Law of the Sea Treaty on Fast Track to Ratification

The Law of the Sea Treaty, aptly named LOST, was conceived in 1982 by the United Nations as a method for governing activities on, over, and beneath the ocean’s surface. It focuses primarily on navigational and transit issues. The Treaty also contains provisions on the regulation of deep-sea mining and the redistribution of wealth to underdeveloped countries–as well as sections regarding marine trade, pollution, research, and dispute resolution. The Bush Administration has expressed interest in joining the International Seabed Authority and has urged the U.S. Senate to ratify LOST and it makes me wonder why?

This is signing away our sovereignty pure and simple. It also practices global socialism in it’s wealth redistribution and control of resources.

Oliver North Writes:

LOST also opens the door to a long-sought U.N. goal: the redistribution of wealth by taxing Americans. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), a bloated, multi-national bureaucracy headquartered in Jamaica, has the mandate to distribute revenues and “other economic benefits” on the basis of “equitable sharing criteria, taking into account the interests and needs of developing States.” In addition to acting as a global IRS, the ISA also decides which companies from what nations will develop mineral resources on the seabed.

In urging ratification, former President Bill Clinton described LOST as “a far reaching environmental accord” that would “harmonize” U.S. laws to “prevent, reduce and control pollution” in the “best practical means.” But Article 213 requires nations to adopt “laws and regulations … to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources.” Thus, LOST could become a means of enforcing another agreement we never ratified: the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Al Gore — call your office.[snip…]

Advocates for LOST — among them Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-Del.) — claim that the Clinton-negotiated parallel “Agreement” eliminates concerns about empowering international organizations to collect heavy fees or interfere with U.S. military or intelligence collection. Yet, a careful reading of LOST’s 202 pages — and the so-called “Agreement” — proves that’s not true.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has already created a Byzantine array of international organizations to administer the provisions of LOST. Everything from compliance with global environmental agreements, to the collection of “User Fees” from private companies, to disputes over military operations above, on or under international waters are subject to mandatory dispute resolution by one or more of these international bodies.

According to the U.N., the purpose of LOST is to preserve international waters for “peaceful purposes.” But Articles 19 and 20 of the treaty would proscribe the U.S. Navy from training with weapons, collecting intelligence or interfering with enemy communications in the territorial waters of other states without their expressed permission. Military aircraft are specifically prohibited from taking off and landing in these waters, and severe limitations would be imposed on loading and unloading “any commodity, currency or person” including military equipment. Submarines are required to travel on the surface and “show their flag in territorial waters.” Article 30 states that warships not complying with the laws of a coastal nation can be forced to leave. Disputes over these issues would be adjudicated by international lawyers. Right.

LOST’s proponents discount these concerns by claiming the U.S. will simply exempt “military activities” from the treaty’s compulsory dispute resolution requirements. However, the “opt out” clause in Article 298 fails to define such operations. In our own Congress, intelligence functions are not considered to be military activities, so there is far from certainty that the U.N. would accept the U.S. position that intelligence operations over, on or under the seas are indeed military activities. If there is a dispute as to what is or isn’t a military activity, LOST requires the matter to be resolved by international arbitration.

In 2003, Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, now the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that rulings from these arbitration panels “could have an impact on operational planning and activities, and our security.” Last week, in response to questions from Senator David Vitter (R-La.) during a Committee hearing, Professor Bernard Oxman, a witness supporting LOST, admitted that if the parties to a dispute can’t agree on the arbitration panel, the U.N. Secretary General will chose the arbitrators. Lawyers in Pyongyang, Havana and Tehran: call Turtle Bay.[snip…]

Before casting a vote to ratify LOST, all 100 U.S. senators should read Article 314 of this onerous treaty and Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The U.N.-crafted document specifies that amendments to the treaty can be adopted — and therefore enforced — without the consent of any signatory. Yet our Constitution requires that two thirds of our Senate concur in any treaty. Do 67 members of this Senate now want to surrender that authority to foreign governments?

We have got to contact our elected cockroaches and tell them we want LOST to get LOST!

As for the Bush administration, President Bush is obviously a globalist, because he does not want to seal or borders and enforce our immigration laws, he wants to sign on to LOST, he agreed to the North American Security and Prosperity agreement, he is building the NASCO Super Corridor (NAFTA superhighway) and he is considering bowing to the international court; enough said.

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