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Quantitative Content Analysis of the United Nations Seabed Debates: Methodology and a Continental Shelf Case Study

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.1996, 00:00 authored by R. L. Friedheim, Joseph B. Kadane
Since 1967, when Ambassador Arvid Pardo of Malta drew the attention of the General Assembly to the inadequacy of international arrangements for the uses of the ocean, this inadequacy has been a subject of discussion and sometimes intense debate within the United Nations. These debates have included the question of how to delimit the outer edge of the legal continental shelf, the spectrum of ocean arms control possibilities, proposals to create a declaration of principles governing the exploration for and the exploitation of seabed minerals resources, proposals which insist that exploitation take place only if it "benefits mankind as a whole," especially the Developing states, and consideration of schemes to create international machinery to regulate, license, or own the resources of the seabed and subsoil. These discussions and debates began in the First Committee of the 22d Assembly and proceeded through an Ad Hoc Committee to the 23d and 24th Assemblies. The creation of a Permanent Committee on the Seabed as a part of the General Assembly machinery attests to the importance members of the United Nations attribute to ocean problems.




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