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[Senate Treaty Document 105-53]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



105th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                SENATE

 2d Session                                                      105-53
_______________________________________________________________________


 
        TREATY WITH NIUE ON DELIMITATION OF A MARITIME BOUNDARY

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

 TREATY BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE 
 GOVERNMENT OF NIUE ON THE DELIMITATION OF A MARITIME BOUNDARY, SIGNED 
                     IN WELLINGTON ON MAY 13, 1997





 June 23, 1998.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with the 
accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and 
            ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                    The White House, June 23, 1998.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith, for advice and consent of the Senate 
to ratification, the Treaty Between the Government of the 
United States of America and the Government of Niue on the 
Delimitation of a Maritime Boundary. The Treaty was signed in 
Wellington May 13, 1997. The report of the Department of State 
is enclosed for the information of the Senate.
    The sole purpose of the Treaty is to establish a maritime 
boundary in the South Pacific Ocean between the United States 
territory of American Samoa and Niue. The 279-mile boundary 
runs in a general east-west direction, with the United States 
islands of American Samoa to the north, and Niue to the south. 
The boundary defines the limit within which the United States 
and Niue may exercise maritime jurisdiction, which includes 
fishery and other exclusive economic zone jurisdiction.
    Niue is in free association with New Zealand. Although it 
is self-governing on internal matters, Niue conducts its 
foreign affairs in conjunction with New Zealand. Niue has 
declared, and does manage, its exclusive economic zone. 
Therefore, the United States requested, and received, 
confirmation from New Zealand that the Government of Niue had 
the requisite competence to enter into this agreement with the 
United States and to undertake the obligations contained 
therein.
    I believe this Treaty to be fully in the interest of the 
United States. It reflects the tradition of cooperation and 
close ties with Niue in this region. This boundary was never 
disputed.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to this Treaty and advice and consent to 
ratification.

                                                William J. Clinton.


                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                          Washington, May 27, 1998.
The President
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a 
view to the transmittal to the Senate for its advice and 
consent to ratification, the Treaty between the Government of 
the United States and the Government of Niue on the 
Delimitation of a Maritime Boundary. This treaty was signed at 
Wellington, May 13, 1997. For the purpose of illustration only, 
the boundary has been drawn on a map attached to the treaty.
    The maritime boundary treaty defines the limit within which 
each Party may exercise fishery and other exclusive economic 
zone (EEZ) jurisdiction in an area where their claimed 200 
nautical mile zones would otherwise overlap,
    On March 1, 1997, the United States enacted the Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act of 1976, which established a 
fisheries zone contiguous to the territorial sea of the United 
States, including the territorial sea around American Samoa. As 
published in the Federal Register the United States claimed 
fishery zone adjacent to American Samoa as a line equally 
distant from American Samoa and its neighbors. In 1983, this 
became the limit of the United States exclusive economic zone.
    The Government of Niue first claimed an exclusive economic 
zone by Act No. 38, effective April 1, 1978. It reiterated its 
EEZ claim when it enacted the Territorial Sea and Exclusive 
Economic Zone act of 1996, which entered into force April 7, 
1997.
    In 1980, the United States concluded maritime boundary 
treaties with the Cook Islands an with New Zealand (on behalf 
of Tokelau) that established maritime boundaries to the east 
and to the north of American Samoa, respectively. Equidistant 
lines formed the bases for these boundaries. Following the 
exchange of instruments of ratification, the boundary treaty 
with New Zealand entered into force on September 3, 1983; the 
boundary treaty with the Cook Islands entered into force on 
September 8, 1983.
    In the early 1980s, the Government of the United States and 
Niue agreed, in principle, that a maritime boundary should be 
established based on an equidistant line calculated from all 
relevant territories. No special circumstances exist in the 
boundary region. The water is deep in this area, and no 
particular resource issue was identified that required a 
deviation from an equidistant line.
    Both Parties recognized, however, that new coastal geodetic 
positioning survey work was required for both the American 
Samoan islands and Niue in order to update existing 
information, and to place all relevant coastlines on a common 
datum. Technical work was conducted by both sides during the 
1980s and early 1990s. Positioning of coastal areas was placed 
on the more accurate World Geodetic System 1984 (``WGS 84'') 
andthe North American Datum 1983 (``NAD 83''). For the purposes 
of calculating this boundary, both datums were considered identical.
    Prior to signature of the treaty, the political status of 
Niue was also addressed. Niue is in free association with New 
Zealand. While Niue is self-governing on internal matters, it 
conducts its foreign affairs in conjunction with New Zealand. 
Niue has declared, and does manage, its exclusive economic 
zone. Therefore, the United States requested, and received, 
confirmation from New Zealand that the Government of Niue had 
the competence to enter into this agreement with the United 
States.
    The treaty consists of seven articles. Article I states 
that the sole purpose of this treaty is to establish a maritime 
boundary in the South Pacific between the United States (with 
respect to American Samoa) and Niue. Article II sets out the 
technical parameters of the treaty stating that for the purpose 
of this treaty the North American Datum 1983 (``NAD 83'') and 
the World Geodetic System 1984 (``WGS 84'') are considered 
identical. Further, the article states that, for the purpose of 
illustration, a map depicting the boundary is attached to the 
treaty.
    Article III lists the 19 turning and terminal points 
defining the maritime boundary. Article IV sets forth the 
agreements of the Parties that, north of the boundary, Niue 
will not, and, south of the boundary, the United States will 
not, ``claim or exercise for any purpose sovereignty, sovereign 
rights, or jurisdiction with respect to the waters or seabed or 
subsoil.''
    Article V provides that the establishment of the boundary 
will not affect or prejudice either side's position with 
``respect to the rules of international law relating to the law 
of the sea, including those concerned with the exercise of 
sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction with respect to 
the waters or seabed or subsoil.''
    Article VI sets forth the agreement of the Parties that any 
dispute arising from the interpretation or application of the 
treaty will be resolved by negotiation or other peaceful means 
agreed upon by the Parties. Finally, Article VII provides that 
the treaty will enter into force on the date of the exchange of 
instruments of ratification.
    The boundary contains 19 turning and terminal points and 
has a length of 279.1 nautical miles. Along its entire length, 
it is equally distant from the coasts of the United States (the 
islands of American Samoa) and the island of Niue. In the east, 
the boundary begins as the tri-junction point almost 200 miles 
distant from Rose Island (U.S.), Niue, and Palmerston Atoll 
(Cook Islands). In the west, the boundary terminates as the 
tri-junction point approximately 151 miles from an unnamed U.S. 
island just off the southwest point of Tutuila Island, in 
American Samoa, Niue, and a point on the Tongan island of 
Niuatoputapu. The distance from the boundary to the respective 
coastlines ranges from 199.3 nautical miles at the U.S.-Niue-
Cook Islands tri-junction point to 139.6 nautical miles, at 
boundary turning point 15, between the unnamed U.S. island off 
Tutuila Island and two points on Niue.
    I recommend that the treaty between the United States of 
America and Niue establishing a maritime boundary between 
American Samoa and Niue be transmitted to the Senate as soon as 
possible for its advice and consent to ratification.
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                     Strobe Talbot.