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Denmark claims the North Pole

Denmark claims the North Pole

15-12-2014 14:00:00


The Danish Government, together with the Government of Greenland ,filed claims on the continental shelf north of Greenland to the UN Plinth Commission - a 895,541-square-kilometer sea area which implies the North Pole.

"Our filing of the claim on the continental shelf north of Greenland is a historic and important milestone for the Kingdom of Denmark. The purpose of this huge project is to define the outer limits of our continental shelf and thus - ultimately - for the Kingdom. We have had a very good cooperation in the commonwealth and with our Arctic neighbors in this process," said Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard.

"Now we look forward to the constructive meetings with Plinth Commission and the subsequent bilateral negotiations with neighboring coastal states," says Martin Lidegaard.

The scientific data material behind the claim is presented to the so-called Plinth Commission through the UN Secretary General in accordance with the procedure laid down in UNCLOS, which the Kingdom of Denmark ratified in 2004.

A state has no further claim to the continental shelf within 200 nautical miles from its coast. Requirements beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast must be corroborated by specific evidence.

Experts on this basis, have since 2002 gathered and processed data among others from the area north of Greenland in the submission of submissionen for treatment at CLCS.

This work was performed under the so-called Continental Shelf Project, headed by Education - and Research Ministry in collaboration with both the Foreign Ministry and other supreme and regulatory authorities as the country guides respectively Faroe Islands and Greenland.
The submissionen north of Greenland is the fifth area, which the Kingdom of Denmark claims.

The first part of the submission - north of the Faroe Islands - was filed in April 2009, and the following regarding the area south of the Faroe Islands in December 2010. In June 2012, the Kingdom of demark admitted one submission on the area south of Greenland, and in November 2013 submitted to submission on area northeast of Greenland.

Extensive evidence from many states are already awaiting treatment of CLCS, and it is therefore difficult to predict when the treatment of the Danish/Greenlandic submission will be initiated.

Norway's continental shelf, which is beyond 200 nautical miles, overlaps the Danish/Greenlandic requirements. There is potential overlap from respectively Canada, Russia and the United States. After the treatment in CLCS, it will subsequently be up to the parties themselves to negotiate bilateral agreements in cases where there are overlapping claims. These negotiations will be conducted in accordance with the International Law of the Sea rules, as stated in the Ilulissat Declaration of 2008.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Maritime Denmark


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