Dalhousie Law Journal


C. Odidi Okidi


OAU, role, member states, evolution, exclusive economic zone, Law of the Sea, UNCLOS III, regional, interest groups


One of the main features of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) is the role played by the different regional and/or interest groups in the development of the various provisions of the Draft Convention, albeit "Informal" text, adopted at the end of the Resumed Ninth Session in August 1980.1 The groups, sometimes dictated by geography such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, Western European and Eastern European, are amalgams of various interest groups which embody their own contradictions. For example, Canada and Russia have seen themselves in different categories vis-a-vis other industrialized countries. Countries like Brazil, India and Nigeria may at times perceive their lot as being among rich countries and not alongside the plainly poor and underdeveloped members of the Group of 77. The Group of 77 itself is actually an amalgam of about 120 States at different levels of development and resource endowment, some of them producing minerals such as copper, nickel, cobalt and maganese that may be obtained from the sea-bed and, therefore, might be willing to join with other land-based producers of such minerals to protect their interests under the new Convention. Similarly, some of them are land-locked and others are coastal, whether they are in Africa, Asia or Latin America.