UNCLOS (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     8th September 2023        

Context: Prime Minister of India recently emphasised while addressing the East Asia Summit that "the need of the hour is an Indo-Pacific where international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), applies equally to all countries, where there is freedom of navigation and overflight.


  • About: An international agreement that establishes a legal framework for all maritime and marine activities.
  • Origin: Signed in 1982 it came into effect in 1994.
  • Headquarter: Kingston, Jamaica.
  • Members: 168 countries.

o14 Members including USA, Iran, UAE, Afghanistan and others have signed the Convention but have not ratified it.

o15 United Nations member and observer states have neither signed nor acceded the convention. It includes Israel, Turkey, Peru, Uzbekistan etc.

o India has been a party to the convention since 1995.

East Asia Summit:

  • Initiated in: 2005, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Objective: It is as a premier Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability, and economic prosperity in IndoPacific region.
  • Members: 18 members, the ten ASEAN Plus Six mechanism (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea) along with, Russia and the United States, both were added in 6th summit, 2011
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