Argentina celebrated on Tuesday 25 February, the Argentine Antarctica Day, which recalls the 110 years of uninterrupted presence of the country in Antarctica and included among the many activities displayed the scientific research cruise of May 2013 in waters adjoining the South Georgia islands.
The event at the Foreign Ministry was attended by several ministers, --Foreign Affairs, Hector Timerman; Defense, Agustin Rossi and Science and Technology, Lino Barañano--, diplomats, scientists, academics and members of the Armed Forces, according to the official release.
Argentina's activity in Antarctica is supported mainly on scientific research and a logistics and professional administration which is in the interest of the country and of the international scientific community, said Minister Timerman.
Next to the head of Argentina's Antarctic Institute, Mariano Memolli and the Dean of San Martin University, Carlos Ruta, Timerman said that the history of Argentine presence in the white continent begins with the historic rescue of the corvette Uruguay, under Captain Julián Irizar, who established Argentina's first permanent base at the Orcadas (Orkneys) in 1904. This was followed by the creation of the Antarctic Institute on 17 April 1951, the first ever founded specifically for Antarctic research and which are evidence of the country's state policy towards Antarctica.
Timerman underlined Argentina's commitment to the Antarctic Treaty System, its principles and objectives of making the continent a land of peace and conservation, and mentioned that the Antarctic System Secretariat is currently seated in Argentina. He also pointed out that in the last ten years Argentina has been involved in tens of scientific projects which have produced over 1.500 papers, of which 40% in collaboration with other members of the treaty.
In the near future our objective is to increase scientific production and we are achieving it through better facilities, more complex equipment and by increasing the number of young scientists and experts. The brand new labs and equipment at the Carlini base, the new facilities at the Antarctic institute and at the Technological Pole at the San Martin university, are more than evidence of the government's commitment to Antarctic science, said the foreign minister.
Finally the significance we assign to these objectives and actions in Antarctic affairs was also reflected in the scientific research cruise, in May 2013 with the M/V Eduardo Holmberg in waters adjoining the South Georgia islands, which originated the recognition of the international Antarctic community, and which was done together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
This is evidence of the effective commitment from Argentina with the support and promotion of resources conservation and with the firm and continued presence of Argentina in the region, concluded Timerman