FIG PUBLICATION NO. 59

International Boundary Making

FIG Commission 1
Professional Standards & Practice


     


This publication as a .pdf-file (188 pages - 5.17 MB)

Contents

Preface

Editor and Authors

Foreword

Introduction

Abstracts

PART I
A METHODOLOGICAL COMPREHENSIVE INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY MAKING MODEL

Chapter 1: The Process of International Boundary Making
Haim Srebro and Maxim Shoshany, Israel

Chapter 2: The Order of Precedence of Boundary Definitions
Haim Srebro and Maxim Shoshany, Israel

Chapter 3: A Model of Boundary Delimitation in a Peace Agreement
Haim Srebro, Israel


PART II
PRACTICAL CASES


Chapter 4: The Israel–Jordan International Boundary
Haim Srebro

Chapter 5: Demarcation of the Iraq–Kuwait Boundary
Miklos Pinther

Chapter 6: Contribution and Challenges for Surveyors in the Establishment of International Boundaries – Cases in Africa
William A. Robertson

Chapter 7: The Nepal–China and Nepal–India Boundaries
Buddhi N. Shrestha
 


Preface

CheeHai Teo
President
International Federation of Surveyors


Robert Frost in “Mending Wall” poetically said, “good fences make good neighbours”. In the same vein, our Profession believes good boundaries make good fences that make good neighbours. This must particularly be so with international boundaries, as good boundaries unite rather than divide. The consequence of good international boundaries should promote and contribute towards peace and shared prosperity. This publication addresses surveying methodology and experiences in the delimitation and demarcation of international boundaries. The process of international boundary making is generally categorised into four recognised phases. They are: the preparations for an agreement, boundary delimitation, boundary demarcation and, boundary maintenance and administration.

Surveying for the delimitation and demarcation of international boundaries is highly specialised.
The team of contributing authors, Miklos Pinther, Bill Robertson, Maxim Shoshany, Buddhi Shrestha and Haim Srebro, who are also professionals and practitioners, must be congratulated for their diligent efforts leading to this publication. It is an accomplishment for this team of authors, from diverse background yet eminent in their experience and expertise, under the able leadership of Haim Srebro, Editor for the publication. The support from the team’s families, employers, and FIG member organisations are equally appreciated. FIG thanks the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors for co-sponsoring the printing of this publication.

FIG extends gratitude to the United Nations Cartographic Section for their contribution to this publication, in particular the peer review carried out by Ms. Ayako Kagawa, Mr. Ghassan Mkhaimer and Mr. Kyoung-Soo Eom. It is the hope that this publication will enhance information, knowledge and practices for the delimitation of international boundaries towards the promotion of peace throughout the world.

December 2013


Editor and Authors

The following experts and institutions are acknowledged for their valuable contributions to this FIG Publication: Editor and Contributing Author

Dr. Haim Srebro
is a senior consultant on mapping and boundaries and author of books on these subjects. Former Director General of the Survey of Israel (2003–2012). He participated as a leading figure in the delimitation of the international land and maritime boundaries of Israel. Since 1994 he is chair of the Israel–Jordan Joint Team of Experts regarding the international boundary. He is vice chair of FIG Commission 1. He was FIGWW2009 Congress Director. E-mail: haim.srebro@gmail.com.

Other Contributing Authors (in alphabetical order)

Miklos Pinther,
retired. Former Head, Cartographic Department, The American Geographical Society (1969–1977). Former Chief Cartographer, United Nations (1985–2001). He was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Iraq–Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission at the time of this demarcation. E-mail: pinther@optonline.net.

Dr. William Alexander (Bill) Robertson ONZM
has been involved in the demarcation of five international boundaries in Africa and Asia. He has also acted as an independent consultant on various World Bank
Land Administration projects and for the United Nations. Previously he served as Director General and Surveyor General of the New Zealand, Department of Surveying and Land Information. Bill is a Past President of the New Zealand Planning Institute and a Past President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners. E-mail: billrobertson@xtra.co.nz

Prof. Maxim Shoshany
is a Professor of remote sensing at the Department of Transportation and Geo-Information, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology. He was in the past head of the Geography Department at Bar Ilan University.
E-mail: maximsh@tx.technion.ac.il

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha
is the former Director General, Survey Department of Nepal. Currently he is working as the Managing Director of Bhumichitra Mapping Co. He is the Board Member of ‘Institute of Foreign Affairs’ nominated by Nepal Government. He has authored seven books on border demarcation and management of Nepal. He was involved in Nepal–India and Nepal–China Joint boundary Committees. He is the President of Nepal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
E-mail: bordernepal@gmail.com.
 


