Three bills referred to Argentina's sovereignty claim over South Atlantic islands and adjoining maritime spaces will be sent to Congress, announced president Alberto Fernández on Wednesday from the official Olivos residency next to foreign minister Felipe Solá, according to an official release.
The event was motivated and chosen to be released on 10 June because it is the so called Affirmation Day of Argentina's rights over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich islands and adjoining maritime spaces
The three bills continue on president Fernandez' pledge to recover sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands, which were made on 10 December when he took office and reiterated on March first, the official opening of Congress legislative period.
The initiatives have the purpose of creating a National Advisory Council for Malvinas Policies; outline the external limit of the continental shelf beyond the 200 miles and increase sanctions against those involved in illegal fishing in Argentine waters.
In his messages president Fernandez promised to work tirelessly to empower the legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty claim, and for this task an only presidential mandate is not enough, nor that of a government, it demands a mid and long term State Policy
Minister Solá said at the presentation that the bills have the objective of strengthening our sovereign presence, our economy activity and promote the memory with real facts, of the Malvinas heroes and of others who gave their lives in Antarctica.
The National Advisory council will depend directly from the presidential office and will have a plural integration. The purpose is to design and sustain midterm and long term State policies and will be made up of members from the different political groups in congress, law specialists, academics and representatives from the Tierra del Fuego province (1) and Malvinas veterans.
The second initiative will contribute to protect sovereignty rights of resources from the seabed and subsoil of the Argentine sea and proposes a demarcation of the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond the 200 miles.
This proposal is the result of the work done by several governments by the National Committee of the exterior limit of the continental shelf, COPLA, which enabled Argentina to make a full presentation to the UN of the external limit of its continental shelf.
In effect in March 2016 and March 2017, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf adopted by consensus recommendations of the Argentine presentation done on 21 April 2009.
Solá added that by establishing in a bill the Argentine continental shelf coordinates will increase legal security for awarding concessions with the purpose of hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation, minerals and sedentary species, to the benefit of the Argentine people and future generations
Last but not least the third bill is a project drafted jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture to increase sanctions and fines for illegal fishing in Argentine waters, including those surrounding the Malvinas Islands.
The bill tries to impede the looting by foreign fishing vessel that slip illegally into the Argentine maritime spaces, and will strengthen the work of the group made up of the Defense, Security, Agriculture and Foreign Relations ministries with the objective of defending the national natural resources in the South Atlantic.
Argentina on June 10th recalls the 191th anniversary of the creation of the Political and Military Command of the Malvinas (Falklands) and Cape Horn adjacencies, by the government of the Buenos Aires province. This was followed by the naming of German merchant Luis Vernet as the first head of the newly created command.
This is one of the several arguments with which Argentina supports its sovereignty claim over the Falkland Islands. With this in mind and in this spirit next 6 November Argentina will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of the flying of the Argentine flag for the first time in the Falklands.
However Falkland Islanders whose families have been living in the Falklands since early 19th century, (first as a colony and later as a self ruling British Overseas Territory) sustain that they have a right to self determination and to decide on their future, as enshrined in the UN charter.
(1) The official name of Tierra del Fuego province is, Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands