Harry N. Scheiber*
The 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has been called one of the greatest achievements in the history of international diplomacy—an agreement that has largely achieved its ambitious goal of providing what many commentators term “a constitution for the oceans.” The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in 1994 hailed the conclusion of the Convention in the following terms:
The dream of a comprehensive law of the oceans is an old one. Turning this dream into reality has been one of the greatest achievements of this century. It is one of the decisive contributions [and] it will be one of our most enduring legacies.