Posted by: Andi Arsana | October 31, 2007

The Constitution of the Oceans

, Opinion and Editorial – October 29, 2007

I Made Andi Arsana, New York City

Attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York was an interesting experience. Being an observer, it was exciting for me to see how a negotiation and consultation went. The day I attended an informal consultation of the law of the sea was taking place. The moment reminded me that the future of ocean affairs and the law of the sea was being discussed in the room.

This year, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is 25 years old. People refer to it as the “Constitution of the Oceans”, being the most comprehensive codified law of the sea in human history.

The road to establish the convention was long and winding, and it took nine years to finish before it was ratified by the majority of coastal states around the globe. To date, it has been signed by 154 coastal states and the European Union, including Indonesia, with the Law No. 17/1985.

The convention also deals with international maritime boundaries. In this regard, Indonesia has 10 neighboring states, namely India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Timor Leste, with which maritime boundaries need to be settled. To date, 18 agreements have been established making Indonesia one of the most productive in this regard. However, Indonesia still has work to do. Continue >>


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