(Originally published on March 19, 2009)
By Dana Gabriel
The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is another one of those international agreements that the U.S. has yet to ratify. President Reagan rejected the treaty, but a revised version was signed by President Clinton in 1994. As a result of intense opposition, LOST was never brought before the Senate for a full vote. Several failed attempts were also later made by the Bush administration to galvanize support for the accord. The Democrats are now laying the groundwork to finally ratify LOST. Proponents view ratifying the treaty as an opportunity for the U.S. to further promote global security and stability. Critics maintain that under LOST, the U.S. would be forced to surrender more sovereignty to the UN.
LOST is the legal framework by which all activities on, over, and under the world’s oceans are to be governed. It would place 70% of the earth’s surface under UN control. In his past article entitled LOST at Sea, Congressman Ron Paul writes, “Under the Law of the Sea Treaty, an International Seabed Authority would control the minerals and other resources of the oceans’ seabed. After taking its own cut, this UN body would transfer whatever is left to select third-world governments and non-governmental organizations.” Many argue that if the U.S. does not ratify LOST, they might lose out on the mad dash for Arctic resources. Critics contend that under the treaty, the U.S. would be forced to obtain UN permission before conducting ocean development, which would make any new activities that much more difficult and costly.