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UN commission to consider claims

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 11, 2009) – Solomon Islands in recent weeks submitted four extended continental shelf claims to the United Nations in an effort to meet UN deadline of May 13th 2009, stipulated by the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention.

Three of the four submissions were joint claims. Two were trilateral and one bilateral.

The trilateral claims include one between Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu in relation to the North Fiji Basin submitted last month.

The second trilateral joint claim was submitted Wednesday between Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Federated States of Micronesia on the Ontong Java Plateau.

All submissions are in different status and levels.

Solomon Islands also made a joint bilateral submission with Fiji on the Charlotte Bank Region last month.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Barnabas Anga said Solomon Islands’ fourth national submission was made in relation to Solomon Islands Rennell archipelago.

The submissions are expected to be discussed with the UN Continental Shelf Commission in the latter part of the year also in New York.

"The Ministry acknowledges the good work done by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification in particular Donn Tolia, Solomon Islands Special Coordinator on Continental shelf and his staff," Mr. Anga said.

He also commended the members of the National Continental Shelf Committee and all donors that have supported the Government including the United Nations, Norway, AusAid, SOPAC and the Commonwealth Secretariat in making the submission possible.

Mr. Tolia is currently in New York following the issue.

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