Adherence to UNCLOS would not threaten the Proliferation Security Initiative
Myth: The convention is harmful to the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Again, this is false. The PSI has already been negotiated explicitly in conformance with the convention, and not surprisingly so, since the nations with which we coordinate in that initiative are parties to the convention. This charge apparently rests on the false belief that if the United States does not adhere to the convention, it will be free from any constraints in relation to oceans law. Again, this is a false assumption; we are today a party to the 1958 Geneva Convention that is much more restrictive than the 1982 convention now before the Senate. This charge is also misguided as it fails to understand the critically important interest we have in protecting navigational freedoms on, in and above the world's oceans. The convention allows our vessels to get on station, a capability that is essential before any issue even arises about boarding. Moreover, we emphatically do not want a legal regime that would permit any nation to seize U.S. commercial vessels in the world's seas. That would be a massive loss of U.S. sovereignty! The PSI was carefully constructed with parties to the 1982 convention, using the flag state, port state and other jurisdictional provisions of the 1982 convention precisely to avoid this problem. Nor is this charge at all realistic in failing to note that nothing in the Law of the Sea Convention could or does trump our inherent rights to individual and collective self-defense. Most recently, we note, Under-Secretary of State John Bolton, a principal architect of the PSI, testified to the Senate that adhering to the convention will not harm the PSI.
"The Senate should give immediate advice and consent to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: why the critics are wrong.
." Journal of International Affairs
. Vol. 59, No. 1 (Fall/Winter 2005) [ More (18 quotes) ]