Foreword

Dr Bill Robertson ONZM FNZIS
New Zealand Institute of Surveyors

It is a privilege to write this forword for this important FIG publication on international boundary making. The New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and I are proud to be part of the publication under the editorship of Haim Srebro, a highly experienced international boundary consultant. With this pedigree it presents an authoritative and knowledgeable outline of the surveyor’s role and challenges in international boundary making. It serves its purpose well in promoting the sharing of information, methodological knowledge and experience required in the delimitation and demarcation of international
boundaries. As such it fills an important gap in publications on the subject of international boundary determination. Over the last century there have been numerous determinations of international boundaries and many books and papers on this. However, these are invariably concerned with the legal and political dimensions of international boundaries. Thus, this collection of surveying methodology and experience is particularly timely in emphasising the role of surveying and describing the range of processes and procedures involved. It records a full surveying and demarcation methodology that has existed previously only in the scattered records of various international boundary projects. The contents confirm surveying for international boundaries is of a high level specialist nature and that the surveyors’ role demands a wide portfolio of surveying expertise. These range through documentary research, geodetic surveying, digital imagery and mapping, reconnaissance, ground marking and positioning etc. The references to the surveyor working within strict legal and political parameters are most valuable and highlight the serious constraints imposed on surveying activity and conduct in the international legal and political arena. The proposed methodology for establishing a boundary making process between two states provides a very useful survey guidance model avoiding the need to continually reinvent from surveying first principles. The process of international boundary making is categorised in the four generally recognised phases. These are the preparations for a boundary agreement, boundary delimitation, boundary demarcation, and boundary maintenance and administration. All phases require significant surveyors’ input. The compilation of chapters from five well experienced authors on seven different international boundaries provides a wealth of surveying experience. It contains a depth of learning through the application of survey practice in a wide variety of historic, physical and political circumstances. References to International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration and other cases provide authoritative sources for detailed follow up by readers and practitioners. This publication is timely and it provides comprehensive documentation and guidance on a specialist topic of surveying that has been lacking up until now. It is a very good reference publication for all involved or interested in international boundaries and fills a gap both in surveying and international boundary literature. FIG is to be congratulated on producing this publication at this time as a valuable service to the international surveying community.


December 2013


Introduction

Haim Srebro, Editor

This FIG Publication elaborates on the process of boundary making. Its purpose is to propose a comprehensive methodology for establishing a boundary making process between two states that wish to constructively and fairly settle their international boundary together. It begins with preparations for a boundary agreement and continues with the boundary delimitation, the boundary demarcation, boundary documentation, and boundary maintenance, including considerations regarding long-term boundary maintenance and administration. The methodological part, chapters 1–3, includes a model for initiating a boundary making process, an order of precedence of boundary definitions, and a model for the boundary chapter in a peace/boundary agreement. This part is augmented by reflections made in the second part regarding the methodology, including those of William Robertson in chapter 6 regarding the role of the surveyor in the process.

Part two, chapters 3–7, includes practical cases of delimitation of international boundaries. Many lessons can be learned from these diverse cases regarding disputes and regarding the models and mechanisms used for dealing with the issues. We focused on land boundaries between states. The practical cases have been especially selected in Asia and Africa, two continents in which a significant part of their area had been controlled by colonial governments. Most of the new states that have been established since WWII are in Asia and Africa. Owing to formal decisions and practical trends, the international boundaries of the post-colonial states follow the colonial boundaries and, thus, inherited the delimitation problems mentioned above. The presented practical cases refer to such boundaries. The Israel–Jordan boundary was defined in a peace treaty, following bilateral negotiations between the two sovereign states. All the relevant activities were achieved by collaborative work between the parties. This boundary serves as a successful model for implementing the methodological model of the boundary-making process. A joint team of experts of boundary surveyors (JTE) was fully integrated into the process from its beginning and continues today to be a major contributor to successful ongoing boundary maintenance and boundary administration.

The Iraq–Kuwait boundary is the first international boundary demarcated by a special Demarcation Commission in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution. The boundary line had been demarcated through a systematic methodological process. An international surveying team carried out the decisions of the Commission and contributed to its success.

Three boundaries in Africa are presented in the FIG Publication. The Ethiopia–Eritrea boundary – A special international Boundary Commission was established in a peace agreement between the states for interpreting the delimited and demarcated colonial boundary according to international law. A professional surveying team successfully supported the commission’s work. Lack of a full agreement
between the two states regarding the placement of boundary markers prevented the completion of the task. The Cameroon–Nigeria boundary – The two states agreed to establish a common boundary committee chaired by the UN, in order to implement the decision of the International Court regarding the international boundary between them. The level of involvement of the two states regarding the decisions and their execution was very high. A joint technical committee (JTT) was established for implementing the decisions. The Abyei boundary Sudan – The parties established a special arbitration tribunal regarding the reliability of the interpretation of a previous boundary committee (ABC) that had discussed the colonial historical boundary, which was subjected to an arbitration agreement and the law of the Permanent Court for Arbitrations, The process has not yet been completed.
 


Abstracts

Chapter 1: The Process of International Boundary Making
Haim Srebro and Maxim Shoshany, Israel

This chapter elaborated on the issue of the boundary-making process and proposed innovations by adding two designated stages to the traditional three stages. The three traditional theoretical stages include the allocation, the delimitation of the boundary, and its demarcation on the ground. These stages were reviewed including the interrelationship between them. The basic terms and definitions were also reviewed. The two additional designated stages, proposed in this chapter, include the preparation of mutually agreed precise documentation, and implementation of boundary maintenance. Mutually agreed upon precise documentation of the boundary, which is adequate for boundary maintenance and boundary restoration, is considered to be the most important tool for preventing future conflicts over the location of the boundary. Adequate ongoing boundary maintenance is an important contributor to maintaining continuous boundary stability. This chapter also analyzed the interrelations between the political and technical stages and the associated activities. We believe that a joint effort in following the proposed model, including thorough preparation of the delimitation line and the treaty, to ensure the proper incorporation of the main essential elements, greatly contributes to stabilizing the boundary. This, supported by ongoing joint boundary maintenance, will prevent future boundary disputes, thus, contributing to peace and security for all the parties.The proposed model has been successfully implemented during the last nineteen years along the international boundary between Israel and Jordan.

Chapter 2: The Order of Precedence of Boundary Definitions
Haim Srebro and Maxim Shoshany, Israel

The objective of this chapter is to introduce an order of precedence of boundary definitions that results from analysis and evaluation of the implementation of boundary definitions throughout the boundary making process. The use of such an order of precedence may improve new boundary delimitation and may contribute to better evaluations of boundary evidences when restoring old boundaries. This analysis refers to the boundary making process as described in Chapter 1. Chapter 3 presents the implementation of such an order of precedence in a new peace agreement, and shows a method
of envisaging later activities such as demarcation and documentation in the early stage of boundary delimitation.
The authors of this chapter recommend making a list of order of precedence. This list is based on judgments of ICJ and of international Tribunals, on the practice of states and on the practice of the authors during the tracing of several international boundaries. The adoption of the conclusions may prevent future boundary disputes all over the world and thus may contribute to peace. Stable international boundaries contribute to peace all over the world. The achievement of stability and the finality of the boundary is one of the primary objects according to the International Court of Justice (ICJ reports, 1962, 34). There are various ways of defining the boundary lines. The traditional ones, which were put into practice in unilateral Orders or formal Declarations, or in bilateral Agreements, include verbal descriptions, graphic charts or schemes, maps, coordinates, or a combination of them.
Sometimes their quality is poor and sometimes there are contradictions between various definitions. Such cases do not contribute to the stability of the boundary. Since the boundary-making process takes time, problems may arise as early as the demarcation phase, when the definition of the boundary in the delimitation has to be transferred in practical terms to the ground in the implementation stage. Furthermore, in time, physical markers may disappear and the boundary line may require restoration. The political status regarding the two sides of the boundary may also change, and disputes and conflicts may arise with regard to the location of the boundary line. The solution of such a conflict can be resolved either by bilateral negotiations, or conciliation, or arbitration by an international Tribunal and sometimes by the International Court of Justice itself. Such a solution will always depend on defining a final boundary line, based on various evidences of the boundary delimitations, which are available to the Tribunal or the Court.
This article deals with the order of precedence, given to the various boundary definitions in the delimitation and demarcation stages, in order to provide the boundary engineer with essential information about the measures, methods, and techniques that should be used during the boundary-making process, to ascertain a stable, final, easy-to-restore boundary.

