Manila Challenges Beijing’s South China Sea Hegemony

photo credit: jun acullador

The Philippines said Tuesday that it is taking its feud with China over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea to an international tribunal.

Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario’s office summoned Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing in Manila and challenged the assertion that China’s sovereignty extends over “virtually the entire South China Sea.”

Manila says China seized control of the Scarborough Shoal, a rocky outcrop, last year and then illegally barred the Philippines from the area. China calls the shoal Huangyan Island.

Manila wants a tribunal operating under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea to declare as “unlawful” Beijing’s actions in the disputed waters.

“The Philippines has exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of its maritime disputes with China,” Mr. del Rosario said at a news conference in Manila, according to a report by The Associated Press. “To this day, a solution is still elusive.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Conservatives Ready For ‘Sneaky Treaties’

Back in September, 36 Republicans in the Senate signed on to a letter requesting that no treaties be brought up for consideration during the precious few days of the lame duck session.

“The writers of the Constitution clearly believed that all treaties presented to the Senate should undergo the most thorough scrutiny before being agreed upon,” they wrote in a Sept. 20 letter to Senate majority and minority leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“The American people will be electing representatives and senators in November, and new representatives carrying the election mandate should be afforded the opportunity to review and consider any international agreements that are outstanding at the time of their election.”

The signatories promised to oppose efforts to consider any treaty brought for consideration.

Fast-forward two months, and the Senate has begun consideration of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a United Nations treaty that faces heavy opposition from conservative groups and received only one committee hearing, back in July.

Read more from this story HERE.

Alaska’s Governor & Delegation, Party to Empowering Tyrants & Terrorists

Do we want to redistribute America’s wealth to State sponsors of terrorism while hamstringing our defenses? Passing the Law of the Sea Treaty would do just that, enabling the United Nations to further raid America’s treasury, rob her sovereignty, and further empower the despots of the UN.

Here’s a question for the two Senators from Alaska: why would you be a party to empowering the tyrants and terrorists of the United Nations? Why would Alaska’s Governor Sean Parnell and Lt Governor Mead Treadwell also favor passing this treaty?

Our state’s leadership supports a treaty that would be catastrophic for America.

There have been three UN conventions on the Law of the Sea (LOST), the first in 1956, the second in 1960 (both held in Geneva, Switzerland), and the third in New York, 1973. The third convention finally concluded in 1982. The international treaty became enforceable in November, 1994, one year after the sixtieth state, Guyana, ratified the treaty. 162 countries have ratified LOST.

In its current form, the Law of the Sea consists of 17 parts, containing 320 articles and 9 annexes, governing ocean space, boundaries, environmental control, marine research, economic and commercial activities, transfer of technology and royalties, and the settlement of disputes relating to ocean matters.

In past administrations, the main obstacles to US Senate ratification have been the provisions in Part XI, articles 133 through 191 of LOST defining the area subject to international jurisdiction, and part VI, article 82, describing royalty distribution. All disputes would be resolved at an international tribunal headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.

The US Senate has never ratified the treaty. The Obama administration recently revived it and, although the Senate didn’t actually vote on it, LOST supporters were only one vote short of the 67 needed to ratify it (in the US, treaty ratification requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate and the President’s signature). LOST is sometimes called the ‘Zombie treaty’ because it keeps resurfacing after being rejected by the US Senate.

From my perspective, one of the biggest problems with the treaty is its re-distributive policies. America’s generosity has always been superior to that of any other country. Americans have freely given untold sums of aid to those in need. But now the US is supposed to sign a treaty mandating that Americans must give more, potentially sending trillions of dollars to ‘less developed’ countries, some of whom are known state sponsors of terrorism!

Resource exploration and development in effect becomes distribution of wealth to an ‘international authority.’ Of course, the resource extraction itself can only be done after receiving permission from that ‘authority’ to do so. Beyond our Continental shelf or ‘exclusive economic zone’, a percentage of revenue from resource production such as oil, would be distributed to the UN.

