- Ministry News
ROK-ITLOS International Conference on Law of Sea
1. The “2018 ROK-ITLOS International Conference on the Law of the Sea” took place at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul on November 14 and 15, co-hosted by the Republic of Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
° The event themed “the development of the law of the sea and the role of ITLOS” brought together some 80 people, including scholars, government officials, and others related to international law -- ITLOS President Paik Jin-hyun, Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Kang Jeong-sik, and a member of the UN International Law Commission (ILC) Michael Wood.
2. In his welcoming remarks, Deputy Minister Kang commended ITLOS for contributing to the development of the law of the sea by issuing various rulings and recommendations; and, citing the importance of a peaceful and sustainable use of the sea to the ROK’s prosperity and security, articulated the ROK government’s plan to work closely with ITLOS on the latter’s work to establish a legal maritime order.
3. In his keynote speech, ITLOS President Paik explained that since its founding, ITLOS’ three main functions had been dispute settlement and the presentation of recommendations; the interpretation and development of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and the spread of the rule of law in the sea, which had been facilitated by developing countries’ capacity-building efforts, among others.
° The President, extending appreciation to the ROK government for its contribution to ITLOS since its founding, including to its work to establish a library and build capacity, asked the ROK to continue paying attention and rendering support to the organization.
4. The Conference covered “an introduction of ITLOS and its recent works” in session I; “an analysis of landmark cases of ITLOS and other dispute settlement bodies under the UNCLOS and its effect on maritime order” in session II; and “latest developments in dispute settlement under the UNCLOS” in session III.
° In session IV on “ways forward for ITLOS in developing the law of the sea,” Director-General for International Legal Affairs of the ROK Foreign Ministry Bae Jong-in delivered a presentation on “the law of the sea and the Republic of Korea,” in which he spoke about the country’s participation in the work to conclude the UNCLOS; and its role in discussions on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) and in efforts to create international maritime norms.
5. The Conference, which was co-hosted by the Foreign Ministry and ITLOS after a similar event had been held by the former in the past two years, is expected to help to boost academic and people-to-people exchanges between the ROK and ITLOS and to raise awareness in the ROK on the significance of the law of the sea.
* unofficial translation