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Date: 15/11/2007
CONTINENTAL PLATFORM COMMISSIONS BEGIN TO BECOME REALITY

Minister of Foreign Affairs Victor Borges will preside over the first meeting next Wednesday, November 21, of the Intergovernmental Continental Platform Commission.




Officially created several months ago by the Council of Ministers, the Commission will have the task of justifying the extension of the area considered Cape Verde’s “continental platform” beyond the current 250 nautical miles.

Made up of representatives from various different sectors, the Intergovernmental Continental Platform Commission will have slightly more than a year to conclude a document justifying Cape Verde’s intentions to extend its exclusive territorial waters. The document must be submitted to the United Nations by May 13, 2009, the date its Convention on the Law of the Sea is to be disbanded.

The Intergovernmental Commission, according to a reliable source, will have as its most immediate task the “selection of a technical staff capable of justifying Cape Verde’s intentions on a scientific foundation.”

Portugal is among a number of countries that recently managed to extend their official continental platforms. Last August, its became the first country in the world to be given jurisdiction over an area beyond 200 nautical miles, “adding” a “chunk” of the sea near the Azores to its territory.

Portugal managed to persuade the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that the area in question is a hydrothermal field whose biological wealth should be protected.




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