According to newspaper Crítica, the British Foreign Office has stated that it “does not accept” Argentina’s new claim to the Falklands Islands. On 21st April Argentina presented documents to the UN with the aim of extending its continental platform to include the disputed islands.
The desired territory also includes the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Argentina has clashed with Britain over the sovereignty of these islands for over 170 years.
The Foreign Office responded that, “British experts will study the documents but we do not accept that there is a basis for the inclusion of the continental platform of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia or South Sandwich Islands.” The statement also suggested that the British government will present its own statistics about the islands to the commission.
The documents presented by Argentina to the Continental Platform Limits commission, which is part of the UN, include scientific measurements of the depth of the sea around the Argentine coastline. Their purpose is to prove the extent of the continental shelf way out into the ocean. This is significant, as under current international legislation, a state’s ownership of the continental shelf can exceed 200 nautical miles until its natural extension ends.
The content of the documentation is the culmination of 11 years of investigation realised in Argentina, with financial support from the UN programme for development.