SOLOMON Islands and Vanuatu are showing good examples to the world on solving issues on the maritime boundaries.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare stated this after Solomon Islands signed a Maritime Boundary Agreement with his counter-part from Vanuatu, Charlot Salawai in Port Vila last Friday.
Sogavare said the signing came about after 33 years and based on customs and cultures, unlike the South China seas where it is under dispute.
He said if they follow the law of the sea, they will not come to this agreement.
Therefore, Sogavare said it’s a good lesson for countries in the world not to fight but follow customs to address their maritime borders.
Vanuatu Prime Minister, Salawai also emphasized the same sentiment the signing was a powerful lessons to show the world.
“We don’t follow the law of the sea, we follow the customs,” he said.
Furthermore, Sogavare said negotiations started long time ago at the official levels before they signed it.
He said the likes of late Senda Fifi’I was some of the people involved in the official level of negotiations in the past.
Moreover, in the Pacific Islands region, there are approximately 49 shared and overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and almost 70 per cent of these have been successfully negotiated and signed by the respective leaders.
The treaty between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands will be the 36th Maritime Boundary agreement to be signed to date.
The successful conclusion of this latest maritime agreement also fulfills one of the regional ocean policies, namely the Pacific Oceanscape Framework’s key strategic priorities to formalise maritime boundaries and secure rights over ocean resources.
By EDDIE OSIFELO