However, the actual treaty insists that in return for the acknowledgement of such claims, coastal states must provide compensation to the rest of the world. The most blatant application of this concept concerns mineral extraction on the continental shelf beyond the 200-mile limit. UNCLOS allows claims to the limit of the continental shelf or up to 350 miles from the shoreline, whichever is less.8 However, to claim such additional drilling rights the state must first accept delineation of its continental shelf by a special Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, established by UNCLOS with a requirement that the Commission’s membership show for “equitable geographical representation” in its membership.9 If it chooses to exercise drilling or mining rights in this area beyond its EEZ, a state must provide a portion of revenue derived from such activity—increasing at 1 percent a year up to a rate of 7 percent per year—to the Deep Seabed Authority, an agency established by UNCLOS for general supervision of deep sea development.10
The United States government already provides sizable contributions—often over extended periods—to international aid organizations for programs—such as vaccination, schooling, and road building—which it considers likely to improve conditions in developing countries. UNCLOS does nothing to advance this. Instead, it requires states that are able to extract mineral wealth from the seas to compensate those that are not—while the non-extracting state contributes nothing to the equation.