Ban convenes meeting to resolve border row between Gabon, Equatorial Guinea
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today opened a high-level meeting between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to launch the next phase of the mediation process aimed at resolving a border dispute between the African neighbours.
Today’s meeting, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, is dedicated to the adoption of a formal framework for the mediation process, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
The maritime dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, which emerged in 2003, centres on an island which has oil resources. The two countries have agreed to exploit the area jointly until the dispute is resolved.
In his remarks to today’s meeting, Mr. Ban said the presence of two senior delegations “underscores the commitment of your two neighbouring States to pursue peacefully the settlement” of the dispute.
He said he welcomed the assurances given by both Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba and Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbassago to a UN mission in April that they will reach a solution either through negotiated settlement or by adjudication by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
But he also noted that “only modest progress” has been achieved since the UN began its mediation efforts in 2003.
Mr. Ban added that he will soon appoint a Special Adviser and Mediator to assist the process.