UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by calling for a collective global effort to have all nations commit to the treaty, which is often called the “constitution for the oceans.” “I am encouraged that support for the Convention has grown steadily through the years,” the UN chief said in an address before the 193-nation UN General Assembly. “Like a constitution, it is a firm foundation - a permanent document providing order, stability, predictability and security - all based on the rule of law.”

 UNCLOS governs all aspects of ocean space, including the delimitation of maritime boundaries, environmental regulations, scientific research, commerce and the settlement of international disputes involving marine issues. In his speech, the UN chief said the treaty was nearing the “goal of universality” that the Assembly set out, as he noted that 163 States and the European Union were Parties to the landmark measure, which the Assembly endorsed and opened for signature in 1982. “Let us work to bring all nations under the jurisdiction, protection and guidance of this essential treaty,” Ban urged.