The Bahamas: Brent Symonette, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas, and Cuban Ambassador Jose Luis Ponce signed an agreement delimiting the maritime boundaries of The Bahamas and Cuba. The geographic coordinates that form this medium line between The Bahamas and Cuba were generated by a software called ‘Clarisoft’ in conjunction with GIS.
“Boundary delimitations, by their very nature are complex and multifaceted. This seemingly simply drawn line is the result of many years of dialogue, compromise and perseverance,” Symonette said.
The agreement is also of importance to The Bahamas because of its security implications for the country, allowing for more effective border management, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ponce said the agreement reaffirms the close traditional bonds of friendship, mutual respect and understanding between the two countries.
“The agreement recognises The Bahamas as an archipelago state [consistent] with the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea,” Ponce said. “In accordance with this agreement, The Bahamas and Cuba agreed to cooperate on navigational safety, marine scientific research, preservation and protection of the marine environment and other areas of common interest.”
Both countries came to an agreement in 1982 in Jamaica during the United Nations Conference on the Laws of the Seas and the agreement was approved by cabinet on September 29 of this year, according to Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Joshua Sears. “Since the birth of this nation in 1973, a major goal was concluding agreements on the delimitation of the national borders of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” Symonette added.
“This exercise has always been of great national importance because at the core of this issue rests one critical concept: The very notion of where The Bahamas begins and ends.” Sears recognised the efforts of Bahamian public servants who participated in the negotiation process that resulted in the conclusion of the agreement. He and the minister also applauded the work of the former director general, George Stewart, who represented The Bahamas at the third Laws of the Seas Conference and advanced the position of the country on the international stage.