San Andrés litigation: foreign minister says that agreement with Nicaragua cannot be made “with a submachine gun in hand”

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Álvaro Leyva Durán presented the agent and co-agents who will represent Colombia before the International Court of Justice on December 5

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San Andrés litigation: foreign minister says that agreement with Nicaragua it cannot be done

The two questions on which these agents must prepare their defense were revealed. Photo: Colprensa

This Tuesday, November 22, the Colombian Foreign Minister, Álvaro Leyva Durán, appointed the team that will represent Colombia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the dispute that it is holding with Nicaragua, in which it seeks to reach a fishing agreement that protect the roots in the sea of ​​San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. The ceremony took place at the Palacio de San Carlos and the minister gave some statements about what he expects from the next meeting at the ICJ, on Monday, December 5.

In the event, Eduardo Valencia-Ospina, Colombia's new agent, was sworn in. According to information from the Foreign Ministry, he is a renowned jurist, member of the International Law Commission since 2006. He was a special rapporteur on the issue of protection of people in case of disasters. He has more than 30 years of experience with the United Nations legal service and was Assistant Secretary General of the International Court of Justice for 14 years.

Carolina Olarte and Elizabeth Taylor Jay, co-agents before the court, were also inaugurated. Olarte was a member of the National Group of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an international dispute resolution body that operates in The Hague. Currently, she is Dean of Law at the Universidad Javeriana, where she was also an associate professor of international law and director of the “Francisco Suárez” Center for International Law Studies.

She is a lawyer from the University Javeriana and has a master's degree in International Law from Robert Schuman University, as well as a doctorate in law from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. She was a consultant on human rights issues and international investment law, international arbitration and companies.

Taylor Jay is Raizal, born in Providencia. She is a biologist and physicist, with a master's degree in marine environmental protection from the University of Bangor, Wales, in the UK. She was the ambassador of Colombia in Kenya, she was manager of the Coralina Foundation and manager of the Seaflower biosphere reserve, an expert in environmental issues.

The foreign minister described the three agents as a < i>exceptional teamand promised to work intensively with them in view of the next hearings in the case in The Hague, which will be from December 5 to 9.

“It is a good day for Colombia, a a good day for the raizales, a good day for the nation,” Leyva said at the press conference at the end of the event. The official warned the Court in The Hague that “it will have a thousand eyes on it” while it makes this decision, and that an adverse ruling against the Colombians could have repercussions of a global nature.

The foreign minister is aware that the diplomatic situation is tense, but he maintained that a fishing agreement with the Daniel Ortega regime “cannot be made with a submachine gun in hand.”

Likewise, the two questions on which they will have to prepare the defense were socialized. One of them says: according to customary international law, can a State extend its right to a continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured, within 200 nautical miles of another State? ?

The other question asks: what are the criteria, according to customary international law, to determine the limit of a continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline Where is the territorial sea measured from? Do paragraphs 2 to 6 of article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea reflect what customary international law says?