The United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea

The Law of the Sea Treaty (UNCLOS) is back.  On July 13, the Washington Times posted an article by Kim R. Holmes reporting that Senator John Kerry is asking the Senate to approve the treaty because it would give the United States ‘new rights and advantages.’  This is simply not true.

The treaty was first put together in 1982.  In 1994, U. S. negotiators signed an amended agreement, but it was never ratified by the Senate. 

Supporters of the treaty say that it will give the United States ‘new rights’, but the United States already has those rights under international law. 

For example, the article points out:

“Unfortunately, it does not. What “rights” it recognizes already exist in customary international law. Treaty supporters claim ratification will give the U.S. additional rights to oil, gas and minerals in the deep seabed of its extended continental shelf. But the U.S. already has clear legal title and rights to the resources of its continental shelf (even though the current administration bans drilling there).

“Similarly, the treaty’s navigational provisions offer nothing new. Yes, the U.S. Navy says UNCLOS might improve the “predictability” of these rights, but does the Navy’s access to international waters really depend upon a treaty to which we are not even a member? The last time I checked, the U.S. Navy could go anywhere it wanted in international waters.”

The treaty creates an unaccountable international bureaucracy ” to redistribute the wealth of the deep seabed and the extended continental shelf.”  This does not sound like something we need to ratify. 

The article points out:

“Were the U.S. to join, it would have to share with “developing” nations any royalty revenue generated on its continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical mile mark. The International Seabed Authority would decide just how these revenues are distributed. The U.S. by itself would have no veto over its decisions.

“Consensus often works against U.S. interests in the U.N. General Assembly, and it would do so in this international body. Imagine how a U.N.-like body with a “right” to distribute U.S. revenues would behave.”

I am not ready to go on record as saying that this is a step toward one-world government, but it does seem as if the establishment of a new international bureaucracy is not a good move for those of us seeking to preserve our country’s sovereignty.   If you look at some of the decisions made lately by the United Nations, it is frightening to even think of the U.N. creating an administrative body that will supersede the laws of the member countries.  Do you trust the organization that just named North Korea as the head of its Disarmament Conference to control the world’s wealth that comes from the sea?