Argentina is hailing a United Nations decision which will allow it to expand its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35 percent, taking in the waters surrounding the long-disputed Malvinas Island.
According to the Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, the U.N. decision will be pivotal in advancing the dispute in favor of Argentina.
Argentine waters have now increased by 1.7 million square km (0.66 million square miles).
“This is a historic occasion for Argentina because we’ve made a huge leap in the demarcation of the exterior limit of our continental shelf,” Malcorra said.
“This reaffirms our sovereignty rights," she added.
Map showing the geographic positioning of the disputed islands | Photo: Educational Geography
The U.N. commission’s decision acknowledges the unresolved diplomatic dispute between the two countries. The Malvinas are currently a self-governed British overseas territory, with Downing Street responsible for the island's defense and foreign affairs.
Known to the British as the Falklands, the Malvinas Islands have been held by the U.K. since 1833, when British warships seized the archipelago. Argentina lost a war with Britain in 1982 after Argentine troops seized the island.