Singapore, Indonesia submit third sea border treaty to UN

The foreign ministers of Singapore and Indonesia on Monday 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 two nations' foreign ministries.

At a ceremony at the office of the UN Undersecretary-General for 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 this year, 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 islands, 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 yesterday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline Singapore, Indonesia submit third sea border treaty to UN. Subscribe