Excessive baseline and EEZ claims by coastal nations through UNCLOS are contributing as much instability as stability
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As discussed above, the abusive use of straight baselines by over 80 nations increases the number of overlapping maritime claims and, hence, contributes to increased tension and potential conflict. If left unchallenged, these excessive baselines allow states to claim thousands of square miles of water as internal waters or territorial seas thereby limiting high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight in the littorals. Originally intended to level the playing field between developed and developing states over resources beyond the territorial sea, most developing nations do not have the capacity to exploit, preserve or manage the living and non-living resources of the EEZ. This lack of capacity encourages legal and illegal exploitation of these resources by or for the developed nations to the detriment of the developing nations. Illegal fishing in foreign EEZs has become epidemic in many regions of the world, thereby increasing instability and threatening international peace and security. These same provisions have also renewed long-standing territorial disputes over small, insignificant islands and rocks – like the Kuril Islands, Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, Dokdo/Takeshima Island, Hans Island, Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, Ieodo Rock and Imia/Kardak Island to name a few – in an effort to gain exclusive rights to the resources in their sur- rounding waters. Use of armed or economic aggression to reinforce these claims is common. Finally, excessive extended continental shelf claims by countries, like Russia in the Arctic and China in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea, which are inconsistent with the scientific criteria of UNCLOS Article 76, are a source of friction to regional peace and security. In short, the Convention contributes to both stability and instability in the world’s oceans and U.S. accession to UNCLOS won’t change that fact.
"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) ]