The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has praised former President John Mahama’s courage to start the legal process at the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) despite concerns that it could have been misinterpreted as a hostile act by Cote d'Ivoire and that Ghana could have lost the case.
According to the NDC in a statement signed by the National Chairman of the party, Dr Kofi Poturphy, the party is proud to have played a leadership role in securing this legal victory and securing the important resources for the country.
The statement also paid tribute to "the late President John Evans Atta Mills who foresaw the danger that a prolonged maritime border dispute posed for the development and security of our two sister countries...", and also established the permanent Maritime Border Secretariat.
The ITLOS Special Chamber on Saturday, September 23, 2017 in its judgment read by Judge Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber rejected Cote d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable and also ruled that Ghana has not violated Côte d'Ivoire's sovereign rights with its oil exploration activities.
Below is the statement from the NDC
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS
STATEMENT ON THE RULING OF INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA IN THE MARITIME BORDER DELIMITATION BETWEEN GHANA AND LA COTE D’IVOIRE
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) this morning delimited the maritime border between Ghana and la Cote d’Ivoire. Substantially the court confirmed Ghana’s historical position – a legal victory for Ghana.
The NDC congratulates the judges of the Special Chamber on their comprehensive and clear analysis of the issues and on a fair ruling. We congratulate the governments of Ghana and of La Cote d’Ivoire for seeing this dispute through peaceably and in a brotherly spirit. We also congratulate the Ghanaian legal and technical team and their support staff of their hard and very impressive work.
The ITLOS ruling also represents a victory for pan-African collaboration, diplomacy, and international rule of law. Our two countries have managed a potentially divisive and even explosive dispute with great calm, maturity, and wisdom. We can now put this dispute behind us and look forward to many years of continued collaboration in shipping, fishing, oil and gas and other subsea resource development between our countries.
We would be remiss if we did not pay tribute to the late President John Evans Atta Mills who foresaw the danger that a prolonged maritime border dispute posed for the development and security of our two sister countries and West Africa. Prof Mills established the permanent Maritime Border Secretariat. He tasked the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, to resource MBS so it could attract and deploy Ghanaian expertise and develop our national strategy for resolving the dispute.
We acknowledge President Mahama’s courage in launching the ITLOS case despite concerns that this could be misinterpreted by our neighbours as a hostile act and that Ghana could lose the case at ITLOS. President Mahama recognised that protracted bilateral negotiations posed greater danger to our bilateral relations than a swift, conclusive, impartial, and authoritative ITLOS ruling. He resisted pressure to withdraw the case and maintained support for the ITLOS process until the judges retired to write their judgements last year.
The NDC is proud to have played a leadership role in securing this legal victory and securing these important resources for the country.
Long Live Ghana!
Long Live la Cote d’Ivoire!
Sir Dr Kofi Poturphy