Landlocked States in South America: Past Problems and Future Prospects

Allured, Craig
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Of the approximately 150 nations in the world today, thirty, scattered among four continents, have no direct access to the sea-- they are landlocked. Although these nations are diverse in their histories, peoples, economic, social and governmental situations, they share a number of important problems. The greatest of these shared problems is that of transporting the imports and exports of these nations to and from the oceans, since all states rely in part upon the ocean for the movement of their external commerce and "the landlocked state…can never escape the expense of hauling seaborne goods from the foreign coastal port to its own territory,” and must maintain friendly relations with these coastal neighbors. Two other major problems are shared by landlocked states. The first of these is the fact that such states have been excluded from sharing in the wealth of the continental shelves. The Law of the Sea conventions have set down guidelines for the division of portions of the continental shelf between adjoining nations which border on a shelf, but landlocked states have yet to be given their share, and it has not even been determined whether they are entitled to such a share.
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