Accession to the convention will uniquely give U.S. access to key institutions that are deciding future of maritime domain
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As a natural corollary, the accession to the LOS Convention will provide the US access to the Convention‘s procedural mechanisms and institutions. This access is necessary for the US to secure and advance its national interests in the ocean space and play a meaningful role in the implementation of the law of the sea in the contemporary world. Firstly, accession to the LOS Convention will provide US a seat in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS Commission), which in turn will help US to secure and advance its claim for the extended continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Secondly, the US will have access to the International Sea-bed Authority (ISBA Authority) decision-making process as the member of its Council. This will help the US to protect its interests in the deep sea-bed mining activities. Thirdly, the US will get a seat in the judicial body - International Tribunal for the law of the Sea (ITLOS). This will facilitate US active participation in the judicial dispute settlement concerning ocean matters related to the interpretation or/and application of the LOS Convention. Broadly, the access to the UNCLOS-related institutions will provide an opportunity to the US to play an active role in the implementation and development of the law of the sea in the contemporary world.
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would boost its leadership standing in a couple of ways. First, by acceeding to the treaty, the U.S. would immediately be able to participate in the discussion around the future of the treaty and participate in maritime forums that it had previously been locked out of. Secondly, by ratifying the treaty, the U.S. would improve its soft power by showing more of a willingness to cooperate multilaterally.