PIF: Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones

On 6 August 2021 the leaders at the Fifty-First Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) made a declaration entitled, Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise. The declaration recalls the principles of legal stability, security, certainty, predictability, equity, fairness, justice and good faith that underpin UNCLOS and their relevance in the interpretation and application of UNCLOS in the context of sea-level rise and climate change.

The PIF leaders:

Affirm that the Convention imposes no affirmative obligation to keep baselines and outer limits of maritime zones under review nor to update charts or lists of geographical coordinates once deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Record the position of Members of the Pacific Islands Forum that maintaining maritime zones established in accordance with the Convention, and rights and entitlements that flow from them, notwithstanding climate change-related sea-level rise, is supported by both the Convention and the legal principles underpinning it,
Declare that once having, in accordance with the Convention, established and notified our maritime zones to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, we intend to maintain these zones without reduction, notwithstanding climate change-related sea-level rise,
Further declare that we do not intend to review and update the baselines and outer limits of our maritime zones as a consequence of climate change-related sea-level rise, and
Proclaim that our maritime zones, as established and notified to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with the Convention, and the rights and entitlements that flow from them, shall continue to apply, without reduction, notwithstanding any physical changes connected to climate change-related sea-level rise.

PIF, Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise (6 Aug 2021)

For more information see here.

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