United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
December 10, 1982
Montego Bay , Jamaica
November 16, 1994
[1] 60 ratifications
International Ownership Treaties
Antarctic Treaty System
Law of the Sea
Outer Space Treaty
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
), also called the
Law of the Sea Convention
or the
Law of the Sea treaty
, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UN CLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the S ea Convention defines the rights and responsi bili ties of  nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for  businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th state to sign the treaty.
To date, 158 countries and the European Communi ty have joined in the Convention. However, it is now regarded as a codification of the customary international law on the iss ue. While the Secretary General of the United Nations receives instruments of ratification and accession and the UN provides support for meetings of states party to the Convention, the UN has no direct operational role in the implementation of the Convention. There is, however, a role played by organi zations such as the International Maritim e Organization, the International Whaling Com mission, and the International Seabed Authority (the latter being established by the UN Convention).
1 Historical background 2 UNCLOS I 3 UNCLOS II 4 UNCLOS III 5 Part XI and the 1994 Agreement 6 Si gnature and ratification 6.1 Uni ted S tates non-ratification 7 See also 8 References 9 External link s
Historical backgroun d
The UNCLOS replaces the older and weaker 'freedom of the seas' concept, dating from the 17th century: national rights were limited to a specified belt of water  extending from a nation's coastli nes, usually three nautical miles, according to the 'cannon shot' rule developed by the Dutch jurist Cornelius van Bynkershoek. All waters beyond national boundaries were considered international waters  free to all nations, but belongi ng to none of them (the
mare liberum
principle promulgated by Grotius).
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