Chapter 3: A Model of Boundary Delimitation in a Peace Agreement
Haim Srebro, Israel

This chapter presents a model of reference for the responsibilities and assignments to tasks that should be taken care of in treaty delimitation. In addition, the chapter also refers to specific instructions that refer to technical activities throughout the boundary making process.
It recommends a model for incorporating these tasks and instructions into the treaty delimitation. The chapter shows the implementation of the recommended model in the case of the 1994 Israel–Jordan Peace Treaty. It analyzes the implementation of the model in this special case and discusses technical lessons learned from the special case. The joint smooth implementation of the model during the Israeli-Jordanian boundary making process, and the fact that all the practical problems with regard to the boundary line for the last 19 years since the treaty were successfully solved using the model
show the importance of such a model for boundary management and for prevention or solution of boundary disputes.

Chapter 4: The Israel–Jordan International Boundary
Haim Srebro

The international boundary between Israel and Jordan has been defined for the first time as an international boundary between two sovereign states in the 1994 Peace Treaty. The allocation of this boundary has been referred to as the boundary during the British Mandate. The boundary-making process followed a systematic methodological model of boundary making, which had been developed following (bad) experience in other boundary cases around the world.
The model, which includes the stages of preparatory work, boundary delimitation, boundary demarcation, boundary documentation, and boundary maintenance has been developed so that reverse engineering considerations influence the process from its beginning.
In such a way, the requirements for the boundary maintenance are taken into consideration and implemented in the boundary documentation and are considered at earlier stages, from the technical geodetic preparation before the boundary delimitation, to a peace/boundary agreement and onwards. The requirements for boundary demarcation influence the boundary delimitation and associated issues. Thus, thorough preparation, both regarding technical aspects and methodological considerations, should be carefully handled before the boundary is delimited in the peace agreement.
This can be achieved only if a joint technical team is established as early as possible, when the process is launched, to carry out all the required activities. This was implemented by Israel and Jordan, establishing the Joint Team of Experts on the first day that the two negotiation committees, including the boundary sub-commission, convened in WA to open practical negotiations for a Peace Treaty. Not only was the JTE responsible for the technical activities prior to the Peace Treaty and for implementing the process during the demarcation and documentation of the line—the JTE has been playing an important role regarding the boundary maintenance through the years. For the last 19 years since the 1994 Peace Treaty was signed, the JTE has been conducting annual reconnaissance surveys and maintenance activities, repairing and reconstructing damaged or missing boundary pillars, monitoring deviations, and providing remedies. The chairs of the JTE prepare a signed annual report to the chairs of the Joint Boundary Commission. The continuous joint activity of the JTE, strictly following the predefined process, and quickly monitoring and preventing local encroachments, greatly contributes to the exceptional maintenance and stability of the boundary line, in spite of the development on both sides of the boundary. The JTE tries to actively support the requirements of the development and to prevent potential obstacles.

Chapter 5: Demarcation of the Iraq–Kuwait Boundary
Miklos Pinther

The present chapter is a summary account of the first complete demarcation of the international boundary between Iraq and Kuwait, a process undertaken between May 1991 and September 1993; the first demarcation of an international boundary to be carried out at the request of the United Nations Security Council. The chapter describes the circumstances that led to the formation of the boundary commission, including the geographical setting and the historical background, the process of surveying the land and off-shore sections, the deliberations and decisions reached by the commission and the installation and documentation of the boundary markers. The concluding remarks offer a brief assessment of the work accomplished.

