The Permanent Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monday opened a three-day technical workshop titled 'Technical Aspects of the Maritime Boundaries, Baselines and Maritime Zones of the State of Qatar' in co-operation with the British Cooley Consulting Office at the Diplomatic Club.
John Brown addressing the workshop
Delegates interacting at the event
This workshop is a follow-up of the one organised in January 2020, its main objective is to train the largest possible number of delegates on the use of the electronic maritime map of Qatar, in addition to addressing issues related to the rights and duties of states in various maritime areas.
The workshop also addresses the basic technical principles of hydrography and cartography and their application to the maritime boundaries, baselines and maritime zones of Qatar, in addition to introducing electronic maritime charts and how to use them, given that the committee is still studying the project of issuing an electronic marine map for Qatar.
The workshop aims to enable participants to understand the importance of the technical aspects of maritime areas and borders, the legal principles behind the demarcation of borders, and to have hands-on experience of the use of the electronic maritime map that has been specially prepared for Qatar to show the maritime zones, for use in operations within those areas.
The secretary of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, Mariam Nasser al-Hail said: “The electronic maritime map is still a draft project but it has not yet been approved by the Council of Ministers. The seminar aims to train those concerned and the specialists, and the technicians in Qatar on how to use it through practical exercises. To understand the Qatari maritime zones and to exercise our maritime sovereignty. The delegates will have hands-on practice.”
John Brown from Cooley Consulting Office (UK) gave a brief overview and said: “You have a major event coming next year, the World Cup, and there will be a lot of interest. The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Law of the Sea have undertaken a marvelous project to fully define all their maritime zones, where they can exercise their sovereign rights over the seabed and define their maritime boundaries with their neighbours, and they have taken this and made a submission to the UN in New York.
"When you have defined boundaries and maritime spaces then every state have rights under the UN Convention of the Sea as to what they can do. The seminar brings together a number of participants from different specialist areas from different ministries so that they will have a common understanding of the technical side which can be a very complicated area. The advantage of the seminar is that everybody will know where the fields are, they can see the charts, the diagrams and where the boundaries are, so they will have no problem in finding them.
"The idea is to have people in Qatar have a good understanding of the rights and responsibilities within the maritime zones. When you have an area that is complicated technically, it is good that people have a common understanding of how to draw the maritime zones. People think it is simple we just take 12 miles off the coast, no you have islands, different features that you have to take into account, it is something that you get experience over time, and I am pleased to pass on experience to people in industries and ministries. There will be a lot of practice in the workshop and we will put theory into practice to reinforce the understanding.”
The seminar was attended by 21 delegates from different ministries and authorities, the Ministry of the Interior represented by the General Administration of Coasts and Borders Security and the Permanent Committee for the Management of Seaports, the Qatari Amiri Naval Forces affiliated to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Transportation, QatarEnergy, the Lands and Survey Department of the Ministry of Municipality, and Qatar University, all of whom interacted in a constructive way during the seminar.