NewsLocalAmbassador Mavroyiannis candidate for UN International Law Commission

Ambassador Mavroyiannis candidate for UN International Law Commission

Cyprus supports Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis’ candidacy for the UN International Law Commission, the country’s representative Haris Chrysostomou said on Monday.

Chrysostomou, who according to the Press and Information Office was addressing the UN Assembly on the Commission’s report said, among other things, that “in order to address effectively the matter of coastal erosion, affected coastal states should be entitled to designate permanent baselines pursuant to Article 16 of UNCLOS, which would withstand any subsequent regression of the low-water line.”

This view, he noted, “is in conformity with UNCLOS and aims at safeguarding coastal states’ legal entitlements in light of the ongoing, worrisome developments generated by climate change.”

Moreover, he added, “baselines must be permanent and not ambulatory so as to achieve greater predictability on maritime boundaries.”

According to Chrysostomou the position is in line with UNCLOS and international jurisprudence.

Cyprus, he noted, “has consistently supported the Commission and continues to attach great importance to the ILC’s work in contributing to the codification and progressive development of international law.” He further expressed the Republic’s support in Mavroyiannis’ Commission candidacy.

Referring to the rising sea levels, he said that that they “pose a grave threat to the lives and livelihoods of populations across the globe and, in particular, those of low-lying coastal states and small-island developing states.”

Indeed, he added, “as an island-state itself, Cyprus has experienced directly the gravity of various consequences of climate change, including climate change-induced sea level rise.”

He further recalled that the Study Group has undertaken to simply outline key issues on three identified areas. “It has no mandate whatsoever to propose modifications to existing international law, including the customary nature of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and, in particular, Article 121 on the regime of islands,” he pointed out.

My delegation, Chrysostomou said, “cannot overstate the indispensability of fully respecting the letter and spirit of UNCLOS in conducting such work and of ensuring that the content of the said study will fully comply with the Convention.”

Cyprus shares the concern of many of the members of the Committee, as it was reported in this year’s ILC Report, as well as the concerns of many member states as regards to the ILC tampering with the regime of islands. This is strictly outside of the scope of the ILC’s mandate. Cyprus calls for caution in addressing this topic, he noted.

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