By remaining outside of UNCLOS, the U.S. is ceding its leadership role in the region in a number of ways. First, and most importantly for the U.S. strategic and economic interests, by remaining outside of the treaty the U.S. is not able to submit its claims for the extended continental shelf in the Arctic to the CLCS, preventing U.S. industries from claiming mineral rights. Secondly, existing Arctic governance regimes are based on and rely on UNCLOS and the U.S. non-party status prevents it from contributing as a full partner, weakening the overall Arctic governance regime. Finally, U.S.
- U.S. is being left behind in race for the Arctic as a non-party to UNCLOS
- U.S. has limited time to ratify convention to secure access to Arctic resources
- U.S. national interest harmed by remaining outside UNCLOS regime and unable to take advantage of Arctic boom
- U.S. should make ratification of UNCLOS a top priority to ensure it doesn't lose out on opening of Arctic
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- U.S. has significant interests in untapped mineral wealth in Arctic
- Other nations are pursuing Arctic claims to the detriment of the U.S.
- U.S. failure to ratify UNCLOS complicates U.S. naval operations in the Arctic
- UNCLOS is best regime for Arctic Governance
- U.S. can't secure claims to Arctic resources through CLCS as a non-party to UNCLOS
- Russia poses a strategic threat to the U.S. in the Arctic
By relying on the Convention and the doctrine of the high seas, the United States may bypass the UNCLOS regime altogether and begin exploration and exploitation of the Arctic area immediately.
- U.S. should assert its rights under the Convention of the High Seas to mine and develop in the Arctic, independent of UNCLOS
- US not out of running in race for Arctic resources, it can still submit claim if it ratifies UNCLOS
- U.S. scuttling of Russia's initial Arctic claim shows it can still influence CLCS as a non member
- U.S. participation in Ilulissat agreement undermines claim that its non-party status to UNCLOS is hurting its ability to guide Arctic policy
- Multiple steps U.S. can take to enhance security in Arctic that do not involve ratifying UNCLOS