The Law of the Sea

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Resolution History

Proposal Campaign

On 29 August 2004, an Outlaw Piracy resolution was posted in the UN forum. This inspired Serconea to draw up a Draft Proposal: Law of the Sea.

After much discussion, the resolution was proposed on 13 September and reached quorum on the morning of the 17th.

During the vote, a considerable amount of discussion emerged about the territorial waters limits in particular, underwater installations and many other parts of the resolution.

UN Debate

It eventually passed 10656-4684, but then walked into a storm of controversy over its legality. It was ruled illegal for being in the wrong category, but has not been deleted at time of writing.

Serconea's defence on this issue was that the category had been suggested to him by Frisbeeteria. Immediately people tried to use the new resolution for their nefarious ends, such as building huge sea walls and nuclear missile bases underwater.

Text of the Resolution

The Law of the Sea
A resolution to reduce barriers to free trade and commerce.

Category: Free Trade Strength: Mild Proposed By: Serconea

The United Nations,

  1. That all areas of sea more than 20 kilometres from an internationally recognised settled landmass or scientific research station are described as international waters. The UN may permit archipelagos to have the 20 kilometre limit start from the outside islands and allow waters inside the archipelago to be claimed by the nation who owns it.
  2. That all 'international waters' shall be outside the sovereignty of any member nation and that no nation can claim to have sovereignty over them.
  3. That all nations shall have in or above international waters, unless in a Maritime Preservation Zone:
    1. Freedom to fish in designated fishing areas, subject to UN quotas.
    2. Freedom to fly
    3. Freedom of navigation
    4. Freedom to lay cables, pipelines and underwater installations, unless in a Maritime Preservation Zone
  4. That a UN Commission be established to determine areas of outstanding marine beauty or high ecological sensitivity and designate them Maritime Preservation Zones.
  5. An International Maritime Standards Bureau will be created to set international rules on navigation, working hours and other matters it deems appropriate to ensure safety at sea.
  6. All states can have ships under their flag. Any state may establish a registry for ships permitted to fly their nations flag. These vessels must be duly owned and operated by citizens of the respective country to be allowed to register with said country. No state shall permit the establishment of a "flag of convenience". Any vessel receiving an "SOS" or distress call should render immediate assistance, no matter their country of origin or current war status.
  7. All states shall ensure that vessels under their flag are built and kept to proper seaworthy standards, as defined by the International Maritime Standards Bureau.
  8. Piracy is prohibited in international and territorial waters.
  9. Piracy shall be defined as any illegal acts of violence, detention, theft or damage committed by a private vessel or aircraft, or its crew or passengers, against another vessel or aircraft, or the passengers, crew or property of the latter. "Illegal" will be defined by bilateral diplomacy, with the UN intervening if the two nations cannot agree.
  10. That all nations will do their utmost to tackle piracy in international waters.
  11. That no nation shall shelter pirates. Nations may only employ privateers (which are defined as pirates who work officially for a government) in a time of declared war.
  12. That any flagged warship may board a ship if it has reasonable grounds to believe it is engaged in an international crime, such as but not limited to terrorism, piracy or smuggling. If the search finds nothing, the boarded ship shall be compensated by the warship's nation to a mutually agreeable value. A database of searches shall be kept by the UN to aid law enforcement. On boarding or attacking a vessel, the warship must immediately run up its national colours or the action will be considered an act of piracy.
  13. That all nations shall strive to prevent pollution of international waters and harm to marine wildlife, except where the UN has permitted fishing.
  14. All UN resolutions affecting member nations also apply to actions carried out by them or their citizens in international waters.
  15. All nations with navigable waterways linking their coast and a landlocked country are encouraged to reach agreements on their use by vessels of the latter country.

Votes For: 10,656
Votes Against: 4,684
Implemented: Tue Sep 21 2004
Repealed: Tue Jan 20 2006

Gameplay Impacts

This resolution had no significant impacts on changing the way NationStates is played.

Additional Materials