The Convention on the Law of the Sea — Towards the Global Protection of the Seas
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which Germany acceded on October 14,1994, followed by numerous other industrialized countries, entered into effect on November 16, 1994. This convention, which according to the German government represents the “most important legal instrument of the United Nations to date”, was negotiated at the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea from 1973 to 1982 to provide a comprehensive regime for all types of use of the seas and, at the same time, an international “constitution” for all marine regions. November 16, 1994 thus also represents a turning point in marine environment protection, one of the focal points of global environmental policy. Even though the success of UNCLOS cannot be judged upon in this short period of time and although some of its rules are already part of international customary law or are still unclear and inadequate, a major step has been taken towards sustainable management of the seas, as has been called for in the 1987 report of the International Commission for Environment and Development.
KeywordsCoastal State Marine Pollution Exclusive Economic Zone Maximum Sustainable Yield Flag State
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