|Law of the Sea Treaty Is Stealth Back-Door Effort to Implement the
Global Warming Treaty;
Anti-War Pacifist Group Had Behind-the-Scenes Role in Drafting the Pact|
|A Special Report from America's Survival, Inc.|
Cliff Kincaid, President
The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) has been described as the most comprehensive treaty ever. It is a global trap that could affect the industrial, economic and military activities of the U.S. Its alleged benefits -- such as the right to navigation on the high seas and rights to transit through international straits -- are already available to the U.S. through what is called customary international law.
LOST could be also used by the United Nations and other governments to try to force the U.S. to implement the provisions of the global warming treaty by reducing industrial carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. Senate voted 95-0 in 1997 to reject many of the principles behind the global warming treaty.
One former Law of the Sea Treaty negotiator tells us:
There are a lot of pollution provisions in the convention. It sounds like they can do more with it than the negotiators intended. Since they didn't get their global warming treaty (ratified by the U.S.), I worry about treaty provisions on emissions and anthropogenic (human-caused) inputs into the ocean that cause pollution. They could turn this into a global warming issue. Could they bring a case against us because we have pipes that put out sewage or air pollution that finds its way into the ocean?
It appears that some backers of LOST have been confused or misled as to how some of its provisions can be manipulated to cripple America. They do not seem to understand why all the major radical environmental and other left-wing organizations have signed on to LOST. Simply stated, in the words of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), "The oceans serve as a vital source of food and fuel, means of trade and commerce, and regulator of global climates." Hence, regulating the oceans means controlling many significant aspects of human activity.
The FCNL, the Quaker lobby, has played a critical behind-the-scenes role in crafting LOST and inserting language recognizing the "common heritage of mankind."
A legal analysis, The Concept of the Common Heritage of Mankind in International Law, says that the concept of the common heritage of mankind in LOST is "one of the most extraordinary developments in recent intellectual history and one of the most revolutionary and radical legal concepts to have emerged in recent decades." According to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the "common heritage of mankind" phrase can be expanded and interpreted to mean the air we breathe, outer space, the energy of the earth, the natural resources of land and sea, and even the human gene pool. In short, it means almost everything necessary to human survival.
David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation believes that U.S. nuclear submarines should have been banned from the oceans under LOST language recognizing "the concept of the oceans as the common heritage of [hu]mankind." Going further, he says that, "Maintaining the oceans as a common heritage demands that the oceans be protected from contamination by nuclear pollutants; that they not be used in a manner to undermine basic human rights, particularly the rights to life and to a healthy environment; and that the oceans not be allowed to serve as a public preserve for those states that believe their own security interests demand the endangerment of global human survival." 1
The Irish Seas Nuclear Free Flotilla (ISNFF) protested a plutonium shipment from the U.S. bound for France that was due to pass within 150 miles of Ireland's south coast, "breaching the nation's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 miles." The ISNFF cited the "landmark" U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty, signed by over 140 nations around the world including Ireland, France and the U.K., proclaiming "that a coastal state has sovereign rights, duties and jurisdiction within the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone for 'the protection and the preservation of the marine environment.'" In accord with this treaty, the NGO argued, "Ireland and other coastal nations have an obligation to prevent pollution to their coastal waters." 2
The concept of the "common heritage of mankind" was inserted into the treaty through the efforts of Sam and Miriam Levering, left-wing Quakers and farmers who formed an NGO called the "Neptune Group" to lobby for the treaty over the course of decades. The Friends Committee on National Legislation reports, "During the 1970s, Sam and Miriam worked out of FCNL's office as they diligently and patiently advocated to keep the oceans part of 'the common heritage of mankind' and negotiated with governments on the treaty's final language." 3
Significantly, FCNL reports that the Leverings "entered the fray in 1970 as Congress debated the Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources bill that promoted a nationalistic approach" to mining. The amazing story of their lobbying effort is told in the book, Citizen Action for Global Change: The Neptune Group and the Law of the Sea by Ralph B. Levering and Miriam L. Levering, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 1999.
The Quakers are said to have enormous influence on the U.N. Randal Forsberg, one of the leaders of the discredited nuclear freeze movement, has said, "They have an office at the UN that hosts receptions for UN delegations regularly and has been doing so for 50 years and is quite influential. They also have an office in Geneva that does the same thing there, and they have a committee on national legislation in Washington as well as service committees that try to educate people around the country."
