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Ambassador at Large and Special Representative of the President for the Law of the Sea Conference Nomination of Elliot L. Richardson, With a Statement by the President.

January 25, 1977

The President, upon the advice of the Secretary of State, announced today the nomination of Elliot L. Richardson to serve as Ambassador at Large and as Special Representative of the President for the Law of the Sea Conference.

The Law of the Sea Conference, which began officially in 1974, involves negotiations among more than 150 nations--virtually all of the nations of the world. Its purpose is to develop a Law of the Sea Treaty, to provide a stable legal framework for the governance of the world's oceans.

President Carter has previously demonstrated an interest in sea laws. In 1974, as Governor, he proposed and had adopted by the National Governors' Conference a resolution to send a representative to the Law of the Sea Conference in Caracas.

In announcing Elliot Richardson's appointment, President Carter noted: "The oceans comprise over two-thirds of the Earth's surface. But we have been slow to .appreciate their increasing importance-the importance of their environmental integrity to our quality of life; their vast potential as a source of minerals, energy, and protein; and the essentiality of their freedom of use for the security and well-being of all nations.

"While there has been some progress toward the negotiation of a satisfactory treaty, many important issues remain unresolved. At stake are competing national interests in freedom of navigation and use of the seas, in ocean resource development, in the advancement of ocean science, and in environmental protection.

"The Secretary of State and I consider the Law of the Sea negotiations to be a very high priority. My nomination of Elliot Richardson, with his extensive experience and abilities, testifies to the importance I personally attach to achieving success in these negotiations.

"Elliot Richardson brings to this challenge a unique combination of legal and international experience, including direct experience with the complex issues involved in Law of the Sea negotiations.

"I am confident that the United States will be most ably represented in these negotiations and hopeful that, with the good will of other nations, a treaty may be successfully negotiated to serve the interests of all mankind."

Selected biographical facts regarding Elliot L. Richardson are as follows:

Elliot Richardson's legal experience includes: editor, Harvard Law Review; partner in Boston law firm, Ropes Gray; United States attorney for the district of Massachusetts; Massachusetts attorney general; and United States Attorney General.

His international experience includes service as: legislative assistant to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Under Secretary of State (in which capacity he chaired the NSC committee which had jurisdiction for Law of the Sea); Secretary of Defense; and Ambassador to the Court of St. James.

As Secretary of Commerce, Elliot Richardson took a special interest in the oceans. He worked to develop, enact, and implement the Coastal Zone Management Act Amendments of 1976--and the associated $1.2 billion Coastal Energy Impact program--and worked with the State and Transportation Departments to implement the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976, known generally as the 200-mile limit bill. He advanced the argument for creation of a Cabinet Committee on Oceans.

Elliot Richardson is the only American to have served in four Cabinet positions. This appointment is his ninth Presidential appointment under four Presidents.

Jimmy Carter, Ambassador at Large and Special Representative of the President for the Law of the Sea Conference Nomination of Elliot L. Richardson, With a Statement by the President. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242906

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