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The Third Conference on the Law of the Sea marked a watershed in the emergence of African diplomatic and legal activities within the international system. Analysis of those states' participation therefore not only provides a template for the study of bloc activity at this level; it also adds the comprehensive analysis of African participation at UNCLOS III and, finally, it should also reveal the means by which states can more effectively impact global political and legislative processes.
This study evaluates the extent to which the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) concept represents an attempt by African states to allot to international law the task of correcting inequities between nations, and the future implications of such linkage. It critically explores and analyzes the conceptual framework that initiated action by African states in UNCLOS III, and it examines their attempts to operationalize this framework by their substantive participation in the negotiations. Finally, the study explores the future implications of African activity in the international legal and political system.
In this evaluative process the author suggests the need for greater insight in conceptualizing the role of African states as a bloc within the international system. Only in this manner can a better appreciation be had of the important role African states are playing as contributors in the formation of contemporary international law.