U.S. accession to UNCLOS will boost ongoing efforts to develop higher international standards for marine safety and environmental protection
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The Convention is also an environmental accord that provides a comprehensive framework for the prevention, reduction, and control of maritime pollution. The Coast Guard conducts a wide-ranging port state control program to purge our waters of substandard ships and is assisting other nations in doing the same. This initiative will be enhanced through the consistent application of the Convention’s broad enforcement mechanisms. Additionally, the Convention carefully balances the rights of coastal states to adopt certain measures to protect the marine environment adjacent to their shores and the general right of a flag state to set and enforce standards and requirements concerning the operation of its vessels. Becoming a party to the Law of the Sea Convention will strengthen the international credibility of the U.S. and our efforts to guide the development of internationally accepted vessel standards, thereby improving marine safety and protection of the marine environment.
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS will have a positive effect on the environment as the conservation of ocean wildlife, the protection of delicate marine ecosystems, and the control of marine pollution are by their very nature multilateral issues. U.S. ratification will demonstrate U.S. commitment to address these problems in a cooperative manner at a time when some view U.S. policy as generally antithetical to multilateral arrangements. The environmental community strongly favors UNCLOS and U.S. ratification would send a message of support