The article – proposal of Professor Haris Pamboukis, former Minister of State (2009-2011) supports an International Diplomatic Mediterranean Conference having as aim: (a) the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone/ continental shelf of coastal States (among them Greece and Turkey) and (b) in the event of unsuccessful negotiation, the consensual/bilateral submission of the delimitation disputes in Southeastern Mediterranean to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which, after joining proceedings, will resolve them rein accordance with International Law (as reflected in the Montego Bay Treaty of 1982).
The two-tier procedure aims at finalizing a peaceful, final and total resolution of disputes (due to possible energy resources which provokes antagonism and subsequent tensions).
International Community, and especially Europe, has to take that initiative in order to avoid a military conflict in the region, which is readily dangerous and unacceptable in the 21st Century. The proposal supports a peaceful resolution, combining means of international dispute settlement (negotiaiotons and judicial adjudication, albeit as a two tier obligatory procedure), avoiding the present military tension between Greece and Turkey due to Turkeys neo-ottoman expansionist and aggressive novel plan called «Blue Homeland». The already existing dispute arising from the Turkish -Libya Memorandum and Greece’s – Egypt over overlapping areas needs to be resolved. Yet, the proposal goes beyond as the Conference will have as aim the delimitations of all the Coastal States (, living no space for future residual disputes.
The proposal is in line with International Law, aims at the final and peaceful comprehensive resolution of disputes in that important and sensitive area and will be unreasonable (or in bad faith) for a Country not to accept to participate. Especially Turkey has to accept this, if she is in good faith, avoiding any unilateral military threats with neighbor countries and especially Greece.
Although is a very difficult and technical enterprise , never tried before, it can be achieved with appropriate preparation and good faith.
The area of SE Mediterranean is hypersensitive and after USA’s partial retreat (till at least the forthcoming election, in which. if Biden prevails, we hope at a change of Trumps international policy in the Region) Europe should assume its responsibilities in the region.
The initiative for various reasons, (geographical, political, military) for such a Conference should be taken by France and her visionary President Macron under the present circumstances in the name and with the full support of the European Union plus the understanding of the USA and Russia.
Professor Haris Pampoukis
Professor at Law, Athens Law School – Attorney at Law
Former Minister of State