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The Oceans: An Updated Global Governance Monitor Issue from the Council on Foreign Relations

My colleague Dr. Stewart Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations writes:

With today marking the forty-first celebration of Earth Day, I am delighted to announce the relaunch of Global Governance Monitor: Oceans. The entire package has been updated to reflect shifts in the ocean governance regime since the project’s initial launch last year.

Oceans are literally the source of life on earth. They shape the climate, feed the world, and cleanse the air we breathe. But the world’s oceans are being threatened by a dizzying array of dangers, from piracy to climate change. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea offers fundamental legal principles for ocean governance, but could be updated, and much work remains in coordinating national actions within and across regions. To be good stewards of the oceans, nations around the world need to embrace more effective multilateral governance.

The Global Governance Monitor is an online, multimedia guide that tracks, maps, and evaluates multilateral efforts to address global challenges. The Monitor is a co-production of the International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program at the Council on Foreign Relations and the production studio MediaStorm.

This updated component of the Monitor features:

  • A mini-documentary providing a cinematic overview of the challenge of oceans governance.
  • An interactive timeline tracing the history of international efforts to deal with the management the world’s oceans, beginning in 1419 through the present.
  • An issue brief summarizing the current status of the international oceans regime (including remaining gaps and choices for U.S. policy).
  • A matrix cataloging all relevant international agreements, arrangements, and organizations, including their coverage, strengths, and shortcomings.
  • An interactive map detailing which countries have ratified or have yet to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • A list of resources, including foundational texts, recent articles, and relevant CFR scholars on the subject.

This, along with the Monitor’s components on nuclear nonproliferation, finance, climate change, public health, and armed conflict can be viewed here: www.cfr.org/ggmonitor.

This is an amazing resource! As someone who has done work on the Law of the Sea for many years, I find this to be a great pedagogical tool Kudos to Stewart and the Council for developing it!

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Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.