Ratification of UNCLOS would boost U.S. credibility with our allies
[ Page 21 ]
United States allies, almost all of whom are parties to the Convention, would welcome U.S. adherence as a sign of a more effective United States foreign policy. For some years I have chaired the United Nations Advisory Panel of the Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea in which the participants on the Committee are Permanent Representatives to the United Nations from many countries. Every year our friends and allies ask when we will ratify the Convention, and they express to me their puzzlement as to why we have not acted sooner. In my work around the world in the oceans area I hear this over and over – our friends and allies with powerful common interests in the oceans are astounded and disheartened by the unilateral disengagement from oceans affairs that our non-adherence represents;
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.