Posted by: rotenochsen | April 29, 2009

WHY THE USA SHOULD NOT SIGN THE UNCLOS TREATY

 





Many people think that the treaty UNCLOS, being pushed by Obama and his Democratic supporters,for the Senate to Ratify, is all about rules of the Oceans.

In fact the framework of the treaty being promoted by the “One World” supporters has great impact on much more than the seas. The treaty has definite regulations regarding the extraction of minerals and fossil fuels from the floor of the oceans. In particular it has definite limitations on the Arctic shelf as this post in the current issue of Der Spiegel.com illustrates.

“The most significant international agreement for the current debate on jurisdiction and sovereign rights in the Arctic is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Often described as a “constitution for the oceans,” the convention, which came into force in 1994, has now been ratified by 155 nations, including Germany. The United States is the only major industrial nation not to have signed the treaty.

The UNCLOS permits coastal states to establish an “exclusive economic zone” extending up to 200 nautical miles — the so-called 200-mile-zone — within which they exercise sovereign rights over both the waters and the seabed. However, this sovereign territory may be extended depending on how far the continental land mass extends out under the ocean. In such cases the outer boundaries of this so-called continental shelf must be precisely defined and documented.

Cut-off lines are determined by a number of factors, including the structure of the ocean floor, sediment thickness and ocean depth. Such definitions can be a matter of dispute, as in the case of the Lomonosov Ridge, a mountain range extending over 1500 kilometers under the Arctic Ocean. Determining whether this geological formation is part of the continental shelf of Russia, Canada, or Denmark/Greenland is crucial to deciding which country has sovereign rights over the seabed around the North Pole”.

A coastal state must submit its claims to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf within a ten-year period following its ratification of the convention. The deadline for submissions relating to the Arctic is now approaching and it is for this reason that the “race” is on.

The discussion of national rights in this context is also often dogged by a lack of terminological clarity both on the part of policymakers and the media, particularly when it comes to the concept of sovereignty. There is no question here of states denying access to shipping or preventing fishing on the high seas. Outside the 200-mile zone the only relevant issue is the right to utilization of the seabed and the exploitation of its natural resources.
A story that was not reported by our Left wing Media is the meeting held in Greenland during the spring of 2008 one month after Obama was elected.By this time he was touting his office of the President-elect. A position that does not exist in the Constitution.

In response to the debate on the utilization of the Arctic Ocean, Denmark’s foreign minister and the premier of Greenland invited representatives of four other coastal states (Canada, United States, Norway, and Russia) to attend a conference in the Greenland town of Ilulissat. The conference ended on May 29 with the adoption of the Ilulissat Declaration, which declared that climate change and the melting of the polar ice have a “potential impact” on vulnerable ecosystems, the livelihoods of local inhabitants and indigenous communities, and the potential exploitation of natural resources.
Apparently our government representatives at this meeting agreed to the presently unproven theory of Global Warming at this conference before our Congress has even voted on the issue!

Due to their sovereign rights and jurisdiction in large areas of the Arctic Ocean, the five coastal states see themselves in a “unique position” to address these possibilities and challenges. The decisive formulations in the declaration relate to the UNCLOS. The signatories agree that the law of the sea provides for important rights and obligations regarding the delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf, the protection of the marine environment, freedom of navigation, and marine research. The declaration states: “We remain committed to this legal framework and to the orderly settlement of any possible overlapping claims.” In other words, Ilulissat affirms the status of the Convention on the Law of the Sea as the definitive document in relation to the Arctic.
This just one more example of the way government officials operate behind the cloak of secrecy to sign away our rights and freedoms without the Constitutional authority. No wonder the public opinion of the Congress is so low! Why would a man who promised that he would have an open and transparent government, allow this to happen without letting the public know about it? Surely his transition team that was in Washington at this time had to know about this meeting. Why did they not make any comment about the ramifications of this meeting?
The answer is that Obama is doing what he wants irregardless of the wishes of the electorate, as long as he satisfies the 61% who elected him. The rest of us be damned!

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