Singapore, Indonesia submit final sea border treaty to UN as they celebrate 50th anniversary of ties

Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (left) and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the signing ceremony and exchange of the Instruments of Ratification for the Treaty, on Feb 10, 2017.
Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (left) and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the signing ceremony and exchange of the Instruments of Ratification for the Treaty, on Feb 10, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Foreign Ministers of Singapore and Indonesia on Monday (Sept 25) jointly submitted a treaty that clarifies their sea border in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore to the United Nations for registration, according to a statement released by the foreign ministries of the two countries.

At a ceremony at the Office of the UN Undersecretary-General of Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares in New York, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Ms Retno Marsudi submitted the Treaty Between the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Indonesia Relating to the Delimitation of the Territorial Seas in the Eastern Part of the Strait of Singapore, which was signed in Singapore on Sept 3, 2014.

The two countries exchanged the Instruments of Ratification for the Treaty on Feb 10, 2017, bringing it into force on the same day.

The treaty is the third of its kind between the two countries after they first agreed on the maritime boundary along the central part of the Singapore Strait on May 25, 1973. The first treaty came into force on Aug 29, 1974,

That was followed by another pact on the western section between Indonesia's Pulau Nipa and Singapore's Sultan Shoal signed on March 10, 2009, and which entered into force on Aug 30, 2010.

The latest treaty covers the eastern section of Changi and Batam, and together, the three account for a 67.3km-long sea border in the Strait of Singapore. The treaty excludes an area between Pedra Branca and Bintan island, which involves Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

The conclusion of the third treaty "is a significant milestone in bilateral relations between Singapore and Indonesia and reaffirms the mutual commitment of both countries to resolve complex bilateral issues, including maritime delimitation, in an amicable manner on the basis of international law", said the joint statement that was released on Tuesday (Sept 26).

The joint submission of the treaty on Monday was held in conjunction with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Indonesia.