Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The governments of Indonesia and the Philippines have taken an important first step to start negotiations on the continental shelf boundary by holding the first special meeting of the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns online on October 28, 2021.
During the meeting, Indonesian delegation chairperson Bebeb Djundjunan, who is the Director of Legal and Territorial Agreements at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized the importance of determining the continental shelf boundary lines of the two countries.
As the two largest archipelagic countries in the world, the success of Indonesia and the Philippines in completing negotiations on the boundaries of the continental shelf would contribute to the development of international law of state, especially archipelagic countries.
That statement was in line with the expectations of Philippine delegation chairperson Maria Angela Ponce, who serves as Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.
She hoped that the negotiations on the continental shelf boundaries would not take as long as the ones on the Exclusive Economic Zone boundaries, which began in 1994 and were signed in 2014.
The Philippines welcomed the holding of the preparatory meeting in order to maintain the momentum to continue to improve good relations between the two countries.
At the preparatory meeting, the two delegates exchanged views on the principles and guidelines that would be used as the basic reference for the negotiations.
In addition, Indonesia and the Philippines have also identified their respective base points.
The two countries have also specifically agreed to negotiate the continental shelf boundaries through the establishment of the Joint Technical Working Group on the Delimitation of Continental Shelf (JTWG-DCS) which will be under the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns on the Delimitation of Continental Shelf (Special Meeting of JPWG-MOC on the DCS).
Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to hold the first special meeting of the JPWG-MOC on the DCS in 2022, face-to-face taking into account the global situation which is recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
Reporting by Indonesia Window