The Argentinean government is celebrating the historic decision of the United Nations Commission to expand its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean to include the disputed Falkland Islands and beyond. Britain has dismissed the findings
UN Commission Findings: The UN Commission agreed with Argentina on the limits of the continental shelf, ratifying the country's 2009 report fixing the limit of its territory at 200 to 350 miles from its coast. Thus Argentina’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone has been expanded)
What is EEZ:
It is a sea zone prescribed by UNCLOS ( United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine and other natural resources, including oil, energy production from water and wind. It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from its coast.
Huge fishing industry and unexplored undersea oil reserves in the Falklands economic zone — a radius of 320-kms around the islands.
The decision by UN chiefs could allow Buenos Aires to claim natural resources in the sea around the islands.
What are Falklands Islands:
A group of 778 small islands east off Argentinian coast in the South Atlantic Ocean. Two bigger Islands namely East and West Falklands have most of the population.
Total Population: 2900
Argentinian Name: The Malvinas
Governance and Sovereignty:
The Falklands are internally self-governing, but Britain is responsible for its defence and foreign affairs.
In 2013, a 99 per cent of Falkland islanders voted to stay as a British overseas territory. Despite the referendum, Argentina claims the territory/
Britain had ruled the islands for 150 years but Argentina, which calls them the Malvinas, believed that it inherited them from Spain in the 1800s. It also points to their proximity to South American continent.
The British government claims say islanders, mostly British settlers cannot be forced to accept Argentinean sovereignty.
Argentina alleges that Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity.
Falklands Conflict/ War:
Fought between Britain and Argentina in 1982 . Fought over two British overseas territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Refer to Attached Map and Diagram