On July 6, Saint Lucia signed agreements with Barbados and with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to delimit maritime boundaries with those two States. The signing took place during the Thirty-eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, held in St. George’s, Grenada, from July 4-6.
These agreements are the result of negotiations held between Saint Lucia and Barbados in March 2016 and between Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in May 2017, to determine the maritime boundaries between the States. The Commonwealth Secretariat provided legal and technical advisory support to all negotiating parties.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which the three States are party, entitles them to each claim an Exclusive Economic Zone of up to 200 nautical miles. As a result of the fact that the countries are less than 400 nautical miles apart, it was necessary to delimit their maritime boundaries by applying the principle of equidistance.
The delegations held productive discussions in a spirit of cooperation and openness and agreed on draft text of a maritime boundary delimitation agreement. In all instances, the Heads of Delegation underscored the fact that the negotiations, as well as the draft agreement between the countries, bear testimony to the spirit of cordiality of the negotiations. Prime Ministers signing on behalf of their respective countries were Saint Lucia’s Honourable Allen M. Chastanet, Barbados’ Rt. Honourable Freundel J. Stuart and St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Dr. Honourable Ralph E. Gonzalves.
In the 2016 negotiations, the Saint Lucia delegation was led by H.E. Ambassador June Soomer, while the 2017 negotiations were led by Her Excellency Elma Gene Isaac, Ambassador of Saint Lucia to CARICOM and the OECS. The Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines delegations were led by Ambassador Robert Morris and Commander David Robin respectively.