SOPAC - Applied Geoscience and Technology Division - SPC

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Fiji Islands

Newsflash

SOPAC and technical partners coordinated assistance to help four Pacific Island Countries make recent maritime sovereignty history. In April 2010, representatives from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga made successful presentations to the United Nations for their respective extended seabed areas. These submissions are made pursuant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.

Two presentations were made in New York; the first was a joint presentation by the governments of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands for the joint Art 76 submission on the Ontong Java plateau. The second was a presentation by The Kingdom of Tonga for the south eastern area of the Kermadec Ridge.
The area claimed in the joint submission is for over 600,000 sq km of shared pacific seabed. The area claimed is larger than the combined land mass of the three pacific islands countries involved. It is also significant that for the first time, three Pacific Small Island Developing States have successfully worked together to conclude a joint MOU and submission to the United Nations.