U.S. accession to UNCLOS would greatly enhance capacity of US coast guard to safeguard borders and ocean resources
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The Coast Guard needs a comprehensive legal framework that addresses activities on, over, and under the world’s oceans to further its statutory missions. We also need a solid legal framework that customary international law cannot provide as it remains subject to change based on state practice— whether at the local, regional or global level. The Convention is this certain framework. The Convention was, and still is, a resounding success for U.S. diplomacy. Acceding to the Convention will strengthen the Coast Guard’s ability to protect U.S. maritime interests. The Convention is widely accepted; there are currently 162 parties. Of the eight Arctic nations, only the U.S. is not a party to the Convention.
I can see no downside to the Coast Guard in the United States acceding to the Law of the Sea Convention. To the contrary, joining the Law of the Sea Convention will immensely enhance the Coast Guard’s ability to address emerging threats that challenge our Nation and safeguard the American people, our environment, and ocean resources that benefit all Americans.
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would bolster homeland security efforts in two significant ways. First, it would provide a stable legal basis for U.S. freedom of navigation rights, preserving the right of the U.S. military to use the world’s oceans to meet national security requirements. Secondly, it would provide stronger legal basis for the U.S. to conduct necessary counter-terrorism interdiction operations and challenge excessive claims.