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Convention of the High Seas

The term “Convention of the High Seas” refers to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is an international treaty that establishes a comprehensive legal framework for the governance of the world’s oceans. UNCLOS was adopted in 1982 and entered into force in 1994. It is often considered the “constitution for the oceans.”

The Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of states with respect to the use and conservation of the various zones of the ocean. It covers a wide range of issues, including navigational rights, territorial waters, exclusive economic zones, the continental shelf, marine scientific research, and the protection and preservation of the marine environment.

One of the key aspects of the Convention is the concept of the high seas, which refers to those parts of the ocean that are beyond the jurisdiction of any state. The high seas are open to all states and are considered a global commons. The Convention establishes principles for the freedom of navigation, the freedom to fish, and the freedom to conduct scientific research in the high seas.

The Convention of the High Seas also includes provisions for the protection and preservation of the marine environment. It sets out general obligations for states to prevent, reduce, and control pollution from various sources, including ships and seabed activities. It also establishes rules for the conservation and management of living marine resources, including fish stocks.

UNCLOS has been widely accepted and ratified by the majority of countries, including all coastal states. It provides a framework for resolving disputes related to the interpretation and application of its provisions and has contributed to the stability and cooperation in the world’s oceans.

Here the text of the as signed and ratified at UN:

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