U.S. Deposits Instruments of Ratification for the 2005 Protocols

Delivery of two IMO protocols to Fred Kenney, Chief Legal Officer for the IMO (L) by U.S. Permanent Representative to the IMO Edward Heartney (R). Visible are the signatures by President Obama and Secretary Kerry.

ISN Press Statement
August 28, 2015

U.S. Deposits Instruments of Ratification for the 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and the 2005 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf

Today, the United States deposited its instruments of ratification for the Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (“2005 SUA Protocol”) and the Protocol of 2005 to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (“2005 Fixed Platforms Protocol”) —together called the SUA Protocols.  The United States will be the 37th State Party to the 2005 SUA Protocol and the 32nd State Party to the 2005 Fixed Platforms Protocol, thereby further demonstrating its commitment to global nonproliferation efforts and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation.  Ratification of the 2005 SUA Protocol by the United States is in line with our pledge made at the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Tenth Anniversary High Level Political Meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

The SUA Protocols provide the strongest tools yet for states parties to prevent terrorism and promote nonproliferation on the seas.  The SUA Protocols establish the first international treaty framework for criminalizing certain terrorist acts, including:

(1) use of a ship or fixed platform to carry out a terrorist attack;
(2) unlawfully transporting WMD and/or WMD delivery systems, including dual use; or
(3) transporting terrorist fugitives on the high seas.

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the United States called for negotiations on reliable international legal instruments that would address existing gaps in preventing and responding to acts of nuclear terrorism and nonproliferation.  The SUA Protocols opened for signature in 2005 and entered into force in 2010.  These Protocols (concluded under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization) responded to the recognized need, following 9/11, for a more effective international regime to combat maritime terrorism and to strengthen counterproliferation efforts.

Photo: Delivery of two IMO protocols to Fred Kenney, Chief Legal Officer for the IMO (L) by U.S. Permanent Representative to the IMO Edward Heartney (R). Visible are the signatures by President Obama and Secretary Kerry.  The two protocols are the 1) Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Marine Navigation, and 2) the Protocol of 2005 to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.