The Law of the Sea and Landlocked States
Landlocked states need access to the sea by means of transit through one or more neighbouring coastal states. Without this right of access, landlocked states would not be able to exercise their rights in terms of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Landlocked states’ right of access to and from the sea is confirmed by the existence of ‘freedom of transit through the territory of transit States by all means of transport’. UNCLOS further determines that the states concerned must enter into bilateral, sub-regional or regional agreements on the terms and modalities when exercising their UNCLOS rights. It is important to understand what should be considered and negotiated in these agreements.