Posted by: Andi Arsana | September 5, 2008

Bangladesh to settle maritime boundaries with India and Myanmar

There are news recently saying that Bangladesh is about to settle its maritime boundaries with Myanmar and India. Delegation of Bangladesh has left for Myanmar early this month for this purpose and will start the talks with India later this month.

I observed there ais mix of issues in the news: maritime boundary delimitation with neighbors and the delineation of the outer limits of continental shelf. I think the media reports may be interpreted incorrectly as some of them mix up the two. Maritime boundary is something Bangladesh needs to settle with India and Myanmar, while delineating outer limits of continental shelf is something to do unilaterally. Only, Bangladesh needs to make a submission for this to the UN CLCS, not to International Seabed Authority, as a media wrote. This particular process has its deadline, ten years after the entry into force of the UNCLOS for Bangladesh. However, the settlement of maritime boundaries with neighbours has no deadline.

Bangladesh has been facing the boundary dispute with India for almost three decades now and is hoping to resolve it soon. The reason for the media to relate this maritime boundary delimitation process with the delineation of continental shelf by Bangladesh is probably because the delineation and submission prepared by Bangladesh have something to do with the pending maritime boundaries with India and or Myanmar. For example, Bangladesh is looking at delineating the outer limits of its continental shelf around the area where the dispute is. Therefore, it makes sense that the delimitation is associated with the deadline of Bangladesh submission to the UN CLCS.



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