Archipelagos and archipelagic States have often been understood as similar by those who are not aware of various legal implications. They are often both seen in geographic terms, which refer to groups of islands. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) defines an archipelagic State as a State constituted wholly by one or more archipelago which may include other islands and have specific legal rights and obligations. The term ‘archipelagic State’ began to be seriously debated after World War II, in which mid-ocean countries consisting of...
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