Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Ratifying the Law of the Sea"

Source: Melissa Bert and Mark Schlakman, The Boston Globe, March 16, 2009.

President Obama has a chance to promote global security and stability by advocating for ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The United States has 12,500 miles of coastline and 360 major commercial ports. Among the world's largest importers and exporters of goods and services, it has more to gain by ratifying the convention than by avoiding it, especially against the backdrop of global recession.

In the absence of such a legal framework, history is replete with examples of rogue nations unduly restricting maritime access and encroaching upon others' interests, potentially compromising military operations, disrupting commerce, and flouting accountability for environmental degradation.

So far, 156 countries and the European Community have ratified the treaty.......

Support for ratification is bipartisan. Proponents include both former presidents Bush and Clinton; former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard; major environmental groups and many others.
Comment: Sounds reasonable to me! JAD

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