Govt set to file claims to UN on maritime boundary
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the government is all set to file Bangladesh's claims to the United Nations (UN) on the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.
“We made all preparations to file our claims before the UN much earlier than the deadline of 2011 for submission of such claims and we must refute all unlawful claims of other countries,” she said while addressing a seminar as the chief guest.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organized the seminar titled “Maritime Security of Bangladesh” at its auditorium in the capital.
All the countries concerned in the Bay of Bengal have overlapping claims and all must make necessary compromise to reach an equitable solution, the minister said.
Terming the issue of maritime boundary a matter of serious concern, Dipu vowed to protect the sovereign territory including territorial waters at any cost.
“We want a peaceful solution to the current problem in the Bay of Bengal and our claims are based on prevalent international laws,” she said.
Issues related to the Bay of Bengal are crucial as over 90 percent of Bangladesh's trade is transacted by sea.
It has huge mineral and aquatic resources, which ensure the livelihoods of millions of people and it is also a potential energy source, speakers said.
Bangladesh should register protest against the claims of India and Myanmar to have equitable share of the sea territory, said Commodore Khurshed Alam, former chairman of Mongla Port Authority.
“We should continue negotiations with the countries concerned for a solution,” the written statement read out by Khurshed said adding that unresolved maritime boundary poses a serious threat to maritime security.
BIISS senior research fellow Abul Kalam Azad, energy and mineral resources division's consultant Maqbul-E-Elahi, former ambassador to the UN Harun- ur-Rashid presented papers at the seminar chaired by former ambassador M Afsarul Quader.
Earlier, an annual publication of BIISS titled “Whither National Security Bangladesh 2007” was launched.