Canada: Ratification of Sea-bed Treaty

State Canada
Treaty Sea-bed Treaty
Action Type Ratification
Depositary Government of the United States of America
Date 17 May 1972
Note

In depositing its instrument of ratification of the Treaty, the Government of Canada made certain statements which are contained in the Canadian Embassy’s note No. 134 of May 17, 1972, which reads as follows:

“The Embassy of Canada presents its compliments to the Department of State and has the honor to refer to the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and on the Ocean Floor and on the Subsoil thereof.  The Instrument of Ratification of the Treaty by the Government of Canada is attached for deposit today May 17, 1972.

“In depositing this Instrument of Ratification, the Government of Canada declares as follows:

(i) In the view of the Canadian Government, the provisions of Article I, paragraph 1, cannot be interpreted as indicating that any state has a right to implant or emplace any weapons not prohibited under Article I, paragraph 1, on the seabed and ocean floor, and in the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, or as constituting any limitation on the principle that this area of the seabed and ocean floor and the subsoil thereof shall be reserved for exclusively peaceful purposes.

(ii) In the view of the Canadian Government, the provisions of Articles I, II and III cannot be interpreted as indicating that any state but the coastal state has any right to implant or emplace any weapon not prohibited under Article I, paragraph 1, on the continental shelf, or the subsoil thereof, appertaining to that coastal state, beyond the outer limit of the seabed zone referred to in Article I and defined in Article II.

(iii) In the view of the Canadian Government, the provisions of Article III cannot be interpreted as indicating any restrictions or limitation upon the rights of the coastal state, consistent with its exclusive sovereign rights with respect to the continental shelf, to verify inspect or effect the removal of any weapon, structure, installation, facility or device implanted or emplaced on the continental shelf, or the subsoil thereof, appertaining to that coastal state, beyond the outer limit of the seabed zone referred to in Article I and defined in Article II.

“The Embassy of Canada avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Department of State the assurances of its highest consideration.”

The views of the Government of the United States of America with regard to the Canadian statements are contained in the Department of State’s note to the Canadian Embassy, dated October 31, 1972, which reads as follows:

“The Department of State acknowledges the receipt of Note No. 134 of May 17, 1972 from the Embassy of Canada to which was attached the instrument of ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof, deposited by the Government of Canada on that date.

“It is the understanding of the Government of the United States that the declaration of the Government of Canada contained in the aforementioned Note is based on the premise that the Treaty does not affect the rights of States under existing international law with respect to activities not prohibited by the Treaty.  The Government of the United States concurs in this premise and takes the view that any and all rights existing under international law prior to the conclusion of the Treaty and not falling within its prohibitions remain unaffected.  Note is taken of the fifth preambular paragraph of the Treaty, which reads as follows:

‘Convinced that this Treaty will further the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in a manner consistent with the principles of international law and without infringing the freedoms of the high seas, . . .’”

Other Actions Signature on deposit with London — 11 February 1971
Ratification on deposit with London — 17 May 1972
Signature on deposit with Moscow — 11 February 1971
Ratification on deposit with Moscow — 17 May 1972
Signature on deposit with Washington — 11 February 1971