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United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)


Islands continue to be a crucial factor in territorial and maritime clashes in the world, both concerning their power to create sea jurisdictional rights for the delimitation of marine boundaries and relating to sovereignty quarrels over the land of islands. The occupation of islands, as in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 121, stays ambiguous, and no reliable agreement or decision on its understanding has yet appeared. (Worster 2010, 153)

In 1982, the United Nations opened the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for signatures. UNCLOS is the primary global agreement regarding the use and protection of the country waters. The need for global agreement on the use of the country waters had become apparent by the mid-twentieth century. Technological advancements increased the use and exploitation of the ocean and its resources on an unprecedented level. Fish populations declined rapidly, and increased marine pollution destroyed coastal and open-water ecosystems. This paper discusses the Role of UNCLOS in the dispute of Sovereignty over Islands and its jurisdictional consequences.


UNCLOS sets up a thorough official structure making the obligations and rights of countries regarding the utilizations of the seas. It sets out the marine regions that may be demanded by sea line country from offshore geographic attributes. It also makes the sea regions that seaside countries may declare from soil region over which they have control. It states that seaside countries have the authority to an EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) widening to 200 nautical miles from their seashores in which they have independent authority for the rationale of exploiting and exploring the non-living and living resources of the seas and of the marine and land. (Andrew 2010, 22)

[China claims to South China Sea]

Representatives from 160 countries met at the Third UNCLOS to address establishing global maritime rules and environmental protection regulations. After nine years of negotiations, the conference passed UNCLOS. UNCLOS addressed marine territorial limits, economic rights over marine resources, and rights of vessel transit. UNCLOS also addressed pollution and other environmental concerns. Article 192 of UNCLOS states that all countries have a general obligation “to protect and preserve the environment.” UNCLOS went into effect in 1994; as of 2008, 155 countries have signed UNCLOS. (Churchill 2009, 279)

Varying interpretations leave economic rights in dispute in a number of locations. In the East China Sea, China sent five warships in 2005 to back up its claim to an undersea gas field partly claimed by Japan, where China began drilling and Japan granted drilling rights to a Japanese company. China's claim under a Continental Shelf treaty conflicts with Japan's claim of an EEZ.

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS )

The United Nations (UN) is the only organization that tries to be universal, and even it is not all-inclusive. The UN is the most ambitious attempt ever undertaken to bring together the world's nations ...