Negotiating International Boundaries and Conflict Resolution



Negotiating International Boundaries
Conflict Resolutions




Presented by:

Buddhi N Shrestha

Managing Director

Bhumichitra Mapping Co



Presented to:

Technical Seminar on International Boundary Survey



Organized by:

Survey Department

Kathmandu, Nepal

17-18 June 2011



Negotiating International Boundaries
and Conflict Resolutions


1.         Building and preparation of a negotiating team

  • Required expertise
  • Mandate
  • Team dynamics
  • Negotiating brief
  • Time frame

2.         Practical instruction

–        Technical

–        Diplomatic

–        Political

3.         Negotiating Strategy and tactics

  • Initial contact
  • Opening positions
  • Tactics

4.         Examining the legal principles of territorial negotiations

–        Evidence

–        Essential elements of territorial disputes

–        Place of law in negotiations

5.         Role of technical experts in negotiations

  • Before negotiation
  • During negotiation
  • After negotiation

6. Boundary disputes should be resolved on the basis of real world scenario

–        Both parties are equal in international arena

–        Case studies

7. Options for boundary settlement, when negotiations break down

  • Mediation and conciliation
  • Track-II diplomacy
  • Third party adjudication


8.         Drafting an agreement

–        Law of treaties

–        Precedents

–        Elements of a boundary agreement

–        Ratifications

9. Negotiation Nepal-China Boundary:

1)          On the basis of watershed principle

2)          On the basis of possession

3)          Give and take

4)          Principle of ‘Panchasheel’

5)          Equal sovereignty in international arena

6)          Respect to each others sovereignty

7)          Active Diplomatic Channel

  • Ambassador Yadu Nath Khanal
  • Negotiating Team Leader Padam Bahadur Khatry

8)          8. However, some tract of Nepali portion was demarcated to the other frontier

9)          May be by ignorance or less study

10)      May be by beyond political level

11)      Third joint inspection is going on since 2006, but it is not completed

12)      It may be due to divergence on the then map and present GPS coordinated map

13)      Debate on the location of Boundary Pillar 57

14)      Dual height of Sagarmatha ( Mount Everest )


10. Negotiation Nepal-India boundary:

1)          On the basis of Sugauli Treaty-1816

2)          On the basis of mutually agreed old maps  and documents

3)          Joint Technical Committee 1980-2007

  • 98% of the boundary has been Strip-mapped
  • Conflicts and disputes on some spots
  • Major: Kalapani and Susta
  • Minor: Some other Spots
  • Feeling of big and small brothers
  • Dominating tendency by one party
  • Lack of negotiation skill by another party
  • Lack of boarder diplomacy
  • Fluctuating Strategy
  • Slow down political will
  • Lack of pressure from civic society from both frontiers
  • Specific assignment to particular personnel


1. Borderlines Newsletter, IBRU, Issue- 8 Spring 2009

2. Negotiating International Boundaries, IBRU- 2008.

3. Border Management of Nepal, Buddhi N Shrestha, Bhumichitra Mapping Co- 2003.

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