After ratifying UNCLOS, the U.S. can conduct biennial reviews to ensure the treaty still meets our national security objectives
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To begin, once in force, the Administration will conduct biennial reviews of the treaty’s implementation, including the identification of any needed changes in the Convention’s implementation or in the Convention itself. Such reviews will help the United States assess whether the Convention continues to serve U.S. interests. As part of these reviews, the Administration will seek to identify any changes in the treaty or its implementation that may be required to adapt the treaty to changes in the global security situation. In addition, these biennial reviews will be coupled with a more comprehensive review after ten years. The results of these reviews will be shared with the Senate.
Reviews of this kind are not the only option for ensuring the Convention continues to serve U.S. interests. Another option that we considered is that of a sunset provision, that is, limiting the length of time that the United States is a party to the Convention, which has disadvantages as well as advantages. And, needless to say, the United States could, of course, withdraw from the Convention if U.S. interests are ever seriously threatened.
In any case, the goal is to make certain that the Convention continues to meet our national security requirements, protects our strategic flexibility, and advances broader U.S. interests in a world that is constantly changing.