In December 1970, with no dissenting votes, the United Nations General Assembly declared that the resources of the sea bed beyond national jurisdiction are the common heritage of mankind. We dreamed of pooling these resources for the service of mankind, and they include an estimated 2.25 trillion barrels of oil (possibly amounting to half of the total world reserves) and enough nodules containing manganese, cobalt, copper and nickel to supply the world for thousands of years. In 1970, after several years of preliminary backing and filling, the United Nations decided to call a world conference, generally known as the Law of the Sea Conference, for the purpose of implementing this dream. Almost 150 nations met in Caracas, Venezuela, from June 20 to August 29, 1974. The results were amazing.
Aaron L. Danzig,
A Funny Thing Happened to the Common Heritage on the Way to the Sea,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol12/iss3/10