BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri hailed the decision by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which approved extending the limits of his country’s continental shelf.
“We are very happy with this favorable response from the United Nations and thankful to the Argentines who worked to obtain it,” the president said on his Facebook page.
“This extension of the limits of our country’s shelf allows us to defend the riches of our seas, which belong to each and every Argentine citizen,” he said.
For Macri, this is “good news for Argentine sovereignty” and will bring the South American country a series of benefits.
“The country will gain 1.7 million sq. kilometers (656,000 sq. miles) many meters (yards) deep and acknowledgment by the UN of the dispute existing over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands,” he said, referring to the Falklands.
“The is a project that has been under consideration for almost two decades, the result of teamwork by specialists in different areas and different governments who continued with this claim throughout the years, in a true example of national policy,” he said.
The new limits were approved March 11 by the UN panel made up of 21 international experts.
The UN sees the Argentine matter as a test case, since it is the first time a country has used all available resources, from geological measurements to considerations of distances and depths, in order to demonstrate the limits of its territory.
The Falkland Islands were the object of a brief war in the early 1980s pitting Argentina against Britain.
Argentine troops invaded the South Atlantic archipelago on April 2, 1982, at the order of the military junta then in power in Buenos Aires.
Full-fledged fighting officially began on May 1, 1982, with the arrival of a British task force, and ended 45 days later with the surrender of the Argentines.
The conflict claimed nearly 1,000 lives – some 700 Argentines and 255 British soldiers and sailors.
Buenos Aires demands that Britain comply with a 1965 United Nations resolution describing London’s control of the Falklands – which dates from 1833 – as colonialism and calling on the parties to resolve the dispute through dialogue.
London has refused to discuss the question of sovereignty and says the Falklanders should decide their own future.