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UPDATED: June 7, 2012
Chinese Scientist Re-elected to UN Commission

Veteran Chinese scientist Lu Wenzheng on Wednesday won the re-election overwhelmingly to the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which is a body created by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Lu, who is with the State Oceanic Administration of China, won the most votes among the candidates from the Group of Asia and Pacific in the election at the UN Headquarters in New York City, diplomats and UN officials, who were close to the election, told Xinhua.

Lu's new five-year tenure will begin on June 16, 2012.

The election was held at a conference of 162 signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is one of the most comprehensive instruments of international law.

Observers say that Lu's re-election shows that UN member states are attaching more and more attention to China's role in the international ocean affairs, and also represents the international recognition of Lu's contribution to the UN Commission over the past years.

Lu, one of China's outstanding marine geophysicians, was first elected as member of the Commission in 1997, when the body held its first session at the UN Headquarters. He was re-elected with a majority of votes every five years since 1997.

The Commission's 21 members, elected by all of the signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, serve in their personal capacity.

The purpose of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is to facilitate the implementation of the Convention with respect to delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf when the submerged portion of the land territory of a coastal state extends beyond the 200 nautical miles from its coastline -- established as the minimal legal distance under the Convention.

The Commission received its first submission in December 2001 and has received 60 submissions from more than 50 countries, of which, 17 have received recommendations from the UN body.

(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2012)

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