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Maritime delimitation agreement between the DR and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands

The border delimitation agreement between the Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean Sea was signed July 5, 2021.This a major event in modern Dominican history.

With the establishment of its territory and the definition of their areas of national sovereignty.

My book published in 1998, entitled: “The Dominican Maritime Spaces. Legal Situation of the Caribbean Sea ”, tries to expose the need to define our maritime borders, as a fundamental element of development by protecting and guaranteeing marine resources for future generations as well as maintaining peaceful coexistence with our neighbors within the parameters of international legislation.

AAlthough it may seem incredible, there are more boundary agreements pending in the world to be signed than those that have been achieved.

We rejoice at the effort made by both countries to achieve this agreement, through which they establish the delimitation of their border areas in the Caribbean Sea using the principle of equidistance, through the use of a geodetic line, which allows both parties exercise sovereignty and / or jurisdiction over their respective marine spaces.

An important highlight is that the agreement includes the promotion and facilitation of scientific research, as well as collaboration for the protection of its marine areas avoiding pollution.

Maritime delimitation is dealt with in several articles of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ratified by the Dominican Republic on November 28, 2008, to regulate the different maritime spaces.

In the case of the territorial sea, Article 15 establishes the delimitation between adjacent States or those that are located opposite each other, indicating that none of said States shall have the right, unless otherwise agreed, to extend its territorial sea beyond a median line whose points are equidistant from the closest points of the baselines from which the width of the territorial sea of each of these States is measured.

The Convention recognizes to the States the existence of historical rights or other special circumstances, when delimiting the territorial sea.

Articles 74 and 83 of the aforementioned Convention, deals with the delimitation in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf respectively, establish the agreement between the parties on the basis of international law, in order to reach an equitable solution.

Of the six maritime delimitation agreements of the Dominican Republic, we have already signed three, the first with the Republic of Colombia, signed on January 13, 1978, the second with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on March 3, 1979; and forty-two years later this agreement has been reached with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Confiamos que las autoridades dominicanas continuarán impulsando el logro de los tres acuerdos pendientes con la República de Haití, Estados Unidos de América con relación a Puerto Rico y el Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte con relación a las islas Turcos y Caicos.

The fact that the Dominican Republic has declared its status as an archipelagic state through Law 66-07, adds an additional element to the pending discussions with its neighbors to achieve the respective border agreements.

We congratulate the technical team that the authorities involved appointed to achieve this agreement for the delimitation of maritime borders and we are glad to have put a very small grain of sand in the work carried out.

Lludelis Espinal de Oeckel

Presidente E&M International Consulting

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