US will be unable to participate in discussions over future of Arctic as a non-party to UNCLOS
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Because of the accelerated Polar Ice Cap melting, Arctic nations now have unprecedented access to vast wealth through their extended territorial claims. As explained by Senator Richard Lugar, an UNCLOS supporter, "the CLCS '[w]ill soon begin making decisions on claims to continental shelf areas,"' and if the United States does not ratify the Convention, the United States 'will not be able to protect our national interest."'262 Critics of UNCLOS assert the Convention would permit other nations to intrude on the United States' sovereignty, thereby undermining its national security interests.263 Those arguing for UNCLOS' ratification, however, postulate that ratification would strengthen U.S. sovereignty and security.264 In fact, unless the United States ratifies UNCLOS, the United States will be less able to promote and protect its self-interest as it will be "left without a voice when the Arctic region is being divided amongst other nations."265 Specifically, the United States will not be able to participate in the extended continental shelf process pursuant to Article 76 when Russia and other Arctic nations submit their extended territorial claims to the CLCS.266 This will not only put the United States at a significant disadvantage in the Arctic region, but will also undermine the current balance of socioeconomic power among the Arctic nations. For example, without UNCLOS ratification by the United States, Russia will be able "to pursue its [Arctic] claims without opposition from America" via UNCLOS.
"Who Gets the Oil?: Arctic Energy Exploration in Uncertain Waters and the Need for Universal Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
." Houston Journal of International Law
. Vol. 32, No. 2 (2009-2010): 505-544. [ More (7 quotes) ]