Failure to ratify UNCLOS is increasingly an untenable position, forcing US to accept law without having input on its development
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Simply stated, accession to the Convention and adherence to its procedure based on a prolongation of Alaska's continental shelf would greatly facilitate American claims to Arctic resources, providing uniformity, predictability, and legal security. Accession also would demonstrate solidarity within the international community, bolstering a faltering reputation, and allow UNCLOS to "function as originally conceived."n369 Most important, ratification would give the U.S. a voice to assert its point of view and a recognized method to exercise jurisdiction within the Arctic.
Continuing to do nothing is an untenable position. It would be foolish and risky to assume that the U.S. can maintain ad infinitum the desultory and passive approach upon which it currently relies.n370 With the everincreasing pressure from coastal States to augment their authority in a manner that would alter the balance of interests struck in the Convention,n371 the United States "needs to be in the game, at the table."n372 Thus, unless UNCLOS is ratified, or a separate Arctic convention is negotiated, the United States will remain tenuously wedged between Scylla and Charybdis, unable to assert a recognized claim of sovereignty, influence international maritime policy, or make substantive changes to parts of the Convention it finds troubling.
"Implications of Global Warming on State Sovereignty and Arctic Resources under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: How the Arctic is no Longer Communis Omnium Naturali Jure
." Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business
. Vol. 8. (Winter 2008): 195-248. [ More (12 quotes) ]
As the pre-eminent global maritime power, the U.S. has significant interests in the global effect of the Convention’s rules and their interpretation with many issues that of greater concern to us than to most other countries (for example, preserving freedom of navigation rights). Our adversaries view this as a weakness they can exploit and are shaping the course of the convention in ways adverse to U.S. interests while the U.S. remains on the sidelines, unable to participate in the discussion as a non-party.