Friday, May 27, 2011

Minerva Reef Belongs to Fiji: Bainimarama

Fiji Live News - 27 May 2011

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has put all queries on the much publicised and debated Minerva Reef to rest revealing that it is inside Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

His comments follow claims made by the Tonga government’s Chief Secretary, Busby Kautoke that they have strong evidence “to suggest that the full might of Fijian Sea Power, on the instructions of the Fijian government, was deployed to attack” a beacon set up by the Tongan government at the reef. 

Commodore Bainimarama told FijiLive the coordinates deposited and specified in the Marine Spaces Act defines Fiji’s EEZ. 

“Fiji determined its EEZ according to the principles outline in United Nation Convention on The Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” he said.

“Geographical coordinates obtained generating Fijis EEZ goes beyond Minerva Reef which determines that Minerva Reef is inside Fiji’s EEZ.” 

Commodore Bainimarama said Fiji is a party to the 1982 UNCLOS has complied with the requirements of article 75 of the Convention. 

Article 75 (2) provides “The coastal State shall give due publicity to such charts or lists of geographical coordinates and shall deposit a copy of each such chart or list with the Secretary-General of the United Nations”.

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