Current US arctic policy directive, initiated by President Bush, is to abide by UNCLOS until US is able to ratify it
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As previously discussed, less than two weeks before President George W. Bush left the White House, the Bush Administration issued a Presidential Directive asserting that "[t]he United States is an Arctic nation."268 The Directive declares that "[t]he United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region and is prepared to operate either independently or in conjunction with other states to safeguard these interests."269 In addition to asserting "lawful claims of United States sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in the Arctic region,"270 the Directive encourages U.S. agencies to "[tlake all actions necessary to establish the outer limit of the continental shelf appertaining to the United States, in the Arctic and in other regions, to the fullest extent permitted under international law."
The terms of the Directive essentially instruct the United States to abide by UNCLOS and map the U.S. continental seabed in order to submit an extended continental shelf claim to the CLCS.272 In fact, when President Bush issued the Directive, he expressly called on the U.S. Senate to ratify UNCLOS, explaining that UNCLOS offers "[tihe most effective way to achieve international recognition and legal certainty for our extended continental shelf."273 Succeeding Vice President Biden as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Senator John Kerry also said he would advocate for ratification of UNCLOS274 and would like to bring the Convention to a vote this year.275 As explained by Kerry, "'[i]n order to guarantee secure borders ... and protect our marine resources, we must become full partners with the other Arctic nations and ratify the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea."'276 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also endorses the UNCLOS and stated during her confirmation hearings that ratifying the Convention would be a priority.
"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) ]