SUNDAY 05 JUNE 2016 REF.: 35/0506

Obama demands Congress approval of key UN maritime rules

Washington – US President Barack Obama asked Congress to ratify contentious UN maritime rules Thursday, hoping to strengthen his hand in a dangerous stand-off with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.

Addressing the US Air Force Academy in Colorado, Obama said that Congress should approve UN rules designed to peacefully resolve maritime disputes.

This developed as defense ministers and military chiefs from around the world are attending Asia’s largest annual security forum that started yesterday in Singapore. Known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, North Korea’s military provocations and Islamist extremism are expected to dominate the discussions organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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No China Compromise on South China Sea After Philippines Case: Top Chinese Expert

China will not compromise on its notorious nine-dash line claiming nearly all of the South China Sea even after an upcoming verdict on a key international case against Beijing filed by the Philippines, a top Chinese scholar told a key regional forum in Malaysia Wednesday.

Ahead of the verdict on the Philippines’ South China Sea case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague, some scholars and experts had opined that should the Court find that Beijing’s nine-dash line contradicts international law, the Chinese government could clarify the status of the nine-dash line on its own even if it ignores the actual verdict as many expect it to do (See: “Does the Philippines’ South China Sea Case Against China Really Matter?”).

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Environmental Groups Push For Stronger Polar Code

THE FIRST-EVER GLOBAL framework governing commercial shipping in polar zones isn’t even in effect, yet activists and scientists are already pushing for stronger environmental protections.

The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, known as the “Polar Code,” was adopted in a series of votes by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2014 and 2015. The agreement, much of which enters force in January 2017, establishes standards for ships operating in the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.

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Argentine hopes dashed on Falklands, Antarctica: Continental Shelf Commission refused to consider three major claims

In April 2009, Argentina submitted a formal claim to sovereignty over an exceptionally large continental shelf, across hundreds of miles of the sea-bed to the east and south of Argentina. This year, in March, newspapers around the world incorrectly reported the whole Argentine submission had been endorsed.

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