Resource development thus becomes the fuel for global power, a power that will further raid America’s wealth, redistributing it as well as the LOST resource revenues, to our enemies across the world.

I am also very concerned that ratifying LOST would greatly degrade America’s defense capability. The security of our allies throughout the world would be compromised. Access to ocean or maritime areas presently used and protected by the US Navy could be lost as sovereignty is lost to the UN. At risk is peace and liberty for many countries. America must not submit to the power of despots within the United Nations.

As noted above, not only does Governor Parnell and Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell strongly favor LOST, both of our US Senators do as well. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., is pushing for ratification of the treaty, with a vote planned for the lame-duck session after the November elections. Alaska’s two Senators have said they’ll vote for it.

When you analyze treaties such as the ‘Law of the Sea’, the ‘UN arms treaty’, or proposals and policies found in things like the UN’s ‘Agenda 21’, or Coastal zone management, you find a common thread binding them together: internationalism. Either our elected representatives are ignorant, corrupted by special interests that gain from the new regimes, or they are globalists. More likely, they’re a bit of each.

Murkowski wants to sneak through Law of the Sea Treaty in lame duck session this fall

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says she’s hopeful that the Law of the Sea Treaty will pass Congress in the lame-duck session after the election, despite the fierce opposition of some conservatives.

Murkowski told The Associated Press the sea treaty will have better prospects in the Senate when the fall campaign is over. The global maritime pact would establish de facto rules for the nation’s oceans, and business interests say it will create opportunities for offshore drilling.

“This is a treaty that I believe very strongly will contribute not only to our national security, but will allow us a level of certainly in accessing our resources in the north,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) both support the treaty, and Murkowski has championed several other efforts to tap the state’s natural resources. The untapped deepwater oil and natural gas off Alaska’s coast could be a significant economic boon for The Last Frontier and the entire nation, she and many of her Republican colleagues argue.

“I don’t want us, as an Arctic nation, to abandon those opportunities, and we would be doing that if we fail to ratify the Law of the Sea treaty,” Murkowski said.

Read more from this story HERE.

U.S. Chamber: Law of the Sea Treaty Will Pass

The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce– the nation’s premier group representing business interests — said Thursday that he believes the U.S. Senate will pass the Law of the Sea Treaty during its next session.

Despite Tom Donahue’s prediction, the international treaty has been languishing in the Senate for three decades. Just last month, a total of 34 Republican senators went on record as opposing the treaty — and since a two-thirds vote of the Senate is needed to pass it, the treaty seemed as dead as ever.

Donahue told a breakfast of the American Security Project, a bipartisan think tank, that he believes some of those Republicans will change their minds, although it’s hard for them to align themselves with the nation’s top Democrat during a presidential election year.

According to Donahue, passing the treaty is vital to America’s economic and security interests. He says that without it, the United States will not have a seat at the table when it comes to developing offshore oil and gas beyond its 200-mile territorial limit.

Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski both welcomed the news, although a spokesperson for Begich seemed doubtful that Republicans could manage such an about-face.

But Murkowski, a moderate Republican, said she thought such a turnaround could indeed take place. She says that modifcations to the treaty have made it a much better deal for the U.S., and that it would be foolish for the U.S. not to adopt the updated version of the treaty.

“We have been doing serious mapping off the coast of Alaska off our northern waters,” Murkowski said. “And (the treaty provides) the opportunity to claim an area about the size of the state of California, that we could effectively annex as part of an area that would be able to control.”

More conservative Republicans disagree including Joe Miller, Murkowski’s former rival for her Senate seat.

“To transfer two-thirds of the earth’s surface over to the governance of the United Nations is just a crazy thought,” Miller said Thursday. “And whether or not there’s some short-term economic benefit, (it) is a terrible thing to do, if you love this country and are really supporting its continued sovereignty.”

Read more from this story HERE.

