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Guidebook on Delimitation and demarcation of state boundaries: current issues and ways to solve them

Description

The Guidebook, prepared by the Border Security and Management Unit of the Transnational Threats Department of the OSCE Secretariat, gives examples of international legal practice in the formation of state borders of new states, outlines the main stages of work on the delimitation and demarcation of state borders, as well as recommendations on the organization of this work.

Summary

The Guidebook is based on the successful bilateral experience of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Lithuania in the field of delimitation and demarcation of state borders, taking into account international best practices and the provisions of relevant international legal instruments.

The manual gives examples of international legal practice in the formation of state borders of new states, outlines the main stages of work on the delimitation and demarcation of state borders, as well as recommendations on the organization of this work.

The main part of the manual examines the problems associated with the organization of delimitation and demarcation of state borders, and also includes recommendations on the following issues:

  • definition of functions and tasks of government bodies, development of legal acts and technical requirements, search and selection of initial data and its analysis, development of the negotiating position at the stage preceding the negotiations, the principles for the formation of delegations, their powers and funding;
  • conducting consultations and negotiations with neighboring states;
  • joint development of procedural documents;
  • coordination of the positions of the parties and the initial data for the delimitation of the state border, their comparison and analysis, identification and resolution of cases of borderline divergence on cartographic material, or the absence of unified approaches at different stages of negotiations;
  • solving complex border problems;
  • determining ways of marking the border crossing points, the definition of the design of border signs, as well as the requirements for their installation;
  • organization of works on the designation of the border on the terrain;
  • the degree of discretion of the participants of the demarcation process in cases where there is a need to deviate from the delimitation line and options for solving typical cases;
  • organization and execution of works on updating / creating delimitation (demarcation) maps and preparation of other final documents (description of the border crossings, protocols of border signs, catalog of coordinates, etc.);
  • development and conclusion of international treaties concerning the establishment of the border and their registration with the UN.

The Guidebook gives particular attention to the organization of cartografic-geodetic works, the result of which are the final documents of delimitation and demarcation of the state border. Knowledge of the specifics of the organization of cartographic-geodetic works and the ability to use the results obtained, primarily graphic materials (topographic or orthophoto maps, materials obtained by remote sensing of the Earth, topographic survey, etc.), improve the quality of the negotiation process and final documents.

The Guidebook provides a glossary and samples of documents regulating the procedure for delimitation and demarcation work, as well as samples of final documents; photographs and other illustrations of individual typical and specific border areas, border signs, etc.

The materials outlined in the manual can be used by representatives of intergovernmental commissions on delimitation and demarcation of state borders and in the process of training undergraduates, doctoral students and staff of international organizations.

Information

Date of creation
27 Apr 2018
Origin:
OSCE Secretariat / Transnational Threats Department / Border Management and Security Unit
Rights
OSCE