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The Functions and Role of the United Nations Secretariat in Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea

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AbstractThis article provides an overview of the functions entrusted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and performed on his behalf by the United Nations Secretariat, namely the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs. In accordance with the commemorative spirit of this special issue, the article seeks to chronicle the major institutional steps through which the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea came into existence and was assigned with unique tasks in ocean and sea-related matters within the United Nations system. The functions of the Division are then briefly discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, United Nations New York, NY USA, URL:


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