The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea1 prescribes a regime for the exploration of the deep sea bed, ie the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, known as the 'Area'2. The Area and its resources3 are the common heritage of mankind4. States may not claim or exercise sovereignty or sovereign rights over any part of the Area or its resources, nor may any state or natural or juridical person appropriate any part of it5. No such claim or exercise of sovereignty or sovereign rights or appropriation will be recognised6.
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