L'extension du plateau continental : la Commission des limites du plateau continental des Nations Unies face aux enjeux contemporains

Abstract : The maritime spaces have always arouse a certain interest for the coastal States. The appropriation of maritime spaces is at the heart of an tremendous infatuation, especially since the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea signed in Montego Bay in 1982 (UNCLOS). This Convention setted up the notion of Exclusive economic zone (EEZ), an area of 200 nautical miles where the States have the right to exert its juridiction over the natural ressources. The new Eldorado of the maritime space's appropration is the extension of the continental shelf, that is the possibility for a coastal State which have a continental shelf (a natural prolongation of the land territory) to extend its juridiction beyond the 200 nautical miles up to a limit which may never exceed 350 nautical miles. The extension of the continental shelf give the right to explore and to harvest the natural ressources of the subsoil of the continental shelf. The extention obtains tremendous stakes for the concerned coastal States. The main interest for the States is the access to this ressources, in the first place oil, gas and minerals. Those ressources constitute enormous assets inasmuch as their highest strategic importance into our current society, which is widely tributary to them. However, the coastal States are not free in the extension of their juridiction beyond 200 nautical miles, this extension should be the subject to a procedure fixed by the United Nations. They have absolutely to submit a request of extension to a UN scientifical and technical commission created by the UNCLOS : The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS, or "the Commission"). This Commission is in charge of the examination of the submissions and give technical and scientifical advices called "recommandations". Then, if the request has not been rejected by the Commission, the coastal States should define the limits of their continental shelf according to the recommandations of the Commission and so extend their jurisdiction beyond 200 nautical miles. The aim of this work is to analyze the stakes of the extension of the continental shelf for the States and the work of the Commission according to the submissions.
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Roland Denhez. L'extension du plateau continental : la Commission des limites du plateau continental des Nations Unies face aux enjeux contemporains. Géographie. 2014. ⟨dumas-01074149⟩

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