How Healthy is the Ocean’s Constitution? 25 Years of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Conference (17 – 18 October 2019, Hamburg, Germany)

Wednesday 28th July, 2021

In celebrating the 25th Anniversary of UNCLOS, Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão was invited to deliver a keynote address at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany on 17 October 2019. The conference was the time for leading experts, policy makers and practitioners to reflect on what UNCLOS had achieved for the last 25 years since it came into force.

The Chief Negotiator discussed the importance of UNCLOS for small island States and the success story of the conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia. He said, “I hope this panel and this conference will see our success story not as a reason to celebrate, but more as a reason to take action. Through the example of what we accomplished with Australia, we have provided proof that the rules-based architecture can still help achieve fairness, equity and more essentially, sovereignty.”