November 5th, 2007 11:00 EST
Departments of Defense, Law of the Sea Convention
We are pleased that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted out the Law of the Sea Convention. This is an important step forward in the Administration's efforts to join this treaty, which the President has urged the Senate to approve during this session of Congress. This Convention has the strong support of United States Federal Agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, and the Interior.
This treaty was a victory for U.S. diplomacy -- the one chapter that President Reagan disliked was modified in 1994 to overcome all his objections. It would serve both our national security interests, as countless current and former U.S. military officials have stated, by assuring navigational rights of our vessels worldwide, as well as our economic and energy interests, as a wide array of U.S. industries have stated. The treaty would secure U.S. sovereign rights over extensive offshore natural resources, including substantial oil and gas resources in the Arctic. The extended continental shelf areas we stand to gain under the treaty are at least twice the size of California.
Joining the Convention is the only viable means of protecting and maximizing our ocean-related interests and the Senate should approve U.S. accession without delay.
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