Postponed due to COVID-19 virus and ongoing travel restrictions. Rescheduled date to be announced.

Advancing International Maritime Law
Date: TBD
Location: Washington, D.C.

NOTIONAL AGENDA

DAY ONE

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Keynote Address

 

Panel Discussions:

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Revisiting UNCLOS: terms, bodies of law, and historical precedent complicating maritime disputes
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines three distinct areas: territorial waters, exclusive economic zones, and international waters. These areas respectively define a state’s sovereign control, exclusive control with provision for innocent passage, and international freedom of navigation. This panel will revisit the impact and effectiveness of the UNCLOS, identify opportunities for further inclusion, and address challenges to its enforcement

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11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. The geopolitical impact of maritime boundary disputes in the Middle East
In the Eastern Mediterranean, ongoing tensions between Cyprus and Turkey regarding the demarcation of Turkey’s Exclusive economic zone threatens to prevent the capitalization on discovered resources. Turkish dill ships are controversially continuing operation in the region, further fueling tensions. Meanwhile, the decades-old border dispute between Lebanon and Israel becomes ever more in need of resolution as the former begins its first oil and gas drilling operations at the end of 2019. This panel will examine geopolitical realities hampering international maritime law in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, and offer frameworks for their resolution.

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2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. The geopolitical impact of maritime boundary disputes in Southeast Asia
Two decades after the UNCLOS entered into force, territorial waters in Asia remain more disputed than not. However, Southeast Asian nations have proven willing to compromise toward dispute resolution, such as: the 2000 Gulf of Tonkin Maritime Boundary Agreement between China and Vietnam; the 2008 Singapore-Malaysia Pedra Branca Dispute; and the 2009 Malaysia-Vietnam Continental Shelf Joint Submission. This panel will give overview of recent agreements, and the lessons that they hold for the disputes still standing in Southeast Asia.

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3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Effective measures for maritime border delimitation: arbitration, negotiations, and joint areas
According to article 74(1) of the UNCLOS, the delimitation of a maritime boundary has to be effected by agreement on the basis of international law. Normal legal principles of negotiation apply. Negotiations may reach a definitive or provisional agreement Where negotiation reaches an impasse, conciliation and judicial settlement is possible. This panel will examine best practices in resolving maritime disputes and delimiting maritime borders, how to achieve successful negotiations, and the effectiveness of arbitration.

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6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Reception and Private Dinner

 

DAY TWO

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Keynote Address

 

Panel Discussions:

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Freedom of navigation: a critical security imperative
Through the Freedom of Navigation Program, the United States challenges excessive maritime claims that could limit the freedom of the seas. The United States has continued to expand freedom of navigation operations, particularly in the South China Sea. This panel will underscore the importance of diplomatic communications, operational assertions, and bilateral and multilateral consultations in defending freedom of navigation, with attention paid to ongoing developments in the Pacific region.

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11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Commercial considerations of maritime boundary disputes
Over recent times, economic elements – in particular the discovery of hydrocarbons – has both been the source of and exacerbated maritime boundary disputes across the world. Maritime disputes can have a significant impact on international investment decisions. Commercial actors risk limited value to their investment treaties, as well as reputation damage attendant to investing where there exists a dispute as to maritime jurisdiction. Further risks include the potential for regular flare-ups in localized violent conflict. This panel will consider private sector benefits in the realization of economic benefits and the resolution of maritime disputes.

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Book Launch:

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Maritime Disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Way Forward by Roudi Baroudi
Published by the Transatlantic Leadership Network in cooperation with the Brookings Institution Press in Washington D.C.
Edited by: Debra Cagan and Sasha Toperich

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4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks