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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Fiji Tuvalu Maritime Boundary Treaty

SUVA, 17 OCT – Today marked a historic occasion for Fiji and Tuvalu as their Heads of Governments Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga signed the Fiji-Tuvalu Maritime Boundary Treaty after many years of negotiation.

The signing took place in Suva and symbolized a significant milestone achievement for both countries as they concluded negotiations on the Fiji-Tuvalu MOU on Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreement.

The treaty formally establishes the extent of the national areas of jurisdiction between Fiji and Tuvalu as recognised in international law under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

It has put to rest all the grey areas in maritime boundaries the two countries used to face in the past.

As neighbouring countries which not only share maritime boundaries but also close economic, political and cultural ties, we have set the pace for the negotiations on the other outstanding maritime boundary treaties that we have yet to conclude,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

“As Pacific Small Island Developing States, we have proven to the international community that we are no strangers to concluding highly technical and complex negotiations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

Fiji’s Prime Minister Bainimarama expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister Sopoaga of Tuvalu for his leadership, political will and commitment to the process.

He also paid tribute to the members of Fiji’s Maritime Affairs Coordination Committee who worked in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, particularly the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division (SOPAC), the Forum Fisheries Agency, Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Australia.

Fiji’s Maritime Affairs Coordination Committee consists of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Attorney General’s Office, Fiji Navy and the Fiji Islands Maritime Safety Administration.

Fiji was the first country to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of Sea.

The last time Fiji signed a maritime boundary treaty was with France in 1983 – more than 30 years ago.

ENDS