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UN commission: Falkland Islands in Argentina waters

[JURIST] The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) [official website] ruled [press release] on Monday that Argentina's maritime territory includes the area surrounding the Falkland Islands. Argentina had previously submitted to the commission a report [materials] fixing the territory at 350 miles from its coast instead of 200. The commission made clear that it was not in a position to consider and qualify parts of the submission that are subject to dispute. The commission's findings expand the maritime territory of Argentina in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35 percent and have been welcomed by Argentina. Susana Malcorra, Argentina's foreign minister, maintained [La Nación report, in Spanish] that the findings reaffirm the country's sovereignty rights over the resources of its continental shelf. The findings have been dismissed by the UK as recommendations [Guardian report] that are not legally binding.

The Falkland Islands, called Las Islas Malvinas by Argentinians, are located in the South-West Atlantic Ocean and have been in dispute between Argentina and the UK since the 1800s. The UN ordered the two nations to reach an agreement over the territory in 1965, but after years of talks the nations fought a war over the territory in 1982. In November 2008 the governments of the UK and the Falkland Islands announced [JURIST report] that they agreed on a new constitution for the disputed islands. The Argentina Armed Forces released documents [JURIST report] in September revealing that Argentinian soldiers were tortured and abused by their superiors during the Falklands War. In April Argentina's Minister for Issues Relating to the Falkland Islands announced [JURIST report] that the country was beginning legal proceedings against oil and gas companies form the US and UK drilling of the islands.

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