DearColleague.us

Letter

 

From: The Honorable Joe Courtney
Sent By:
Tim.Brown2@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.Res. 631
Date: 6/30/2016

Restore U.S. Credibility in the South China Sea

Support Ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty

 

Become a Co-Sponsor of H.Res. 631

Supported by: The Navy League of the United States

 

Dear Colleague:

Within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the arbitration court in The Hague will soon make a historic ruling regarding the China and the Philippines and their conflicting maritime claims in the South China Sea. Some are calling this the “Trial of the Century.”

Over 166 countries and the European Union are signatories, but the United States is not.

The United States is asking China to respect the upcoming ruling, but our credibility is undercut by the Senate’s refusal to ratify UNCLOS.

Our top military commanders have widely supported the U.S. joining UNCLOS. Commander of PACOM, Admiral Harry Harris, earlier this year put it perfectly when he stated,
“I am a proponent of it and I think in the in the 21st century our moral standing is affected by the fact that we are not a signatory of UNCLOS.”

Challenging excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea or preserving our access to the Arctic requires a comprehensive approach using all the tools at our disposal to protect the interest of the United States and our allies – yet by continuing to fail
to join the rest of the world in supporting UNCLOS, we risk being left behind as critical decisions are made.

The long-overdue ratification of UNCLOS would place our nation on solid legal, diplomatic, and moral ground when we uphold the freedom of navigation for the United States or advocate for the maritime rights of our partner nations around the world. It is
long past time to get this done.

I hope you will join me in supporting this straightforward resolution urging the Senate to finally heed the concerns of our nation’s top military leaders
by approving the ratification of UNCLOS once and for all. To sign on, please contact Jonathan Cebik in my office at 5-0276 or
jonathan.cebik@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

JOE COURTNEY

Member of Congress