UNESCO, through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is the recognized competent International Organization in the fields of Marine Scientific Research (Part XIII) and Transfer of Marine Technology (Part XIV) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS (10 December 1982). UNCLOS is also referred to as “the Constitution of the Oceans”.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission activities for the Law of the Sea (UNESCO/IOC/LOS) is the set of activities, among which the Advisory Body of experts on the Law of the Sea (IOC/ABE-LOS) has a special relevance, that IOC is promoting since UNCLOS entered into force to accomplish the duties set forth on it and make possible the harmonization of marine science and law of the sea.
IOC for the Law of the Sea (IOCLOS) activities are mainly focused on assisting Member States in:
- Accomplishing the mandates given by the UN General Asembly and the IOC Governing Bodies on Law of the Sea
- Organization of the meetings of the Advisory Body of Experts on the Law of the Sea
- Promotion and implementation of the IOC/ABE-LOS products , such as:
Implementation of the “Criteria and Guidelines of transfer of Marine Technology
Implementation of the “Procedure for the implementation of Article 247 by the IOC
- Standarization of practices of member states on Marine scientific Research and Transfer of Marine Technology
UNESCO/IOC/LOS is also charged with updating the list of experts for special arbitration in the field of MSR and TMT (Annex VIII of UNCLOS) and providing support to the “Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf” and Member States in the submission for the extension of the continental shelf and advising Member States in the submission of the delineation of the legal continental shelf.