Members of CLCS are bound by agreement not to act as agent of their respective governments, undermining "seat at the table" argument
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While I agree with that membership on the CLCS would not harm US interests, they once again over-dramatize the importance of having a “seat at the table.” Statements like: “without a seat the US has neither eyes nor ears;” “informal networking . . . [would be] greatly restricted;” “a seat provides the government valuable strategic intelligence for little cost”; and “it would be better to have a representative at the table who would understand and report on the dynamics of the CLCS;” are not only inaccu- rate, but also reflect the authors’ lack of understanding of how the CLCS operates. The CLCS scientific and technical guidelines are publicly available on the Internet. "19 Members of the CLCS take an oath to “perform [their] duties as a member of the Commission . . . honorably, faithfully, impartial- ly and conscientiously (emphasis added).”20 Additionally, “in the performance of their duties, members of the Commission shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any other authority external to the Commission [and] they shall refrain from any action which might reflect negatively on their position as members of the Commission (emphasis added).”21 What Cartner and Gold appear to be suggesting is that a U.S. member of the CLCS should act as a double-agent for the U.S. Government, secretly passing information to Washington on the deliberations of the Commission. Such behavior would clearly violate the member’s “solemn declaration” under Rule 10, significantly undermining U.S. credibility, and bringing discredit on the U.S. Government.
"A Response to Cartner’s and Gold’s Commentary on “Is it Time for the United States to Join the Law of the Sea Convention?”
." Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce
. Vol. 42, No. 4 (October 2011): 487-510. [ More (11 quotes) ]
Even if U.S. had a seat on CLCS, they would have limited ability to influence the direction or decisions of the CLCS as members are required to act independently from their governments and in secrecy.