Target: Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Goal: Ratify a United Nations treaty that would regulate the use of the world’s oceans.
In 1982, the United Nations completed the Convention on the Law of the Sea, a treaty that sets out rules regarding the use of international waters. The treaty was implemented in 1994, and in the intervening years more than 150 countries and the European Union have ratified the treaty. The United States, however, has failed to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea, despite ample evidence that it would benefit the United States to do so.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Convention on the Law of the Sea “establishes a comprehensive set of rules governing the use and conservation of the world’s oceans, including the airspace above and the seabed and subsoil below. It balances the interests of states in controlling activities off their own coasts and the interests of all states in international waters.” The United States already recognizes many aspects of the treaty as parts of customary international law, but it has failed to ratify the treaty. Opponents argue that the treaty would impinge upon United States sovereignty and national security, since the treaty would mandate that some disputes be settled before an international tribunal.
However, in a world that is growing ever more interconnected, it is imperative that different countries work together to protect the earth and to ensure the security of all nations. Every other major industrialized nation has been able to reconcile its national interests with the global imperatives laid out in the treaty, and the United States should follow suit. People and entities as diverse as the World Wildlife Fund, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Verizon Communications, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta are all in favor of ratification, and the treaty has been favorably received by four-star generals and admirals in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Please encourage Senator Kerry not to give up on this important step for both the United States and the global community. Sign the petition to urge the ratification of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Dear Senator Kerry,
First laid out in 1982, the Law of the Sea Treaty has been a reality for almost fifteen years now. However, the refusal of the United States to join the other 157 countries that have ratified the treaty is a detriment to both the U.S. and to the world community, undermining the spirit of a decree meant to encourage cooperation among nations and promote responsible global policies.
The Law of the Sea Treaty, as you know, has garnered support from many different groups, entities, and individual people, including the World Wildlife Fund, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Verizon Communications, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The Treaty has also gained support from four-star admirals and generals in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Your own support for the treaty has been well documented, and the work you have done to encourage its ratification is important. However, it is imperative not to give up now—not when we are so close to taking a step the country should have taken years ago. Please continue to make the ratification of the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty a main priority.
[Your name here]
Photo credit: Jon Sullivan via Public Domain Images