Current interest in arctic development gives special urgency to US need to ratify UNCLOS
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The activity related to Arctic claims suggests an urgency for U.S. accession to the Convention. This urgency is driven both by what the United States can do and what it can undo as a party to the Convention. While we currently can comment on proposals by other Convention nations9, accession to the treaty would give the United States standing to substantially modify or block proposals that the U.S. found detrimental to its national interests. This could be done by preparing its own claim to the Continental Shelf Commission, or by working cooperatively with other Arctic nations to develop logical rules to govern exploitation of resources and other uses of the Arctic Sea. This latter strategy reflects one of the biggest benefits of U.S. accession to the Convention-namely that it would generate goodwill and a sense of cooperation over a shared mission to responsibly use the resources of the sea while protecting the oceanic environment for generations to come.
Balancing U.S. Interests in the UN Law of the Sea Convention
. Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University: Durham, NC, October 2007 (8p). [ More (4 quotes) ]
By remaining outside of UNCLOS, the U.S. is ceding its leadership role in the region in a number of ways. First, and most importantly for the U.S. strategic and economic interests, by remaining outside of the treaty the U.S. is not able to submit its claims for the extended continental shelf in the Arctic to the CLCS, preventing U.S. industries from claiming mineral rights. Secondly, existing Arctic governance regimes are based on and rely on UNCLOS and the U.S. non-party status prevents it from contributing as a full partner, weakening the overall Arctic governance regime. Finally, U.S.