Cyprus has on several occasions expressed its readiness to engage in negotiations with any relevant country, with a view to reaching a peaceful settlement in good faith of any maritime dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou said.
Addressing the General Assembly in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Hadjichrysanthou said that as an island state and a maritime nation, Cyprus is strongly committed to upholding the provisions of the UNCLOS and actively supports its objectives and its institutions.
“The legislation on the law of the sea in Cyprus is in accordance with the provisions of UNCLOS and the country has proceeded with maritime delimitations, on the basis of the median line, with a number of neighbouring states in accordance with international law,” Hadjichrysanthou said.
UNCLOS, he added, is considered the Constitution of the Oceans and is a carefully worded agreement that succeeded in maintaining a balance between the rights and interests of all states, regardless of their particular characteristics.
“The provisions of the Convention reflect customary international law and establish clear rules regarding the sovereignty, sovereign rights and maritime jurisdiction of states as well as the determination of maritime boundaries. These rules apply to all states, including states that are not parties to the Convention,” he said.
He further underlined the importance of respecting the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the maritime zones of all states as well as the principles of good neighbourly relations and peaceful settlement of disputes.
No state, he added, has the right to demand special treatment, nor to encroach on the rights of other states or to apply practices aimed at deconstructing the clear legal regime established by the Convention.
Hadjichrysanthou also pointed out that UNCLOS has sufficient flexibility to address emerging challenges in the seas and oceans such as the issue of sea level rise as a consequence of climate change, reiterating Cyprus’ position to address this issue within the framework of the Convention.