Just in time for the hearing set for today before the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate, the American Society of International Law's posted a trove of information on the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. As we've posted, although the treaty enjoys widespread international support (155 states parties), efforts to secure U.S. ratification always have run aground. ASIL's databank indicates some division of opinion, notwithstanding 2 recent events have reinvigorated supporters: 1st, President George W. Bush's call for Senate approval; and 2d, Russia's deep-sea adventurism in the Arctic Ocean.
Witnesses on the agenda for Thursday's kickoff hearing are Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, Vice Chief of Naval Operations. The Committee plans another hearing in October, "at which time proponents and opponents, as well as ocean industry representatives, will be invited to testify." (photo courtesy of the Navy of Australia, a state party since 1994)