About the Law of the Sea
The declining health of the world’s oceans is a global concern. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a set of rules for the use of the world's oceans, which cover 70 percent of the Earth's surface.
The Convention was concluded in 1982 to replace a group of treaties adopted in 1958 that were out of date and unfavorable to America's economy and security. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, and to date, 159 countries and the European Union have joined the treaty. As of yet, the United States has not.
The U.S. should be a strong international diplomatic and environmental leader when it comes to the world's oceans. The U.S. should ratify UNCLOS, as It is a critical step toward advancing our economic and security goals and ensuring greater protection of all marine resources by all countries.
- Common Questions & Answers:
See answers to the top questions that Americans ask about UNCLOS, including:
- Would the U.S. have to change its laws if we ratified the treaty?
- What are the benefits of the Law of the Sea Treaty?
- Myths and Facts about the Law of the Sea:
Know your facts vs myths about the Law of the Sea Treaty
- Myth or Fact?: Joining the Convention would surrender U.S. sovereignty.
- Myth or Fact?:The Convention would prohibit or impair U.S. intelligence and submarine activities.
- GlobalSolutions.org Senate Testimony:
Prepared for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October 2007 by CEO Don Kraus
- Q& A with Senator Richard Lugar:
On February 25th 2004, under the Republican chairmanship of Senator Richard Lugar, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously sent the Law of the Sea Treaty to the Senate floor for ratification. See what Mr. Lugar had to say about it.
Scott Borgeson, visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations has spent several months developing a report on The National Interest and the Law of the Sea.
The report is a pragmatic look at the Law of the Sea from groups that are affected by U.S. non participation and that regularly use the sea. This report provides:
- Historical background on the Law of the Sea and its life in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Arguments for and against the Law of the Sea Convention
- United States National Security, Economic, and Environmental Interests
- How failing to join the Convention damages U.S. national interests
- And a final discussion of critical concerns about the Convention
External Links & Letters of Support
- Talking Points & Background Info
- What U.S. Officials are Saying
- Organizational & Business Support
- Law of the Sea in the Media
- Links to More Information
Testimonies and Hearings
- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Official treaty text and status.
- U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the Law of the Sea, On October 31, 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly approved the Law of the Sea Convention, sending it to the full Senate for ratification.
- U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Hearing on the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty, March 23, 2004, Click here to read testimony from U.S. Senators, Ambassasdors, and NGO representatives on this important treaty.
- U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on the Military Implications of the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty, April 8, 2004, Click here to read testimony from United States military officials, Ambassadors, and academics on the implications of U.S. Law of the Sea Ratification.
The Global Citizen
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