Ghana, Ivory Coast set up joint Committee to implement ITLOS ruling

Ghana and Ivory Coast have established a joint Committee to oversee the implementation of the recent judgment by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), over the two countries’ maritime border dispute.

Following a declaration by Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that the dispute and its eventual resolution had strengthened the relationship between the two neighbouring nations, the Committee has been put in place to ensure that the terms of the judgement are upheld.

The Chamber in a unanimous decision on Saturday, September 23, 2017, had ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.

The Chamber rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable. It also noted that, Ghana has not violated Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration in the disputed basin.

There were suggestions that the ruling would mar diplomatic ties between the West African neighbours, but this announcement appears to have dismissed those fears.

In a joint communique signed by Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Marcelamon Tanoh, Foreign Affairs Ministers of Ghana and Ivory Coast respectively, on the Ivorian leader’s recent visit, the two nations agreed to cooperate to ensure the Tribunal’s judgement is implemented.

“Both Presidents acknowledged the spirit of brotherliness with which the maritime dispute between the two countries was handled from the beginning, and in this connection, the two leaders expressed their commitment to ensure the smooth implementation of the ruling by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the two countries,” the communique said.

“In order to achieve this, the two leaders announced the establishment of a Joint Committee for the Implementation of the ITLOS judgement and indicated that the composition of the Committee would be decided later.”

The two leaders also expressed their commitment towards strengthening the relationship between their nations across various sectors including the economy, cocoa production, defence and transport.

“The two Presidents also agreed to meet at least once every year, alternately in each other’s country to guide and promote the implantation of the common strategic policies,” the communique added.

Nana Addo also presented President Ouattara with  “The Companion of the Star of Ghana, Honorary Division,” which is Ghana’s highest honour for a civilian in honour of his fight against social injustice and his efforts to ensure peace both on the continent and globally.

“President Ouattara expressed his gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the very warm welcome and brotherly hospitality accorded him and his delegation in Ghana,” the statement concluded.

Below is the joint communique released by the governments of Ghana  

OFFICIAL VISIT TO GHANA BY HIS EXCELLENCY ALASSANE OUATTARA PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COTE D’IVOIRE

1. At the invitation of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, paid a working and friendly visit to Ghana from 16th to 17th October, 2017.

2. President Ouattara was accompanied by a high powered delegation comprising Ministers of State, members of Government and several Senior Officials. The full list of the delegation is attached as Appendix I.

3. The Government and people of Ghana warmly welcomed the Ivorian delegation in a true demonstration of the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality.

4. President Ouattara expressed his appreciation to the Government and people of Ghana for the overwhelming love and enthusiasm shown him from the moment he set foot on Ghanaian soil and indicated that his visit and that of President Akuffo-Addo’s visit to Cote d’ Ivoire in May this year was a clear manifestation of the exemplary ties between the two countries.

5. He thanked the Government and People of Ghana for the immense support and solidarity demonstrated during the Ivorian crisis and fondly recalled the crucial role played by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was then the Foreign Minister of Ghana, by taking a principled and objective stance that ensured the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. In this connection, President Ouattara thanked President Akufo-Addo for his personal efforts in ensuring the return of Cote d’Ivoire to the path of democracy.

7. The two Presidents held fruitful deliberations on a wide range of issues in a very cordial and fraternal atmosphere.

8. The two leaders also reviewed Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire bilateral relations, and agreed to continue to build on the existing special bonds of kinship and cooperation for the mutual benefit of their peoples.

9. To this end, both Presidents indicated their commitment to ensure the continuous deepening of brotherly ties beyond the existing framework for bilateral cooperation, such as the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation, and agreed to boost the
momentum of Ghanaian-Ivorian Cooperation by establishing a strategic cooperation framework referred to as the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which covers the following areas: a) Defence and Security (b) Cocoa and Cashew and other strategic crops; (c) Maritime Cooperation (d) Mining, Energy and Environment (e) Transport; and (f) Economic Policies.

10. The two leaders noted that peace and security constituted a sine qua non for development and therefore, agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of Defence and Security to combat human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking and the proliferation of arms.

11. Both Presidents agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation for the development of a win-win strategy for a sustainable cocoa industry. In this regard, the two leaders expressed commitment to the ongoing discussions between the Ghana Cocoa Board and Le Conseil Café-Cacao to develop joint marketing strategies in the international trading platform and other related issues in the industry, and pledged to work together to enhance border security to curb the smuggling of cocoa.

12. Both Presidents acknowledged the spirit of brotherliness with which the maritime dispute between the two countries was handled from the beginning and, in this connection, the two leaders expressed their commitment to ensure the smooth implementation of the ruling by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the two countries.

13. In order to achieve this, the two leaders announced the establishment of a Joint Committee for the Implementation of the ITLOS judgement and indicated that the composition of the Committee would be decided later.

14. The two Presidents also agreed to meet at least once every year, alternately in each others country to guide and promote the implantation of the common strategic policies.

15. After two days of deliberations, the two countries signed the following Agreements:

 Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire;

 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire for Geological and Mineral Cooperation;

 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire for Industrial Cooperation.

 Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Joint Technical Experts Sub-Committee for the Monitoring of Pollution from the Illegal
Mining activities in the Bia and Tano River Basins shared between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

16. President Akufo-Addo bestowed the honour of “The Companion of the Star of Ghana, , Honorary Division”, Ghana’s highest civilian national honour on President Ouattara for his untiring efforts at ensuring social justice, peace and security at the domestic as well as the international level for his leadership qualities.

17. President Ouattara expressed his gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the very warm welcome and brotherly hospitality accorded him and his delegation in Ghana.
DONE AT ACCRA THIS 17TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2017 IN THE ENGLISH AND FRENCH LANGUAGES, BOTH TEXTS BEING EQUALLY AUTHENTIC.
HON. SHIRLEY AYORKOR BOTCHWEY, MP,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION OF REPUBLIC OF GHANA

H.E. MR. MARCELAMON TANOH

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF COTE D’IVOIRE

By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana