Activity: Talks and presentations › Conference presentations
The implementation of international law is a target of SDG 14, which aims at enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources. The target cites paragraph 158 of The Future We Want, under which United Nations Member States committed to abide by international law in achieving that goal. Jurisdiction exercised at port is key in that respect, as vessels are subject to control by authorities of their compliance with applicable international rules and standards. Port state jurisdiction applies to issues ranging from protection and preservation of the marine environment from ship source pollution to the prevention, deterrence and elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Port states have adopted regional agreements on port state control and have adopted port state measures under regional fisheries management organisations. These instruments seek to ensure a level playing field in the implementation of international treaties and are thus a means to achieve SDG target 14c. This notwithstanding, there is no international coordination of port state jurisdiction, and thus the capabilities and actual engagement vary from region to region, without any actual binding obligation concerning implementation. This paper shall analyse this question by focusing on current attempts from the International Maritime Organisation to expand its regulatory reach into the governance of ports. The objective of this research is to highlight how this United Nations agency could fulfil its responsibilities with respect to the SDG in that role, all the while remaining tied to the existing international legal and institutional framework.