International Maritime OrganizationTuesday, October 26, 2010
Malvinas Islands: Argentina presents formal protest before IMO
Argentina sent a letter it had received by the United Kingdom to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with the intention of making it circulate among the body's members as a way to warn of the deliberate violation of IMO regulations by the British government.
The Argentine government also requested the letter be included in the organization's agenda for immediate debate.
On the other hand, the South American nation asked for the British government to be reminded of the fact that the former has been responsible, since 1974, for the safety of navigation in the Southwest Atlantic.
According to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, "the British government presented a letter on October 21 in response to the Argentine protest regarding the announcement of the former that it would fire missiles from the Malvinas Islands between October 11 and 23 of the current year."
"As a response, the British government assured it has been carrying out these kinds of exercises for almost three decades, although it explicitly recognized it has never deliberately communicated these activities in the past," the text read.
It adds that "the Argentine government has answered the British letter by rejecting its content and reiterating that the current military exercises violate the obligation not to innovate recognized in Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly, of the object and purpose of the existing measures to build confidence in the military, and of the IMO regulations regarding the safety of life at sea."
The Argentine response also mentions the international community's rejection of these kinds of practices, as well as that of the militarization of the area where they are to be held. All of this was informed through declarations made by MERCOSUR, UNASUR, Grupo de Río, and OAS Secretary General.
Likewise, the Argentine letter claims the country's sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias, and South Sandwich, along with the surrounding maritime areas that make up part of the national Argentine territory.
At the beginning of the month, London began military exercises in the archipelago, which led to wide-spread criticisms, mainly from the Argentine government, which considered that these manoeuvres are a "provocation" and a violation of UN regulations.