Commenting on the 20th anniversary of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea being celebrated in Hamburg, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 7 October:
I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Hamburg today.
This major international judicial body has been crucial in shaping international law with key decisions and will become even more important in the years to come.
In a world that is out of joint, the maintenance of international order is becoming ever more important. I am pleased that Germany is the host state of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. This is yet another reflection of the priority we attach to the peaceful settlement of disputes and an indication of the full support we give this endeavour.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is marking its 20th anniversary with a ceremony in Hamburg City Hall on 7 October 2016. At the ceremony, hosted by Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Federal President Joachim Gauck and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, will make speeches praising the Tribunal’s work to date.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was established on the basis of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is the key element in a comprehensive dispute settlement system to which the States Parties have submitted themselves in relation to all disputes between them on the interpretation or application of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.The Tribunal has so far adjudicated 23 disputes relating to the law of the sea. These have touched on a broad range of legal issues, from the prompt release of detained vessels to the setting of environmental standards for deep seabed mining and the delineation of maritime zones.