Also, the New Zealand note is not a response to a previous note issued by Malaysia but is intended to provide a position on certain aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Originally, New Zealand expressed support for the International Arbitration Tribunal’s award in the 2016 South China Sea case and explicitly stated the points provided in UNCLOS.
According to the contents of the note, New Zealand emphasized the universality and unity of UNCLOS in establishing a common legal framework for the conduct of all activities at sea and in the ocean. “The Maritime Territories should be established in accordance with the provisions of UNCLOS. UNCLOS aims to resolve all issues relating to the law of the sea. However matters not covered by UNCLOS continue to be regulated. International governed by principles and rules law, but it has nothing to do with the establishment of maritime territories or the rights and obligations of states in those waters, which are entirely governed by UNCLOS.
New Zealand emphasized that countries have no legal basis to claim historical rights to water in the South China Sea, as confirmed in the 2016 International Arbitration Award in the South China Sea case.
New Zealand also clarified its position in favor of the absence of any legal basis for coastal states to claim archipelago status. “UNCLOS provides that archipelago states must include all one or more archipelagos, so there is no legal basis for drawing an archipelago baseline or a straight baseline around groups of islands in the South China Sea.”
The New Zealand note also includes UNCLOS provisions on island status, which emphasize that reefs that cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own do not form an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. Also, it emphasizes that geographical features whether islands, cliffs or semi-submerged features will depend on the natural formation for delimitation, but cannot be changed by man-made improvement activities. make or make.
New Zealand emphasized its support for an arbitral award that is final and binding on the parties, and requested the United Nations to forward this note to all UNCLOS member states as well as the United Nations.
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