Baird Congratulates Canadian Elected to Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf

June 7, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today welcomed the election of Richard Haworth to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for the 2012-17 term.

“Dr. Haworth is a highly qualified marine geophysicist whose experience in government, academia and the private sector enables him to bring both practical and scholarly expertise to the Commission,” said Baird. “I congratulate Dr. Haworth on his election and believe that he will be an asset to the Commission.”

Dr. Haworth is the first Canadian elected to the Commission, having been nominated as a candidate by Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“Canada is currently doing more for its North and Northerners than ever before,” said Baird. “Canada also plays a leading role in the Arctic, and we look forward to assuming the Chair of the Arctic Council in 2013.”

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It consists of 21 independent experts in geology, geophysics and hydrography. Members are elected every five years by states party to the Convention.

Expanding economic opportunity in the North and for Northerners is a priority for the Harper government. Canada is currently working to define the outer limits of its continental shelf. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are preparing Canada’s submission to the Commission.

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A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Biographical Note

Richard Haworth holds a PhD in Marine Geophysics from the University of Cambridge and an honours degree in Physics (with Geology and Mathematics) from Durham University in the United Kingdom. He was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America, in addition to being honoured as a fellow and chartered geologist of the Geological Society (of London). He was a faculty adviser at the University of New Brunswick’s Ocean Mapping Group and currently serves as an adjunct professor in the School of Public Administration, Faculty of Management, at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During his career with the Government of Canada, Dr. Haworth served in senior executive positions at Natural Resources Canada, including with the Geological Survey of Canada. Since retiring from the Government of Canada in 2003, Dr. Haworth has been an independent consultant for continental shelf submissions. His long-time involvement with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has included membership in the select international group of experts convened by the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea to assess the technical implications of applying article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to define the limits of the continental shelf.