This e-mail is available at:
&L=int-boundaries via September 2007 at:
27 September 2007 will pass to history as a Great Breakthrough in the ever
delayed process of the U.S. Accession to the UNCLOS which will finally turn
the Convention into a truly universal treaty!! - don't miss tomorrow the
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations' Hearings under Presidency of
Senator Joseph R. Biden at:
<>  and [re-enclosed
below through Nuno's kindness]
<>  & <>  &
<>  &
    PREVIOUSLY: Is the USA Ready to Approve UNCLOS? of 19 July 2007 at:
<> ; My Favourite Secretary John
Negroponte [at:
<>  &
<>  &
<> ] About UNCLOS of 13
June 2007 at:
&y=2007&m=June&x=20070613113224eaifas0.4741785; President Bush's Statement
on UNCLOS!! of 15 May 2007 at:
<>  &
ASIL/ILIB of 22 May 2007 at:
<>  via:
<>  & ASIL Insight of 11 June 2007 at:
<>  via: <>  [
mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  &
mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> ];
Louis B. Sohn Symposium, Washington D.C., 24 October 2006 - including
Roundtable of H.E. Judge Stephen M. Schwebel [at:
<> &p2=3 &
<>  &
<>  &
<>  &
<> ] on Ratification of the
UNCLOS by the United States - at:
<>  &
<>  & U.S. Leadership of the UNCLOS-Senator Lugar
<>  and 2006 Northwestern Hawaiian
Islands Proclamation at:
<>  & 2005
UNCLOS Report at:
    U.S. Senate Testimony of ITLOS Judge and ICJ Judge Ad Hoc Bernard H.
Oxman [at:
<>  &,1770,2593-1;46403-3,00.html
<,1770,2593-1;46403-3,00.html>  via
lower - now second item - at:
<>  &
&p2=3&code=ru&case=132&k=95 (via:
oggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8> &fr=FP-tab-web-t400&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8)] of 14
October 2003 at:
<>  and
Admiral Michael G. Mullen of 21 October 2003 at:
<>  via:
    UNCLOS at: <>  & 1833
UNTS 397; 21 ILM 1261 (1982) and U.S. President's Letter of Transmittal of 7
October 1994, 34 ILM 1393 (1995) at:
<>  and Proliferation Security
Initiative (PSI) at:
<>  &
<>  &
<>  & PSI in
Australia at:
<>  &
    Best regards, also on behalf of Professor Oxman at:
Barbara Kwiatkowska

-----Original Message-----
From: International boundaries discussion list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Nuno Antunes
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 20:52
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [INT-BOUNDARIES] Law of the Sea on the Move in U.S. Senate

Law of the Sea on the Move in U.S. Senate 
E&E Daily 9/24/2007

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week digs into the major treaty
governing international waters: the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

The panel will meet Thursday to hear testimony from senior diplomatic and
military officials in support of the treaty, which is one of the few issues
now in play on Capitol Hill on which Democrats and the Bush administration
are in agreement. 

Described by many as a "constitution for the oceans," the Law of the Sea
provides for a comprehensive framework for navigating and managing the
world's oceans. It delineates offshore jurisdictions, including a 200-mile
exclusive economic zone that countries can manage at their discretion, and
outlines a comprehensive marine protection program with requirements for
marine environmental assessments and enforcement of species protection
measures. It would allow countries to apply to extract natural resources
outside the 200-mile limit. 

More than 150 nations, along with the European Commission, have ratified the
Law of the Sea, which took effect in 1994. In the United States , mining
interests, the oil and gas industry, the Navy, and the Defense and State
departments have thrown their support to the treaty. Ratification requires
approval by the Foreign Relations Committee, a floor vote and the signature
of the president. 

Still, conservative opposition to the treaty lingers, with critics arguing
that the Law of the Sea would leave U.S. military operations vulnerable to
oversight by an international tribunal created by the treaty -- despite
statements to the contrary by senior Bush administration officials who have
said the treaty would ensure U.S. ships are free to navigate in
international waters, including warships and military support ships
(Greenwire, July 18). 

"As the world's pre-eminent maritime power, leader in the war on terrorism,
and nation with the largest exclusive economic zone, the United States
should accede to the Law of the Sea Convention during this session of
Congress," outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace and Vice
Chairman E.P. Giambastiani wrote in a June letter to the chairman of the
Foreign Relations panel, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.). "No country has a greater
interest in public order for the world's oceans. Becoming a party to the
convention will ensure our leadership role in the continuing development of
oceans law and policy." 

The latest push to ratify the Law of the Sea came in May when President Bush
issued a strongly worded statement that asked the Senate to move
expeditiously to approve the treaty, leading the Foreign Relations Committee
to announce Thursday's hearing and a planned follow-up early in October. On
the second hearing, lawmakers will hear from non-governmental organizations
and representatives of oceans industries. 

Officials with groups that follow oceans issues, including the Joint Oceans
Commission Initiative and the Pew Charitable Trusts, have been optimistic in
recent months about the treaty's chances for passage. 

"There is no reason we can't get the Law of the Sea enacted in this
Congress," JOCI co-chairman Leon Panetta told a Capitol Hill panel in June,
reiterating the often-heard contention that the Law of the Sea would pass
"95-5" if it could get to a floor vote in the Senate (Greenwire, June 6). 

That does not mean there are not potential stumbling blocks as the treaty
moves to the Senate floor, among them a handful of conservative senators who
many believe were key in preventing the Law of the Sea from reaching a floor
vote during the last push for ratification, in the 108th Congress. Chief
among them is Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has already announced his
intention to use "whatever means it takes" to prevent a floor vote on the
Law of the Sea in this Congress. 

"I would be opposed just as much now as I was in the past," Inhofe said in
May, shortly after the president issued his statement calling for Senate
action. "Nothing has changed." Still, treaty advocates will likely be helped
by recent diplomatic developments. As polar ice has receded to record lows
in recent months, Arctic countries have moved quickly to stake claims on
potential new shipping routes -- including the long-sought Northwest Passage
linking Europe and Asia -- and seabed areas that may contain significant
mineral deposits. 

Tensions reached a high point in August, when Russian explorers planted a
Russian flag on the seabed 2.5 miles below the ice of the North Pole in an
effort to stake a claim to the resource-rich area. In response, the Canadian
military announced plans to build its first Arctic deep-sea port in the
Northwest Passage, the United States launched a scientific mission to map
the Arctic sea floor, and Denmark sent an icebreaker to the area. 

Schedule: The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27, at 2:30 p.m. in
419 Dirksen. 

Witnesses: Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of
Defense Gordon England and Vice Chief of Naval Operations Patrick Walsh. 

Prof. Dr. Barbara Kwiatkowska
Professor of International Law of the Sea
Deputy Director NILOS
Faculty of Law - Utrecht University
Achter Sint Pieter 200
3512 HT Utrecht - The Netherlands
Phone: 31 30 253 7037/7038
Fax: 31 30 253 7073 <> 
E-mail: [log in to unmask]