China and Japan are embroiled in a territorial dispute about sovereignty over the Diaoyutai (Chinese: 钓鱼台) or Senkaku Rettō (Japanese: 尖閣列島).
How could this dispute be reconciled? Is there any path that could, additionally, provide a model for the management of similar disputes in future?
The classic method of solving such disputes is to submit to mediation or, should that fail, to simple arbitration or to binding arbitration. These methods are widely used in other contexts and often prove successful. In mediation, a disinterested party assists the disputants in finding common ground and a solution. An arbitrator, or a panel of arbitrators, defines a solution; but it then remains for the disputants to decide whether they shall accept the result of arbitration. Binding arbitration requires the disputants to have agreed, before arbitration begins, that they will be bound by the result. The ups and downs by which successive efforts can lead, despite setbacks, to a conclusive settlement is illustrated by the Beagle Channel dispute between Argentina and Chile.
I propose an alternative in this case: that the islands and their surrounding sea be designated an International Park, a joint gift to global collaboration from the governments of Japan and China. They could agree that any resource extraction from the surrounding sea be treated as the common heritage of all mankind. This phrase—coined by the Maltese diplomat Arvid Pardo—lies behind provisions in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for the management of the seas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
Arvid Pardo was one of the first three staff members of the United Nations, upon its formation in 1945. He was later Maltese ambassador, and has been called father of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Hence I propose this be named Arvid Pardo International Park.
[Political Design 2012.09.24. Post A38. Short Link p=451. Front Door Index: http://www.learnworld.com/DESIGN/uncategorized/arvid-pardo-international-park/ Permalink: http://www.learnworld.com/DESIGN/uncategorized/arvid-pardo-international-park]