Ms. Frida Armas, General Coordinator of COPLA (National Commission on the Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf), and Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori, President of the Commission, received the Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Decoration of Honour —the highest decoration awarded by the Argentine Senate. The event was presided over by Vice President Gabriela Michetti and the Chair of the Commission on Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Argentine Senate, Omar Perotti.
Deputy Foreign Minister Foradori, who participated in the event on behalf of Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, stressed that “this is a historic moment for Argentina.” “This is a true example of a consistent State policy, the result of work carried out with professionalism and a sense of responsibility for nearly 20 years, with a view to reaffirming our presence, preserving our resources and asserting our sovereign rights in a political and economic zone as strategically important as the South Atlantic.”
Frida Armas, for her part, stated that “those who promoted the law that created COPLA, mindful that it was a State policy, that it had to last for a long time, decided to engage a permanent body of professionals. Today, we see the results and we are very happy to have given our best. We are profoundly grateful to those who, throughout successive administrations with different ideologies, different ways of seeing things, helped us to achieve this goal.”
COPLA was created by a law in 1997 and, in April 2009, a submission was made to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, after considerable technical, scientific and legal efforts that lasted over 20 years. Finally, on 11 March of this year, Argentina’s submission was approved by consensus by the UN, without any votes against it.
Thus, the Argentine Republic, whose surface used to be 2,780,000 square kilometres and whose continental shelf between the baseline and 200 nautical miles stretched for 4,799,000 square kilometres, incorporated a 1,700,000-square-kilometer area between the baseline and 200 nautical miles, which is equal to nearly 48% of our country’s above-water territory and 35% bigger than the previous surface.
Press Release No. 418/16
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