Multilateral Treaties and Agreements

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United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which took place between 1973 and 1982. UNCLOS defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.

ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation

The ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation provides guidance for intra-ASEAN cooperation, as well as ASEAN engagement with external partners such as the United States and China. The principles of the treaty reflect the ASEAN members’ historical preferences and priorities for management of contentious issues. The treaty, concluded in 1976, was opened to accession by external states; China acceded in 2003, , and the United States dthe same in 2009.

Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea

The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, signed by China and the members of ASEAN in Phnom Penh in 2002, reaffirms freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful settlement of disputes, and self-restraint in the conduct of activities.

Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea

The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea is a non-binding multilateral agreement standardizing safety protocols, basic communications, and basic maneuvering at sea for ships and aircraft. Over twenty countries adopted the code in 2014 at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium in Qingdao, China.

Fisheries Agreements

The Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. Signed August 4, 1995, entered into force December 11, 2001.

1995 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

1995 FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas.

2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.