Ambassador Dr Palitha Kohona elected Vice President of the Conference of State Parties of the Law of the Sea Convention
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in New York, Ambassador Dr Palitha Kohona was elected Vice President of the Conference of State Parties of the Law of the Sea Convention.
Others are Mauritius, Argentina, and Ukraine. Isabelle Picco of Monaco was elected the President. Kohona also chairs the Working Group of the whole.
The UN celebrated 30 years of the conclusion of Law of the Sea Convention from 4 - 8 June with a well attended Conference of the Parties.
Sri Lanka played a central role in the negotiation of the Convention with Ambassador Shirley Amerasigha chairing the Conference of the Parties in the early stages. He was followed by the likes of Fiji's Sathyanandan and Singapore's Tommy Koh.
Today the UN awards an annual scholarship on the Law of the Sea in memory of Shirley Amerasingha.
The Convention has 161 parties with the US being a prominent exception. It is unlikely that the Senate will approve US participation in an election year.
The Continental Shelf Commission established under the Convention determines claims to the Continental shelf made by each state. Sri Lanka submitted its claim in 2009 after it was finalised by an inter ministerial committee chaired by the then Foreign Secretary, Kohona.
Sri Lanka's claim, if approved by the Commission, would result in the exploitable land mass of the country increasing by a factor of 23.
However, Sri Lanka has avoided going before the Commission to substantiate its claim despite repeated invitations to do so by the Commission.
- Asian Tribune -