Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations
The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs fulfills the mandates contained in the resolutions of the General Assembly on oceans and the law of the sea, sustainable fisheries and the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. It is the secretariat for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, often referred to as the “Constitution for the oceans”, as well as for several General Assembly processes, including the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (which considers a critical ocean topic each year), the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects (which produces the World Ocean Assessment report) and the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (currently considering a new treaty for the ocean).
Through its extensive capacity-building and technical cooperation programme, the Division assists States, particularly developing States, least developed States and small island developing States, in the reinforcing of their legal and institutional frameworks for the sustainable management of the ocean. The Division also provides support to organizations of the United Nations system in the fields of oceans and the law of the sea, and serves, together with the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, as the focal point for UN-Oceans, the inter-agency cooperation mechanism on ocean and coastal issues within the United Nations system.