Norway is assisting the two West African countries Sierra Leone and Guinea in negotiations on delimitation of the maritime boundary between them. This weekend, Sierra Leone and Guinea signed an agreement on submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, with a view to resolving outstanding border issues.
“This will give the two countries, which are both poor, greater jurisdiction over the resources in their own sea areas. This will be an important contribution to the fight against poverty,” State Secretary Ingrid Fiskaa said.
Ms Fiskaa attended the signing of the agreement in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, at the weekend. The agreement makes it possible for Sierra Leone and Guinea to continue the process to establish the outer limits of their continental shelves.
The agreement was signed by Guinea’s Foreign Minister, Dr Edouard Niankoye Lama, and Sierra Leone’s acting Foreign Minister, Ebun A. Jesu.
“Norway’s experience and insight have proved very valuable in connection with these efforts. In a poor region that has been affected by conflict, cooperation between the countries is very important,” Ms Fiskaa said.
The development of the international Law of the Sea after the Second World War has been an important factor in Norway’s prosperity and development as a welfare state. Now other countries are also benefiting from this experience.
Norwegian diplomat Hans Wilhelm Longva has helped the countries conclude the agreement. In addition to Guinea and Sierra Leone, Norway is giving assistance of this kind to Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal. The countries receive legal and technical assistance to collect data on the sea areas off their coasts. This is essential if the maritime boundaries are to be determined in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Communications Adviser Svein Bæra, mobile phone: +47 916 72 042, email: