04 April, 2016

South Atlantic ~ UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf



The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has concluded its 40th session.  The Commission is one of the international bodies established by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea - see United Nations - Oceans and Law of the Sea

The Commission adopted (without a vote) recommendations relating to a submission by Argentina concerning the limits of the continental shelf to the east of Argentina.  However, the Commission also noted that it was not in a position to consider and qualify those parts of the submission that were subject to dispute and those parts that were related to the continental shelf appurtenant to Antarctica (see CLCS/64, paras. 76 and 77 and CLCS/76 para. 57).

British sovereignty
over The Falkland Islands is disputed by Argentina and it is unclear how that question will be resolved - if at all.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a brief statement in response to the Commission's finding.  This statement notes that the Commission has no jurisdiction over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and that the UN has acknowledged that the CLCS could not and did not consider claims relating to the Falkland Islands within the Argentine submission.  The British government remains in no doubt over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, nor of the right of the islanders to determine their own future.

Details of the fortieth session will be reflected in the Statement by the Chairperson of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on the progress of work in the Commission, which will be issued as document CLCS/93 and should eventually appear on this page of the Commission's website. 

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For general information about Continental Shelf see National Geographic


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