise on the heath of ocean, timely and effective implementation of the various provisions of the UNCLOS, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement are important.

Second, to ensure efficient utilization, conservation, protection, and preservation of the marine resources and environment, it is imperative to ensure early conclusion of the BBNJ Agreement. We hope that the 4th BBNJ Conference will come up with a productive outcome in this regard.

Third, we need to redouble international cooperation to address the continued threats to maritime security including those caused by large movements of refugees and migrants by sea, mostly in perilous situations.

Fourth, capacity building and technical assistance remain crucial for the implementation of legal and policy framework for the oceans and seas, particularly for the developing states.

To conclude, Mr. President, Bangladesh would work closely with the international community for maintaining healthy ocean and seas for all.

I thank you.