Chapter 6: Contribution and Challenges for Surveyors in the Establishment of International Boundaries – Cases in Africa
William A. Robertson

The surveying role reflected in the three international boundary determinations reported above demonstrate the contribution of surveying in disputed international boundaries. Although the emphasis in the three boundary projects is from the perspective of survey support for Boundary Commissions, surveyors had a much wider involvement. National surveying organizations belonging to each Party were fully involved throughout the long process of advising their governments and preparing successive submissions, counter submissions and responses for the various stages and hearings of the administrative, political and judicial processes involved. As well as this, counsel and other expert witnesses in their evidence made frequent references and use of spatial, geographical and mapping information. Surveyors are recognized and valued by boundary commissions and tribunals for the integrity and professional expertise they provide. This role in a testing advocacy oriented environment inevitably subjects their work and evidence to the closest of scrutiny, checking and cross examination. The survey role is therefore not simply a technical one but requires a careful consideration of the role and function of surveying and cartography in the specific political and legal environment that applies in each individual international boundary case. The performance of the surveyor in this role is highly transparent and accountable. He/she needs to analyze the range of expert evidence submitted requires a level of insight, maturity of judgement and expertise at a higher level than that required in normal cadastral surveying it is derived from the same base of knowledge and skills.
The boundaries described here involved the determination of international borders where there had been some dispute and hostility. In each of these cases historic treaties and the establishment of a judicial commission set strict legal parameters for the conduct of surveying. The discipline involved in such cases also applies to the contribution of surveyors where two sovereign states are independently determining their boundary. In this much more usual situation, knowledge of the legal/judicial constraints on map and understanding surveying evidence and documentation is still very important.
However surveyors discharge their technical and quasi judicial role, their performance needs to withstand searching legal scrutiny.

Chapter 7: The Nepal–China and Nepal–India Boundaries
Buddhi N. Shrestha

The Height of Mount Everest

The third joint boundary inspection to sign the fourth boundary protocol between Nepal and China should be completed as soon as possible. The connection of the recently found boundary marker 57 to the borderline must be based on the boundary delineation and facts on the ground.
Technical skills must be used, and the issue should not be influenced by sentiments, simply because border demarcation and inspection is purely a technical job. To find a proper solution, both countries should act according to the spirit of the treaty and previous boundary protocols and maps. These issues should be resolved by higher authorities through diplomatic channels, since they have already been forwarded from the technical level. From the perspective of good relations, friendship, and mutual understanding between Nepal and China in all spheres, this type of minor border issue should be resolved in an amicable manner. The Fourth Boundary Protocol should be signed as soon as possible, sorting out the debatable items in due course.  Nepal and China should measure and determine jointly the precise height of the tallest mountain in the world. The height controversy should be settled once and for all.

Establishment of Nepal–India–China Tri-Junction Points
The total length of the Nepal–China boundary line demarcated so far is 1,439.18 km. The main boundary pillars erected along the boundary line are numbered 1 to 79 in serial order from west to east, with many reference pillars on both sides of the borderline. However, the tri-junction points on both the western and eastern ends of the borderline, where the Nepalese, Chinese, and Indian territories meet, have not yet been fixed. This is because an Indian representative was not present during the Nepal–China boundary demarcation. Nowadays, India and China have improved their relations. India–Nepal neighborly relations have been maintained for centuries. Nepal must formalize all its border issues through diplomatic channels, including the establishment of Nepal–India–China tri-junction points. The western tri-junction point should be determined according to the maps and documents published by the Survey of India around the time of the treaty of Sugauli. Nepal has to convince its southern neighbor, India, and to invite its northern neighbor, China, to decide on a single platform for the finalization of the triple point, since this point is related to all three countries, and their joint presence is required.


Copyright © International Federation of Surveyors, December 2013,
All rights reserved

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
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Published in English
Copenhagen, Denmark
ISBN 978-87-92853-08-0

Published by
International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Editor: Haim Srebro
Authors: Miklos Pinther, William A. Robertson, Maxim Shoshany, Buddhi N. Shrestha, Haim Srebro
Front cover and introdcution photos: Haim Srebro
Design: International Federation of Surveyors, FIG


FIG PUBLICATION No 59

International Boundary Making

FIG Commission 1
Professional Standards & Practice

Published in English

Published by The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), December 2013
Copenhagen, Denmark
ISBN: 978-87-92853-08-0

Printed copies can be ordered from:
FIG Office, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, DK-1780 Copenhagen V, DENMARK,
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