Eastern Mediterranean Talks

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN TALKS (EMTs)

“Maritime Boundaries Delimitation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea”


The initiative is co-organised by the Consortium for the Study of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy (CONSMAR)* and the Maritime Policy and Strategy Research Centre of the University of Haifa. It consists of a series of webinars focusing on maritime boundary delimitations in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

*Ankara University National Center for the Sea and Maritime Law (DEHUKAM), ASCOMARE, Centro interdipartimentale di Ricerca sull’Adriatico e il Mediterraneao (CiRAM), International Centre for Ocean Governance (ICOG) – Western Sydney University.

Concept:
Covering a network of maritime and coastal areas stretching for over 1,500,000 square kilometers, with a total population of about 320 million distributed among Greece, Türkiye, Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Lebanon, Israel, Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), Palestine, Egypt and Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean Sea region is an important cultural, socio-economic and ecological hub. Promoting an inclusive and informed dialogue on matters of regional relevance becomes, therefore, essential to strengthen cooperation and stability in the region, from which international peace and security at large directly depend. This is all the more the case of discussions on maritime boundary delimitation, where legal and political divergences, as well as geographical and historical positions often contribute to hindering the reaching of a common agreement among States.

The contemporary law of the sea architecture, as largely encapsulated in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), of which Israel, Türkiye, Syria and Libya are not contracting parties,
provides for a number of well-consolidated principles, rules and mechanisms on the delimitation of maritime boundaries that can be used by States to settle their boundary disputes. The effectiveness of these means, however, strongly depends on a shared understanding of the international regulatory framework in place, as well as on the nature of problems affecting the reaching of a final boundary delimitation agreement.
Against this backdrop, the EMTs aims at putting together renowned specialists from all the Eastern Mediterranean Sea’s countries and territories to engage in a technical debate on this sensitive issue.

The virtual discussion will address the practice of maritime boundary delimitation starting from the principles of international law governing the subject to the different approaches adopted by the relevant regional actors. The EMTs strive to find common starting points to guide the approach of States and territories in the region regarding matters related to maritime boundary delimitation.

In the impasse of diplomacy, international law can fill the gap and reconcile the classical law dilemma between predictability and flexibility. A solution halfway between these two antipodes could help untangling many knots in the region. The discussion will also be inspired by interesting hints coming from the recent solutions adopted by States to define their maritime borders in other maritime regions.

Session 1 (20 October 2022) – hosted by DEHUKAM:

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