Regarding LOST, Forsberg associate Elise Boulding said, "Another thing we wouldn't have without NGOs is the law of the sea." Noting the activities of the Leverings, she said, "The intense effort at the UN itself was backed up by efforts in national capitals. The work of NGOs occurred outside of all the formal procedures but was crucial to creating the outcome, the treaty itself." 4
FCNL, whose slogan is, "War is Not the Answer," says, "We recognize the importance of treaties and covenants among nations as instruments of world order" and "We support the United Nations (UN) and its role in pursuing world order and peace." 5
The FCNL gave Representative Barbara Lee (CA) a peace award in 2001 "for her courageous, solitary vote against authorization of a U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan." It gave the same award to Senator Russ Feingold (Wis.) in 2003 for "casting the lone vote in the Senate against the USA Patriot Act and his opposition to the use of military force against Iraq."
LOST has been described by its supporters as a "constitution for the oceans" that establishes an international legal regime governing activities on, over, and under the world's oceans. The treaty governs seven-tenths of the world's surface. But the provisions of the treaty would also permit international rules and regulations governing economic and industrial activities on the remaining land area of the world in order to combat global warming and other perceived pollution dangers.
In the MOX case (Ireland v. United Kingdom), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea today ruled that "the duty to cooperate is a fundamental principle in the prevention of pollution of the marine environment under Part XII of the Convention…" 6 In the case, the Irish government used LOST to try to stop the production of mixed oxide fuel (MOX) at the Sellafield nuclear plant in Britain. Ireland alleged that the UK failed to protect the marine environment from radiation resulting from the manufacture of MOX. The UK was ordered to cooperate fully with Ireland.
Irish Environment Minister Martin Cullen declared, "We now have a UN referee overseeing the implementation of Britain's obligations. " 7
An official U.N. brochure for the Law of the Sea Treaty states it plainly: "The greatest threat to the health of the marine environment comes not from oil spills at sea or ocean dumping, but from human activities on land." It adds: "Oils from land-based sources, such as refined petroleum products or their derivatives, are equally harmful. They enter the marine environment by various routes from a variety of sources, including discharges and emissions from oil wells, refining and storage facilities, and from industrial and agricultural run-off. Ingested or absorbed through skin or gills, these oils are toxic to marine life and cause lasting damage to the fur and feathers of many marine species. They can also be harmful to human health, tainting seafood and contaminating water supplies." 8
The proof is in LOST. Part XII of the Treaty, PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT, Article 194, refers to "Measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment." It declares:
- States shall take, individually or jointly as appropriate, all measures consistent with this Convention that are necessary to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from any source…
- States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that activities under their jurisdiction or control are so conducted as not to cause damage by pollution to other States and their environment, and that pollution arising from incidents or activities under their jurisdiction or control does not spread beyond the areas where they exercise sovereign rights in accordance with this Convention.
- The measures taken pursuant to this Part shall deal with all sources of pollution of the marine environment…
Article 136 is the provision of LOST that recognizes "The Area and its resources are the common heritage of mankind." The "Area" is defined as the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, "beyond the limits of national jurisdiction." It declares that, "All rights in the resources of the Area are vested in mankind as a whole, on whose behalf the Authority shall act." The "Authority" is the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which regulates activity on the seabed and ocean floor. It is "an unprecedented international regime to manage the mineral resources of the international seabed area." 9
The ISA receives revenue from application fees from mining companies. A share of the profits from such mining operations will be distributed to parties to the treaty. The "activities in the area" constitute "all activities of exploration for, and exploitation of, the resources of the Area." The LOST also envisions creation of "the Enterprise, empowered to conduct exploration and exploitation of deep-sea minerals on behalf of the international community." The Enterprise is a "unique undertaking for an intergovernmental organization." 10
Some LOST supporters say this doesn't constitute raising taxes. But in its 1995 study, National Taxpayers, International Organizations: sharing the Burden of Financing the United Nations, the pro-U.N. lobby group, the U.N. Association of the United States of America, admitted that the ISA was unique among U.N. bodies:
"Only the Seabed authority created by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, which entered into force in late 1994, has authority today to directly collect international revenue to finance its activities."
- Law of the Sea 20th Anniversary brochure.
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