- Recently, India reiterated its support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
- India also supported freedom of navigation and overflight, and unimpeded commerce, based on the principles of international law, reflected notably in the UNCLOS 1982.
- India is a state party to the UNCLOS.
- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982 is an international agreement that establishes the legal framework for marine and maritime activities.
- It is also known as Law of the Sea. It divides marine areas into five main zones namely- Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas.
- It is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces. It provides a different legal status to different maritime zones.
- It provides the backbone for offshore governance by coastal states and those navigating the oceans.
- It not only zones coastal states’ offshore areas but also provides specific guidance for states’ rights and responsibilities in the five concentric zones.
- While UNCLOS has been signed and ratified by nearly all the coastal countries in the South China Sea, its interpretation is still hotly disputed.
- There is a maritime dispute in the East China Sea as well.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT