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The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

The Issue.

The proponents of U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) claim that America cannot secure or “guarantee” its maritime interests without being a member of the treaty.

  • Steven Groves
  • The Heritage Foundation

That claim is baseless.

It is unnecessary for the U.S. to join UNCLOS to protect its navigational rights and freedoms in the Arctic, the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world.

The navigational provisions in UNCLOS either codify customary international law that existed well before the United Nations adopted the convention in 1982, or they “refine and elaborate” navigational rights and…

The Arctic.

The U.S. has already secured, and…

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