Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra shared with the press the news regarding the Argentine Continental Shelf: “Today we are celebrating the demarcation of the entire limit of the Shelf, which gives us certainty, as it confirms Argentina’s maritime boundaries and adds a significant number of kilometers to our country’s surface area, which is important considering the natural wealth of the continent beneath the water.”
“Based on what we confirmed last year, we obtained a significant continental shelf surface that enlarges our country. But there were still a couple of issues to be defined, apart from those not addressed by the Commission either because they are in dispute or they fall within the scope of the Antarctic Treaty,” the Argentine Foreign Minister added, and she explained: “Those two issues have now been approved by the Commission (Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, created by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), in accordance with Argentina’s submission through the National Commission on the Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf (COPLA) team.”
Malcorra stated: “This is the result of state policy carried out throughout many years. Consistency, coherence, and a clear objective lead to good results.”
For her part, Frida Armas Pfirter, coordinator of COPLA, underscored that the United Nations Commission in charge of this issue did not decide this matter last year due to its dissidence with our country: “The Foreign Ministry continued working with the Naval Hydrographic Service, the Ministry of Economy and all the institutions collaborating with COPLA. There was a campaign with the ARA Austral to reprocess lines with help from YPF. We prepared a partial revised submission, that is, those two issues on which there was no agreement were analyzed by the Commission, and the members of the Commission agreed with Argentina.”
“The analysis of all the issues that are not in dispute has ended. The limits presented by Argentina in 2009 have changed positively in relation to the surface area, since the shelf has approximately 1633 km2 more than originally presented,” Armas Pfirter stated. She highlighted: “We have obtained more than 100% and now we have to implement the decision at a domestic level by adopting a legal provision. In other words, our country has to adopt this limit, with all the richness it involves: species, hydrocarbons, methane gas, and scallops.”
The Undersecretary for the Malvinas Islands and the South Atlantic, María Teresa Kralikas, explained that the United Nations Subcommission rules establish that no issues in dispute between one or more countries may be addressed, so there were no surprises in this regard. The same applies to Antarctic territories: “The fact that the Commission refrained from expressing an opinion on that territory because it is in dispute due to a sovereignty claim is another acknowledgement of the existence of the conflict,” Kralikas stated.
Press Release: Nº088/17
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