Senator Jim Webb, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding Chairman John Kerry's decision to hold hearings to consider the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The committee last examined the treaty in 2007, including a September 27 hearing chaired by Senator Webb.
"I have repeatedly called for ratification of the Law of the Sea to advance U.S. security, economic and environmental interests around the world. The unresolved and increasing confrontations over sovereignty and other issues in the Pacific Ocean areas from Northeast to Southeast Asia--including those involving U.S. vessels--underscore the need for long-term, multilateral resolutions, such as those afforded by this treaty.
"I welcome Chairman Kerry's decision to hold hearings on the treaty, as Senator Coons and I requested on April 16. Past administrations--both Democratic and Republican--and the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and other branches of our Armed Forces support the Convention. It is past time for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty to provide Advice and Consent of the treaty."