June 23, 2009 by cgsstlouischapter
by Yvonne Logan
On May 9, 2009 Partners for Global Change participated in a conference phone call arranged by our national CGS office in Washington. It was a very informative report and discussion on the Law of the Sea Treaty (officially the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea – UNCLOS). The treaty has been recommended for Senate ratification by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations twice in the last six years, and is now again on the desk of Senator Kerry, chair of the committee. The administration hasn’t yet taken a position (and needs to do so). Hearings are to be held next month. The Committee will probably support ratification. To be sure that is comes to a vote, we in CGS need to support our Democratic Senators as well as Republican Senator Richard Lugar. He is supporting ratification despite opposition from some Republicans and our old “friends,” the John Birch Society and the Heritage Foundation, who automatically oppose any kind of international regulation of anything.
The European Union plus 157 other nations are now governed by the Law of the Sea Treaty. As a non-ratifier the U.S. cannot have any say on important legal issues being discussed like rules about offshore drilling, about factory ships, about ocean pollution, about mining of seabed minerals, about depletion of fisheries, and so on.
Don Kraus, our national CEO, asks us to help push this important treaty on the Oceans over the finish line. We can use the CGS web-site as well as contacting the President and Senators by phone or letters or faxes. He also suggests making a contribution to CGS to assist in carrying out the battle. Kraus said, “If the Senate will not accede to this convention now, how can we expect them to support ratification of the backlog of other multilateral treaties waiting for a vote including the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Women’s Convention (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Biodiversity Treaty, the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, and many others?”