The Permanent Court of Arbitration serves as registry for this Boundary Commission established pursuant to the Agreement of 12 December 2000 between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Commission has a mandate "to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law."
The Decision on Delimitation of the Border between Eritrea and Ethiopia was delivered by the Commission on 13 April 2002. Having completed the task of delimitation, the Commission moved on to effecting the actual demarcation of that boundary on the ground. From November 2002 to late 2003, the Commission met several times with delegates of the parties, and the observers from the United Nations and the African Union, to discuss matters related to the ongoing demarcation process. However, no progress was made due to the irreconcilable demands of Ethiopia and Eritrea. In March 2006, the demarcation activities which had been halted in 2003, due to circumstances beyond the Commission's control, resumed. The last meeting was held in September 2007, but no agreement has yet been reached towards the emplacement of pillars on the ground.
In January 2008, the UN Secretary general declared that he was worried about the growing militarization, on both side of the boarder, which could lead to a war.
The members of the Commission are:
Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, CBE QC (President);
His Excellency Prince Bola Adesumbo Ajibola (appointed by Ethiopia);
Professor W. Michael Reisman (appointed by Eritrea);
Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (appointed by Eritrea);
Sir Arthur Watts, KCMG QC (appointed by Ethiopia)*
* deceased on 16 November 2007.