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Law Of The Sea Conference

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made by the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference on outstanding issues; when a final act or treaty is likely to be concluded; and if he will make a statement.

The first three weeks of the Sixth Session of the Conference, which began on 23rd May, have been devoted to informal negotiations on the system of exploitation of the deep sea-bed. I regret to say that so far little or no progress has been made on resolving the oustanding issues on this subject. Intensive efforts are, however, continuing to try to reach a generally acceptable agreement. As the Special Representative of Her Majesty's Government at the Conference, I will be attending the Session on 21st and 22nd June.There is little prospect of a Convention being adopted at the current session. However if satisfactory progress can be achieved in the negotiations, we hope that it will prove possible for it to be adopted in the course of 1978.