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Law of the Sea Convention

U.S. troops assault Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. Photo courtesy of National Archives
The time has come for the United States to have a seat at the table, to fully assert its role as a global leader, and accede to this important treaty. It is the bedrock legal instrument underpinning public order across the maritime domain.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, May 9, 2012
Joining the Law of the Sea Convention is a top priority for the United States. The convention sets forth a comprehensive legal framework governing uses of the oceans and protects and advances a broad range of U.S. interests, including U.S. national security and economic interests. There are now 162 parties to the convention, including almost all of the traditional allies of the United States.

Top News

Locklear Backs Law of the Sea Convention

The Law of the Sea Convention is one avenue toward peacefully resolving competing maritime claims that could otherwise lead to conflict, said Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. Story

Winnefeld: Time for U.S. to Join Law of Sea Convention

Accession to the longstanding United Nations Law of the Sea Convention will have a positive impact on U.S. operations across the maritime domain, Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Story

Panetta: U.S. Leadership Needed in Law of the Sea Convention

As the globe’s preeminent maritime power, the United States has much to gain in ratifying the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said. Story

Dempsey Urges Ratification of Law of the Sea Convention

Ratifying the Law of the Sea Convention is the right thing to do for American national security, the U.S. military’s highest-ranking officer said. Story

Panetta: Environment Emerges as National Security Concern

Climate and environmental change are emerging as national security threats that weigh heavily in the Pentagon’s new strategy, Defense Secretary Panetta told an environmental group. Story

Speeches & Transcripts

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, center, joins by Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Forces; Air Force Gen. William M. Frasier, III, commander of U.S. Transportation Command; and Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations; Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard; and Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command, as they testify before the Senate committee on the Law of the Sea, chaired by Senator John Kerry, D-Mass. DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Sgt. Chuck Marsh
It codifies navigational rights and freedoms essential for our global mobility. It helps sustain our combat forces in the field.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, May 9, 2012
Law of the Sea Convention: Top 10 National Benefits

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