Maritime dispute: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire agree guidelines on boundaries
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have agreed to develop a document that will show the plotted maritime boundary for both countries.
The document will be developed at the third meeting of the joint committee on the implementation of the decision of the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), scheduled for October 2018 in Cote d’Ivoire.
The agreement was arrived at during the joint committee’s second meeting in Accra to deliberate on outstanding issues holding up the implementation of the ruling by the Special Chamber of the ITLOS on the maritime boundary dispute and the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
In a communiqué signed by the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, on behalf of Ghana and the State Mediator for Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Adama Toungara, and issued in Accra after the two-day meeting, Ghana indicated that it had reviewed the chart with the plotted coordinates of the maritime boundary as provided by ITLOS and found them to be acceptable in principle.
The chart was submitted by Cote d’Ivoire at the joint committee’s May 2018 meeting in Abidjan.
The three-point communique also indicated that, “The parties subsequently jointly plotted the seven coordinates and azimuth in accordance with the ITLOS decision and have agreed to execute a document evidencing the plotted maritime boundary at the next meeting scheduled for October 2018 in Cote d’Ivoire.”
Coordinates are a group of numbers used to indicate the position of a point, line or plane, while an azimuth is a horizontal angle or direction of a compass bearing.
According to the communiqué “the parties have also agreed to discuss the draft framework agreement on cooperation in the areas of maritime boundary, hydrocarbons and other natural resources between the two countries at the next meeting.”
In 2014, Ghana instituted arbitration proceedings at the ITLOS to ensure the resolution of its maritime boundary dispute with Cote d’Ivoire.
On Saturday, September 23, 2017, the Special Chamber of the ITLOS, constituted to hear the dispute, unanimously declared that Ghana had not violated Cote d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration activities.