Oceanic Law

Archive Report

Accelerating Demands on the Oceans

Forthcoming U.N. Conference on Law of the Sea

A united nations conference on the Law of the Sea will open June 20 in Caracas to seek an international agreement on control of the oceans and their vast resources. The success or failure of this conference1 may decide whether the wealth of the oceanic domain will be considered the common heritage of all mankind or an open realm for national exploitation on a first-come, first-served basis. Many observers fear failure in this effort to write a “constitution” for the seas and foresee resulting chaos—with powerful nations claiming vast expanses of the sea and seabed, and weaker nations grappling for a fair share of the ocean's wealth.

U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, at an organizational ...

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