UN trying to sucker the US into another bad treaty, this one gutting parental rights

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

This past week, 34 senators, the bare minimum, were convinced to stand against the internationalist Law of the Sea Treaty.  Today, Obama may attempt to subject the US to the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty.  But another bad UN treaty that has not received the same amount of publicity as LOST and the Arms Trade Treaty, is also being considered.  This proposed treaty addresses national laws pertaining to persons with disabilities.  According to Rick and Karen Santorum, parents of a disabled child, the proposed treaty is an attack on the fundamental rights of parents to educate, care, and raise their disabled children:

On the surface, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”) calls for numerous protections for people with disabilities. Many of these protections are consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, CRPD also includes provisions that were drafted by the United Nations and should concern all Americans. If ratified, CRPD would become the law of the land under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, and would trump state laws, and could be used as precedent by state and federal judges. Since it is a treaty, the Constitution requires that it must be ratified by two-thirds of the United States Senate.

There are two very troubling provisions in this treaty. The first spreads the identical standard for the control of children with disabilities as is contained in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that the Federal government, acting under U.N. directions, can determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them. The second, the education provision of CRPD does not support the parental rights rules of past U.N. human rights treaties. Omission of these rules would potentially eradicate parental rights for the education of children with disabilities.

Over the years we have seen many U.N. treaties which can endanger the American way of life by attempting to trump U.S. laws. As a matter of foreign policy, we firmly believe that we should never allow our beliefs and values to be outsourced to outside entities that may not always have our best interests in mind.

On this particular treaty, however, we come at it from a more personal experience.

During our campaign for president, many of you learned about our daughter Bella. She is a special-needs child who has blessed our hearts. In working with health-care professionals, we found that a few advised treatments were not only not helpful to Bella, but could actually be quite harmful. As parents, it was crucial to be involved to make the proper decision for the best benefits of our child. And through our experience caring for her, we found that we are far from alone.

Read more from the Santorums’ critique of the CRPD HERE.

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DeMint and Inhofe: U.N. treaties mean LOST U.S. sovereignty, Liberals intent on imposing backdoor globalism

For years, liberals and misguided State Department officials have pushed for the U.S. Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). This treaty would convey ownership of the oceans to a United Nations agency and give international bureaucrats veto authority over U.S. naval operations and could force the United States to comply with international carbon emissions caps.

Last week, we defeated LOST by securing commitments to ensure it cannot gain the 67 votes needed for ratification.

However, no sooner had the 34th Republican senator signed a letter opposing LOST than the surrender of American sovereignty was put back on the table by foreign diplomats and their internationalist allies in the federal government.

With LOST dead, the new treaties being promoted to take its place include the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, which calls for government agents to supersede the authority of parents of disabled children and even covers abortion. Also, the Obama administration has begun negotiations on a new U.N. treaty to create international gun control rules that could slowly erode our Second Amendment.

The globalist ideologues behind these treaties are either ignorant of or hostile to the universal human experience that problems are best solved by the people and institutions closest to them. So assured are these masters of their mandate to direct the lives and wealth of other people that they see their routine failures to do so efficiently at the local, state and national level merely as reason to ascend to new heights of international command and control.

Read more from this story HERE.


Law of the Sea Treaty, Supported by Alaska’s Governor, Lt. Governor & Congressional Delegation, now DOA

The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty now has 34 senators opposed to it and thus lacks the Senate votes needed for U.S. ratification, a key opponent of the treaty announced Monday.

But the treaty’s main Senate proponent denies the treaty is sunk, saying plenty of time still exists to win support before a planned late-year vote.

The Law of the Sea Treaty, which entered into force in 1994 and has been signed and ratified by 162 countries, establishes international laws governing the maritime rights of countries. The treaty has been signed but not ratified by the U.S., which would require two-thirds approval of the Senate.

Critics of the treaty argue that it would subject U.S. sovereignty to an international body, require American businesses to pay royalties for resource exploitation and subject the U.S. to unwieldy environmental regulations as defined.

The list of treaty opponents has been growing, and on Monday, Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican and a leader of efforts to block it, announced that four more Republicans have said that they would vote against ratification: Sens. Mike Johanns of Nebraka, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio and Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

Read more from this story HERE.

Photo credit:  Department of Defense