The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also known as the Convention on the Law of the Sea, is an international convention that emerged from the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), held between 1973 and 1982. The Convention establishes the rights and obligations of nations with regard to the exploitation of the oceans, establishes guidelines for businesses, the environment and the management of the natural resources of the sea. The 1982 Convention replaced the 1958 Convention on the High Seas. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, one year after Guyana ratified the treaty as its 60th nation.  Since June 2016[update], 167 countries and the European Union have joined the Convention. It is not known to what extent the convention codifies international customary law. In addition, some columnists and analysts at the think tank have argued that U.S. adherence to the convention would affect the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), under which the United States and more than a dozen allies have agreed to submit certain vessels that may pose a non-proliferation risk. Indeed, the Convention expands the list of justifications for prohibitions on navigation presented in its predecessor, the 1958 Convention on the High Seas, to which the United States has been insinuated for more than forty years. Among the many legal bases that can apply to PSI bans are the jurisdiction of coastal states in their coastal seas, the right to board stateless vessels, an agreement to board the high seas with a flag state (the country of origin of a sea ship) and the inherent right to self-defence. Indeed, several allies have recently expressed concern that the United States has not ratified the convention and said that this failure could weaken the PSI.
The agreement fully addresses all of the concerns expressed by President Reagan a decade earlier. The technology transfer requirements – a major objection in 1982 – were removed from the agreement. In 2017, the Un General Assembly (UNGA) voted to convene an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to study the creation of a legally binding international instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity outside the national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The Intergovernmental Conference will meet for a series of four sessions between 2018 and 2020 to move towards an agreement.  New negotiations began in 1990 on the provisions of the deepwater mining agreement. These discussions ended in 1994 with a new agreement on deepwater mines, which expressed all the concerns identified by the Reagan administration ten years earlier.