Nicaragua and Colombia Commit to Upholding The Hague Rulings
In a pivotal move towards resolving a long-standing maritime dispute, the governments of Nicaragua and Colombia have reached an agreement to abide by the border rulings handed down by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This accord came to fruition during a high-level meeting in Paris, marking a significant step forward in Latin American diplomacy.
The Hague’s Maritime Delimitation Ruling
The ICJ, located in The Hague, Netherlands, rendered a decision on November 19, 2012, that introduced a new maritime boundary between Nicaragua and Colombia. It recognized Colombia’s sovereignty over the San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina archipelago while granting Nicaragua a substantial expanse of a 75,000-square-kilometer maritime zone previously managed by Colombia. The resolution of this maritime delimitation has been in the haze of contention, with Colombia initially rejecting the 2012 ruling.
Recent Developments in Paris
On November 10, 2023, representatives from both nations—Nicaragua’s Ambassador Carlos Argüello Gómez and Colombia’s Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva Durán—convened in Paris and consented to establish bilateral commissions tasked with ensuring fulfillment of the ICJ’s ordinances. These commissions aim to facilitate transit and fishing rights as well as safeguard the biosphere of raizal communities within the newly delineated areas, as mandated by The Hague.
“The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity wishes to inform that during the Paris meeting, consensus was reached to assign the Bilateral Commissions the duty of proposing accords related to fishing for the Raizal populace, environmental concerns, and the demarcation of zones as indicated by the court,” the Nicaraguan government reported.
For more than a decade, the dispute over maritime borders has spawned diplomatic friction between the two countries. In a series of events, the ICJ issued directives in 2022 for Colombia to halt its interventions in Nicaraguan maritime jurisdictions. Subsequently, Nicaragua petitioned the court to extend its continental shelf further than 200 nautical miles—a request that was ultimately denied by The Hague.
Resolution and Recognition
July 2023 marked a turning point when both Nicaragua and Colombia formally recognized the 2012 maritime delimitation ruling by The Hague, after the court turned down Nicaragua’s request for an enlarged continental shelf that would overlap with Colombian territory. This recognition paves the way for improved relations and enhanced environmental protection in the region.
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This article has been reported and updated with new information on 11.11.2023 by Sputnik World.