October 15th, 2019 | Modernizing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, has been a continuous process since the United States first exceeded the 12 nautical miles from their baseline in which they are permitted to have control over to increase their trade control at sea. After the United States extended their rights to set laws and regulate the use of any resource beyond the boundaries that were originally theirs, other countries followed suit resulting in an unbalance of resource partitioning. Out of the conflict of extending border control, the question of “what about landlocked countries” has arisen because they have no easy access to waterways creating an imbalance of resource partitioning causing landlocked countries to attack the United States and Russia for being the “bullies at sea.”
Under the original UNCLOS, the responsibilities of the countries include respect for the boundaries of others and maintenance of trade routes. When countries extend their nautical boundaries, it decreases separation zones, which leads to 2 major problems: increased conflict between the competing countries as well as widening the gap of imbalance between countries that are landlocked and those who are not.
The Saudi Arabia delegate states “It is important to protect our own resources and investments while furthering the economic capability and maritime development of our neighbors.” It is important for resources to be distributed equally while respecting shared economic zones for greater passage of trade and benefits for all countries involved. A modernized UNCLOS was presented consisting of six clauses to improve the current situation of sea trade.
By approving the Economic Cost Officication (ECO) Plan, the United States and five other countries believe hope to recognize the need for substantial source funding and aid disadvantaged countries, and encourage countries to follow the rules regarding the allocation of resources. However, although the modernized UNCLOS addresses most of the conflicts, many countries are still hesitant to ratify it because it benefits some countries more than others.