The Tribunal

Relationship with the United Nations

Although the Tribunal was established by a United Nations convention, it is not an “organ” of the United Nations. Even so, it maintains close links with the United Nations and in 1997 the Tribunal concluded an Agreement on Cooperation and Relationship between the United Nations and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which establishes a mechanism for cooperation between the two institutions.

United Nations General Assembly

Observer Status

At its fifty-first session, the General Assembly of the United Nations granted observer status to the Tribunal (General Assembly resolution A/RES/51/204 of 17 December 1996). Observer status enables the Tribunal to participate in the meetings and the work of the General Assembly when matters of relevance to the Tribunal are being considered. The United Nations General Assembly considers the agenda item ‘Oceans and the law of the sea’ every year. The President of the Tribunal is invited to address the General Assembly on that occasion. The General Assembly has adopted numerous resolutions on this topic.

Statements of the President

General Assembly resolutions and decisions relating to Oceans and the Law of the Sea

United Nations Appeals Tribunal

An agreement between the Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal was concluded and signed by the President of the Tribunal on 23 June 2010 and by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 13 July 2010. The Agreement extends the competence of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal to the Tribunal with respect to applications alleging non-compliance with the terms of appointment or contracts of employment of staff members of the Registry.

International Civil Service Commission

In 2016 the Tribunal became a participant in the International Civil Service Commission, an independent body established by the United Nations General Assembly to regulate and coordinate the conditions of service of staff in the United Nations common system.