One of the main problems encountered within the Second Committee was the definition of enclosed and semi-enclosed seas. It should be recalled that some Mediterranean States, including France and , at least during the earlydeliberations of the Second Committee, opposed the inclusion of specific rules on enclosed or semi-enclosed seas into on the basis that the concept was vague, undefined and purely geographical in nature. For example, the Greekrepresentative stated that ‘[…] to include a vague and undefined concept in the final instrument of the Conference would lead to insuperable problems'.It may also be noted that some States, including the USSR and , tried to distinguish between enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and even proposed different definitions for the two terms. Despite such differences there was consensus from the very early stages of UNCLOS III that the legal definition of enclosed or semi-enclosed seas should not include those ‘geographically' enclosed and/or semi-enclosed seas bordered by only one State, neither closed seas which do not have any connection to other seas or the oceans (e.g. the Aral Sea, the and the ). Evolution of Article 122 at UNCLOS IIIThere were many attempts during UNCLOS III to provide and/or clarify a legal definition of enclosed or semi-enclosed seas. The reason for this is not difficult to ascertain. If specific rules for enclosed or semi-enclosed seas were to be included in UNCLOS, it was crucial for the Convention to provide a legal definition which clearly set apart ‘enclosed or semi-enclosed seas' from other seas and oceans.This section deals with some of the proposals which influenced the final definition of ‘enclosed or semi-enclosed seas' contained in Article 122 of UNCLOS and which can provide some help in the interpretation of its various ambiguous terms. It seems that the biggest influence on the legal definition of enclosed or semi-enclosed seas was exercised by the Iranian proposal which, although providing separate definitions for ‘enclosed' and ‘semi-enclosed' seas, envisaged acommon legal regime for both categories. While presenting the Iranian proposal at the 43rd Meeting of the Second Committee, the Iranian delegate explained his delegation's understanding of these terms and provided examples of seas which would fall under the two separate categories. He stated that:[…] An enclosed sea was not a fully closed sea such as the Caspian Sea or the Aral Sea, which had no outlets to the oceans. It was, instead, a small body of inland water, such as the and the Sea, which had at least one outlet to the . On the other hand, he explained that the term ‘': […] could be used in a broad sense to cover larger sea basins along the margins of the main , more or less enclosed by a land mass whether continental or insular – and with one or more narrow outlets to the oceans. […] The Iranian delegate referred to the Mediterranean as a ‘semi-enclosed sea'. This is particularly important in the light of the divergent…

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