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Law of the Sea Convention: Ratify Law of the Sea

Rapidly melting sea ice due to global warming is opening the Arctic Ocean - for the first time ever - to new shipping routes, industrial fishing and energy exploration, putting the region's already vulnerable resources at an even greater risk of exploitation. To effectively protect the Arctic, we must have the legal tools in place to handle competing interests in this area of the planet.

The good news is that new international decisions governing the Arctic's resources are being discussed right now under the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty. The bad news is that the United States is not at the negotiating table because, despite having signed the treaty more than 20 years ago, we never ratified it - an action that requires a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate.

President Obama has stated that Law of the Sea is one of his priority treaties. But we need his help to ratify the treaty in the Senate this fall to help protect the Arctic's fragile and rapidly changing environment.

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Defense leaders push US to sign sea treaty Last Updated on 2012-05-07 00:00:00 WASHINGTON (AP) — Top defense leaders argued Wednesday for the U.S. to ratify a long-debated treaty governing ocean rights in order to bolster the nation's national security interests in the Asia-Pacific region and other key global waters. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said approving the United Nations Law of the Sea treaty will strengthen America's strategic position in Asia. \"The western Pacific is a mosaic of competing claims for territory and for resources," Dempsey said during a forum hosted by the Atlantic Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts. "This is a critical region where, as a Pacific nation, our security and economic prosperity are inextricably linked. We have a vested interest in mitigating any conflict in the Asia-Pacific before it occurs." The U.S. is the only major nation that has refused to... More »