Election of Dr. Tetsuro Urabe, Professor, Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo, and Special Assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in the Election of Members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)

June 7, 2012
Japanese

  1. On Thursday, June 7 (Wednesday, June 6 EST), an election of the members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) was held at the 22nd Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Japan's candidate, Dr. Tetsuro Urabe, Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, was elected as a member of the Commission.

  2. The CLCS is an organ established under UNCLOS, consisting of 21 experts in the fields of geology, geophysics and hydrography. The function of the Commission is to consider the submissions made by coastal States concerning the outer limits of the continental shelf extended beyond 200 nautical miles from their shores, and to make recommendations from the scientific point of view in accordance with UNCLOS. The CLCS plays a paramount role in the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf by coastal States in line with international law.

  3. CLCS member Dr. Urabe was elected in a by-election held in August 2011 following the sudden passing of former CLCS member Dr. Kensaku Tamaki in April 2011. He has been re-elected for a second term.

  4. As a maritime State, Japan is committed to promoting the international order of the law of the sea and has contributed to the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf by coastal States by nominating a pre-eminent expert in the field for election as a member of the CLCS. Professor Urabe is one of Japan's most distinguished experts in the areas of geology and mineralogy, with abundant experience in leading international seabed research projects, and is expected to contribute substantially to the work of the CLCS as a member.
[Reference 1]

(1) The CLCS is an organ established under the UNCLOS (Article 76 and Annex II, Article 1). In cases where coastal States (States Parties to the UNCLOS) intend to establish the limits of their continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, they must submit information on the continental shelf to the CLCS, and the CLCS makes recommendations according to scientific and technical guidelines. The limits of the shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of these recommendations are final and binding.

(2) The CLCS consists of 21 members. They serve for a term of five years. (The term of the members elected in this latest election runs from June 2012 to June 2017.) Members are experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography, and serve in their personal capacities. The election was held at the 22nd Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (SPLOS), taking place from June 4 to June 11, 2012.

[Reference 2] Dr. Tetsuro Urabe's Professional Background

Dr. Tetsuro Urabe is one of Japan's leading geologists and mineralogists, and is currently a Professor of the Graduate School of Science of The University of Tokyo. He began his academic career in 1976 as an Assistant Professor of the Geological Institute of The University of Tokyo, and served at the Geological Survey of Japan from 1985 to 2000 in various important positions including those of Senior Research Geologist, Deputy Director of the Research Planning Office, Chief of the Experimental Mineralogy Section and Chief Geologist. Dr. Urabe assumed his present position at The University of Tokyo in 2000, and became the Vice Executive Director of the Ocean Alliance, an interdisciplinary research institute of the University for comprehensive ocean studies, the same year. He has been a member of the Advisory Committee to the Cabinet for the Extension of the Continental Shelf since 2003.

Education: M.S. in Geology, the University of Tokyo, 1973; and Ph.D. in Geology, the University of Tokyo, 1976.

Special Assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan since August 11, 2011.

    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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