Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire Make Joint Pledge On ITLOS Ruling

Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire have pledged their respective commitments to the historic judgement of the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

The Special Chamber sitting in Hamburg, Germany, over the weekend, disabled any future effort by Cote d'Ivoire to lay claim to the maritime boundary between the two countries in the Atlantic Ocean when it dismissed the suit filed by Cote d'Ivoire.

The Special Chamber ruled that to delimit the new maritime boundary, it would use a new Land Boundary Terminus (LBT) that it had set at BP55plus, thus rejecting the different LBTs (geographical coordinates of BP55 in the case of Ghana and 168 degrees azimuth line in the case of Cote d'Ivoire) put forward by the two countries respectively in the course of the trial.

Immediately the court gave its verdict, representatives of the two countries issued a joint statement reiterating their commitment to abide by the decision.

Gloria A. Akuffo, Ghana's Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who acted as agent, signed for Ghana while Adama Toungara, who is an Advisor to President Alassane Quattarra, acting as agent, signed for Cote d'Ivoire.

“Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana accept the decision, in accordance with the statute of ITLOS,” Ms Akuffo, who read the English version of the joint statement, said.

“Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana seize this opportunity to reiterate the mutual commitment of the two countries to abide by the terms of this decision from the Special Chamber and to fully collaborate for its implementation.

“The two countries affirm the strong will to work together to strengthen and intensify their brotherly relationships of cooperation and good neighbourliness.”

The statement further indicated, “On behalf of the presidents and the peoples of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, I would like to express our gratitude to the Special Chamber of ITLOS for the courteous attention with which the proceedings were conducted.”

The joint statement also commended the Registrar of the Tribunal and his team for the “admirable efficiency with which the case has been managed, resulting in expeditious hearing to the mutual benefit of both parties. We are united in the expression of our gratitude to the Special Chamber.”

From William Yaw Owusu, Hamburg-Germany

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