All Conservatives should Oppose UNCLOS
Neoconservatives have been concerned about rampant anti- Americanism in the United Nations system. And make no doubt about it: this particular treaty is part of the broader United Nations system. Are we creating yet another institution among many that are already there that will pursue essentially this kind of agenda? I think that we are. And I think that the international institutions this Convention establishes, such as the International Seabed Authority/ are going to be subject to the same procedural shenanigans that we see in the United Nations system regarding this anti-American agenda.
Thus, I think it was not coincidental that, prior to her passing, former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick warned strongly against the United States rushing to join this particular Convention. I have no doubts that the U.N.'s systematic anti- Americanism will be pursued in the Law of the Sea institutions.
Social conservatives—what are near and dear to their hearts? Preserving moral values and the moral standing of the United States. And once again, we come back to the question of the Law of the Sea Convention and the international institutions that it would create, as to whether they would behave consistendy with the highest aspirations humans are called to achieve. To put it mildly, the United Nations system is not a paragon of virtue. We have seen things like the "Oil for Food scandal;" we have seen things like U.N. peacekeepers exploiting women in African peacekeeping missions. We have seen the adoption of resolutions saying that Zionism is a form of racism. All of these are things that have been essential elements of the ongoing United Nations system of which this treaty is a part.
It should not surprise anybody that one of the most prominent social conservatives that ever served in the Senate, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, took it as a personal responsibility to see that the United States did not join this Convention. He was successful during his tenure in doing that, and I think he made very compelling arguments regarding not just this particular institution, but also about the broader problems with the United Nations system as a whole.'"
Libertarians—what are they concerned about? Libertarians are concerned about preserving the free market and free-market principles and opposing redistribution as economic policy. Clearly, this particular treaty, despite the 1994 revisions that were pointed to, still effectively establishes redistribution policies regarding the exploitation of sea-based assets—minerals, oil, whatever resources you would want to talk about." Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute has said that UNCLOS "embodies the most odious features of centralized planning."' And he reaffirmed that following the 1994 changes. He said, notwithstanding the 1994 revisions, UNCLOS "remains captive to its collectivist and redistributionist origins."10