119 nations sign Sea Law; US among 22 non-signers

A total of 119 delegations signed the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention. The United States, Britain, West Germany, and Japan were among 22 countries declining to sign.

The treaty will remain open for signature for two years and will not enter into force until 12 months after being ratified by 60 countries.

The non-signers were warned by conference president Tommy Koh of Singapore that they could not expect to benefit from any of its provisions and would face grave consequences if they attempted seabed mining on their own.

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