Preamble

The States Parties to this Convention,

Prompted by the desire to settle, in a spirit of mutual understanding and co-operation, all issues relating to the law of the sea and aware of the historic significance of this Convention as an important contribution to the maintenance of peace, justice and progress for all peoples of the world,

Noting that developments since the United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea held at Geneva in 1958 and 1960 have accentuated the need for a new and generally acceptable Convention on the law of the sea,

Conscious that the problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be considered as a whole,

Recognizing the desirability of establishing through this Convention, with due regard for the sovereignty of all States, a legal order for the seas and oceans which will facilitate international communication, and will promote the peaceful uses of the seas and oceans, the equitable and efficient utilization of their resources, the conservation of their living resources, and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment,

Bearing in mind that the achievement of these goals will contribute to the realization of a just and equitable international economic order which takes into account the interests and needs of mankind as a whole and, in particular, the special interests and needs of developing countries, whether coastal or land-locked,

Desiring by this Convention to develop the principles embodied in resolution 2749 (XXV) of 17 December 1970 in which the General Assembly of the United Nations solemnly declared inter alia that the area of the seabed and ocean floor and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, as well as its resources, are the common heritage of mankind, the exploration and exploitation of which shall be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole, irrespective of the geographical location of States,

Believing that the codification and progressive development of the law of the sea achieved in this Convention will contribute to the strengthening of peace, security, co-operation and friendly relations among all nations in conformity with the principles of justice and equal rights and will promote the economic and social advancement of all peoples of the world, in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations as set forth in the Charter,

Affirming that matters not regulated by this Convention continue to be governed by the rules and principles of general international law,

Have agreed as follows:

FIGURE 12.2 National and international zones in the ocean, subsoil, and overlying airspace under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force in 1994. The Antarctic Treaty (Article VI) refers to the rights ''of any State under international law with regard to the high seas.'' From the United States Department of State (1995).

FIGURE 12.2 National and international zones in the ocean, subsoil, and overlying airspace under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force in 1994. The Antarctic Treaty (Article VI) refers to the rights ''of any State under international law with regard to the high seas.'' From the United States Department of State (1995).

as a whole'' beyond economic, political, technological, cultural or geographic differences among nations.

Among the three ''common spaces'' regimes that have been implemented through the United Nations, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty has the longest history of continuously elaborating common interests and cooperative strategies among nations (Antarctic Treaty Searchable Database: 1959-1999 CD-ROM). Moreover, during the past five decades, the Antarctic Treaty System has become uniquely integrated with other international regimes, including conventions on law of the sea, marine pollution, ozone depletion, transboundary wastes, whaling, and other global change processes associated with the sustainable development of humankind (Table 12.1). These international innovations in managing Antarctica for the ''progress of all mankind'' shine as a bright light in our emerging global society.

''peaceful purposes only''

Just as the first half of the 20th century can be characterized by international antagonism associated with World War I (1914-1918) and then World War II (1939-1945), the second half can be characterized by the expansion of international cooperation (Table 12.1, Fig. 12.1). In perspective, global or regional altercations among nations make Antarctica even more special as the only continent on Earth ever to be used for ''peaceful purposes only.''

This halo of peace was catalyzed by the International Geophysical Year in box 12.2 1967 treaty on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies

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