Empirically, ISA has operated in a way that belies claims of it being an overly bureaucratic and bloated agency
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The ISA, the institutional component that led the Reagan administration not to support the Convention in 1982, has remained a obstacle for a few vocal critics of the Convention in America. Although the ISA is the only new body created by the Convention that is explicitly authorized to make policy, its mandate is narrow, related to steps furthering security of tenure for those seeking to explore for minerals or mine on the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The Part XI Implementation Agreement, which is now read together with the Convention to govern the ISA's operations, rectified all of the Reagan administration's objections to the original Part XI (the administration's only objections to the Convention). The objectionable provisions related to an asserted lack of guaranteed access for qualified private miners, the possibility of payments to national liberation movements, mandatory technology transfers, production limita- tions, and a review conference that could amend Part XI over the objection of the U.S. or other states. The George W. Bush administration has emphasized the 1994 changes with respect to these provisions. It has also emphasized 1994 changes concerning the U.S. role in how the ISA makes its decisions, changes that give the U.S. an effective veto over ISA decisions. Since its inception, the ISA has operated on a low budget and has confined its activities to its specified mandate, behavior that should reassure skeptics who fear an expensive, bloated international bureaucracy.
The United Nations has virtually no role in management, implementation, or execution of this treaty. It remains in the convention’s title only because the treaty was initially negotiated at the United Nations. In addition, the only international organization UNCLOS creates (the International Seabed Authority) is no different from the hundreds of other international organizations the U.S. is already party to, including the U.S.- Canadian Fisheries Convention or the International Maritime Organization.