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On Sept. 6, Guyana submitted an application under Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for an extended continental shelf.
By extending the continental shelf, Guyana will have exclusive jurisdiction over the resources under the seabed -- that would include any hydrocarbon or mineral deposits, said Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett.
“Guyana made its full submission of a claim to an extended continental shelf to the United Nations. That submission is expected to be formally and orally presented by Guyana to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf at its next session in April next year,” she explained.
According to the provisions of convention, a limit of 150 nautical miles can be added to the continental shelf from the 200-nautical-mile outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of coastal states, she pointed out.
“It is useful to recall that last year the Maritime Zones Act came into force. The promulgation of that comprehensive and modern act constituted another key component of the government of Guyana’s strategy, which is aimed at ensuring that Guyana and Guyanese can benefit from the resources in our maritime zones and to protect our rights in and to them,” she emphasized.
The extended continental shelf would likely require Guyana to reset maritime boundaries with its neighbors.
There was no time schedule for when such a decision would be made.