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Jakarta Post

Three decades of the Constitution of the Oceans

  • I Made Andi Arsana

NEW YORK   /   Mon, January 7 2013   /  10:00 am

I was lucky enough to attend the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) at the UN Secretariat in New York on Dec. 10, 2012. Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ambassador at large, described UNCLOS as the “Constitution of the Oceans” and viewed it as the most comprehensive legal guideline governing oceanic affairs and the law of the sea.

In his short speech, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asserted that the convention had been playing an important role in ocean governance and it would continue to do so. He also called for universal commitment to the convention.

With 163 countries and the European Union having ratified the convention, now the majority of counties in the world are party to UNLCOS. This indicates that provisions in the convention have been accepted by almost the entire world. Almost, because there are som...