Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guyana and Suriname Settle Boundary Dispute

Two Caribbean nations have settled a maritime boundary dispute at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague. The Arbitration Tribunal Award 'establishes a single maritime boundary between Guyana and Suriname that differs from the boundaries claimed by each of the Parties in their pleadings before the Arbitral Tribunal' (PCA Press Release Sept 20, 2007). The map at left is the Tribunal's Delimitation Line in the Territorial Sea and it and other maps and information may be found in the Award.

The Tribunal was constituted in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to Wikipedia, the UNCLOS is 'a set of rules for the use of the world's oceans which cover 70% of the Earth's surface'. Seventy percent! When you think about it that's a reminder that whatever I've done in GIS so far, is really very little! The Convention came into force in 1994, and to date, 154 countries and the EU have joined the Convention. The United States has not joined.

The PCA had dealt with another Caribbean maritime dispute in 2006, between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, 'relating to the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf between them'.

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