As stated earlier, of the many precedents embodied in the existence of the ISA, the creation of an international bureaucracy with powers to tax, regulate, and enforce its will are perhaps the most dramatic and, in the long term, the most dangerous. The granting of what are essentially sovereign powers is unprecedented and unfortunately fits within a larger pattern of UN behavior-that being, to free itself from the political domination of the five permanent members of the Security Council as well as to insulate itself from the uncertainties and political limitations accompanying the traditional state-sponsored financing of UN operations.
Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali recently proposed to establish a "world tax" on airline tickets and currency exchanges as an independent means of financing the UN. "Faced with $2.3 billion in arrears from member nations that failed to pay their assessments -- including $1.2 billion owed by the United States -- UN officials and others have long sought an independent means to raise money for the organization's annual budget of roughly $3 billion" (Barber 1996). Disclosure of this plan provoked an immediate negative response in the U.S. Senate when majority leader Bob Dole stated that, "the United Nations continues its out-of-control pursuit of power" and along with colleagues called for an immediate investigation (Barber 1996).
Unfortunately, the Law of the Sea Treaty goes far beyond the Ghali plan and may indeed be viewed as a harbinger of future UN efforts to spin-off or reformulate its activities in such a way as to insulate itself from, and possibly become ascendant to, the sovereign character of nation-states. Unless the United States is willing to insist on further renegotiation of the treaty to protect these and other vital interests, the Senate will have little alternative other than rejection and refusal to ratify. Rejection by the Senate appears to be the only action capable of serving as the catalyst to bring all parties back to the table.