The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines took an important early step in the negotiation of the Continental Shelf boundary between the two countries through the convening of the Preparatory Meeting for the First Special Meeting of the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns through video conference on 28 October 2021.
In his opening remarks, the Head of the Indonesian Delegation, H.E. Ambassador Bebeb Djundjunan, Director for Legal Affairs and Territorial Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia underlined the importance of the delimitation of the Continental Shelf boundary for the two countries. As the two largest archipelagic countries in the world, the successful completion of the Continental Shelf negotiation between the two countries will contribute to the development of international law through the practice of archipelagic States exercised by Indonesia and the Philippines.
The same hope was expressed by the Head of the Philippine Delegation, H.E. Maria Angela Ponce, Assistant Secretary – Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Philippines ’ Head of Delegation also expressed her hope that the negotiation on the Continental Shelf boundary will not take longer than the negotiation on the Exclusive Economic Zone which commenced in 1994 and was signed in 2014. The Philippines further welcomes the convening of the Preparatory Meeting as a venue to maintain momentum in enhancing bilateral relations.
In the Preparatory Meeting, both delegations have exchanged views on the Principles and Guidelines that will serve as the basic guidelines for the negotiation. Indonesia and the Philippines have also identified their respective base points.
Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to establish a Joint Technical Working Group for the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf that will operate under the mechanism of the Special Meeting for the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns.
Subject to the global health situation, Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to convene the First Special Meeting for the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns through an in-person meeting in 2022.