UNCLOS is the established, consensus framework for Arctic governance
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Recent trends strongly indicate that human activity in the Arctic region will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. This raises certain national and global security concerns. UNCLOS represents the international consensus on rules governing the use of the planet’s oceans. This treaty was developed between 1973 and 1982; it was implemented on 16 November 1994. It combined several treaties governing laws of the sea that were previously separate. So, UNCLOS is a comprehensive treaty that codifies international law for the vast global commons of the world’s oceans, which make up nearly three-quarters of the earth’s surface. Notably, UNCLOS is an internationally accepted — and therefore a legitimate — means of defining sovereignty over the world’s oceans. It is particularly important in the Arctic, where several nations — including the United States — have conflicting claims. Articles within UNCLOS offera framework for a peaceful resolution of sovereignty disputes. UNCLOS clearly specifies state and international rights as they pertain to the world’s oceans.
UNCLOS represents the consensus of decades of debate on how best to govern shared ocean resources and to handle disputes over border conflicts. The Arctic nations have settled on UNCLOS, adopting it in their laws and subsequent agreements, and it forms the basis for governance of the Arctic region.