Resolution of potentially dangerous maritime disputes requires refocusing on UNCLOS regime, including getting remaining holdouts to ratify
What appears most lacking in all of these situations is a perception by the larger world community that disputes like these pose a significant threat to international peace and stability. Were these disputes occurring on land, one suspects, world leaders would pay much closer attention to the risks involved and take urgent steps to avoid military action and escalation. But because they are taking place at sea, away from population centers and the media, they seem to have attracted less concern.
This is a dangerous misreading of the perils involved: Because the parties to these disputes appear more inclined to employ military force than they might elsewhere, and boundaries are harder to define, the risk of miscalculation is greater, and so is the potential for violent confrontation. The risks can only grow as the world becomes more reliant on offshore energy and coastal states become less willing to surrender maritime claims.
To prevent the outbreak of serious conflict, the international community must acknowledge the seriousness of these disputes and call on all parties involved to solve them through peaceful means, as quickly as possible. This could occur through resolutions by the UN Security Council, or statements by leaders meeting in such forums as the Group of 20 governments. Such declarations need not specify the precise nature of any particular outcome, but rather must articulate a consensus view that a resolution of some sort is essential for the common good. Arbitration by neutral, internationally respected “elders” can be provided as necessary. To facilitate this process, ambiguities in UNCLOS should be resolved and holdouts from the treaty—including the United States—should be encouraged to sign.
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Ratification of UNCLOS would bolster U.S. national security in numerous ways, including: protecting all six core freedom of navigation rights, protect maritime interdiction rights, and supporting efforts to combat piracy.Related Quotes:
Parent Arguments:Supporting Arguments:Counter Argument:
- UNCLOS supports all six core competencies of the U.S. Navy
- UNCLOS provisions directly support and improve ability of Coast Guard to complete its law enforcement and homeland security missions
- Ratification of UNCLOS would further US national security interests in multiple ways
- UNCLOS supports U.S. national security objectives by ensuring freedom of navigation rights and supporting maritime interdiction operations
- ... and 7 more quote(s)