The delegation of the Republic of Maldives led by His Excellency Mr Ameen Faisal, the National Security Advisor to the President, today gave its presentation to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) which was held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Maldives was due to give a technical and scientific presentation to the United Nations justifying its claims to the extended continental shelf, which lies outside of the Maldives’ 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.
The presentation, which was held on 31 March 2011, was comprehensive briefing to the members of the Commission, on the political, legal, and scientific aspects of the Maldives’ claims to the extended continental shelf. It also forms part of a mandatory requirement for Member States under the Convention.
The Introductory Statement of the presentation, delivered by H.E. Mr Ameen Faisal, highlighted the historical aspects of the Maldives submission and the substantial benefits it will give to the Maldives, especially to the fisheries sector. Delivering the Legal Statement, H.E. Mr Abdulla Muizzu the Attorney General, focused on the legal justifications of the Maldives’ claims and updated the members of the Commission on the methodology and legal arguments used under International Law, to make the Maldives submission. Maj. Mohamed Ibrahim, Director of Coast Guard in the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), in delivering the Technical Statement highlighted the scientific nature of the claims based on geological and geomorphological data in the region, while in her Closing Remarks, H.E. Ms Hawla Ahmed Didi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave a brief summary of all the topics covered in the presentation.
The Maldives’ presentation to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is a major achievement for the country in claiming the extended continental shelf in the Laccadive Ridge, and is the first time it has done so to the United Nations. The Maldives’ submission was well-received by the members of the Commission and will now begin the process of analyzing the scientific data and other materials which make up the Maldives submission.
The Delegation of the Republic of Maldives also included, H.E. Mr Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, Permanent Representative to the UN; Ms. Thilmeeza Hussain, Deputy Permanent Representative (New York); Ms. Aishath Liusha Zahir, Deputy Permanent Representative (Geneva); Brig. Gen. Abdullah Shamaal, Director-General for International Defence Cooperation of the MNDF and Mr Amin Javed Faizal, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission to the UN.
The Maldives ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in September 2000, and made its submission to the United Nations on 26 July 2010, as per Article 76 of the Convention.