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Source: Scottish Independence Referendum

The Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honour to refer to a Note Verbale from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Nations to the Secretary-General dated 9 January 2020 (Nº 03/20 (NY/UN/395), contained in a Communication by the Secretary-General on 31 January 2020. This concerns the United Kingdom’s extension of the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

The United Kingdom rejects the claims contained in the Note Verbale of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Mauritius. The United Kingdom has no doubt about its sovereignty over the territory of BIOT, which has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814. Mauritius has never held sovereignty over the islands that now form BIOT and the United Kingdom does not recognise its claim.

The United Kingdom’s position in respect to our continued sovereignty over BIOT is set out in more detail in the United Kingdom’s submission to the report of the Secretary-General (A/74/834) dated 18 May 2020.

The United Kingdom therefore continues to extend the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks to BIOT and apply its provisions.

The United Kingdom kindly requests that the present objection to the Note Verbale be duly recorded, circulated and published, including in any relevant publication issued by the United Nations.

The Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the assurances of its highest consideration.

MIL OSI United Kingdom