Landlocked States and the law of the sea
in The law of the sea
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Landlocked States, of which there are forty-three, cannot use the sea unless they have the right to grant their nationality to ships and the right to access the sea across the territory of adjoining States. This chapter begins by explaining that the former right has been guaranteed under international law for a century or more. The chapter goes on to explain that under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, landlocked States also have the right to exercise the freedoms of the high seas, to engage in activities in the Area and, to a limited degree, to exploit the living resources of the exclusive economic zones of States in the same region. However, a right of transit across adjoining States’ territory to access the sea has proved more problematic. The chapter shows that while such a right is granted under a number of multilateral treaties, including the Convention, it is always subject to qualifications. More robust rights are provided by an array of bilateral and regional agreements. In recent years the international community has focused on non-legal, practical measures to facilitate transit, notably in the Almaty (2003) and Vienna (2014) Programmes of Action.

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