Archipelagic state

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An archipelagic state is a designation used for certain island countries that consist of an archipelago. The designation is legally defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In various conferences,[1] Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Bahamas, and the Philippines are the five original sovereign states that obtained approval in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica on December 10, 1982 and qualified as archipelagic states.[2]

Archipelagic states are states that are composed of groups of islands forming a state as a single unit, with the islands and the waters within the baselines as internal waters. Under this concept ("archipelagic doctrine"), an archipelago shall be regarded as a single unit, so that the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, irrespective of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the state, and are subject to its exclusive sovereignty.

The approval of the United Nations for the five sovereign states as archipelagic states respect[3] existing agreements with other countries and shall recognize traditional fishing rights and other legitimate activities of the immediately adjacent neighboring countries in certain areas falling within archipelagic waters. The terms and conditions for the exercise of such rights and activities, including the nature, the extent and the areas to which they apply, shall, at the request of any of the countries concerned, be regulated by bilateral agreements between them. Such rights shall not be transferred to or shared with third countries or their nationals.[4]

List[edit]

Country Continent Region
 Fiji Oceania Melanesia
Indonesia Indonesia Asia Southeast Asia
 Papua New Guinea Oceania Melanesia
The Bahamas The Bahamas North America North Atlantic Ocean
Philippines The Philippines Asia Southeast Asia

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