Argentine Senate unanimously rejects Chile’s decree regarding continental shelf
Argentina’s Senate Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution declaring Chile’s announcements concerning the continental shelf as in clear violation of the Peace and Friendship Treaty signed in 1984.
The Upper House has thus approved a draft Declaration to express its most energetic rejection of the claim of the Government of the Republic of Chile to extend its continental shelf over the territorial waters of the Argentine Republic through a decree signed on August 27 by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.
The text also rates the Chilean move as a violation of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded with Argentina in 1984 which disregards the demarcation of the outer limit of the continental shelf following the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The senators have thus ratified their strongest support for the work carried out by the Argentine State through the National Commission of the Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf (COPLA), which conforms to the treaty signed between Presidents Raúl Alfonsín and Augusto Pinochet in 1984.
The treaty has been approved unanimously in both Houses of Congress on August 4, 2020, and signed into law on August 24 of the same year under “National Law 27,557.”
The Argentine Senate also rejected “the attempt of appropriation by Chile of an extensive seabed and ocean floor area, a space that is part of the Common Heritage of Humanity by the Convemar and the Treaty of Peace and Friendship.”
The Upper House also insisted on its adherence to what was expressed by the Argentine Foreign Ministry in response to the claim of the Government of Chile that it is not acceptable to the Argentine Republic and raises a situation that must be resolved through dialogue in defence of the Argentine rights, following the brotherhood of our peoples and international law.”
Former Argentine President Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (2001), who now chairs the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee described Piñera’s decision as “unconsulted and in violation of international treaties.”
He added that “we are enormously surprised by the decree of the President of Chile. The Chilean claim is not acceptable to the Argentine Republic because it raises an issue that must be resolved through dialogue.”
Former Vice President and current Mendoza Senator Julio Cobos said Piñera intends to correct with his decree a point that was not included in the Peace Treaty with Chile.
”The claim of his decree is to extend eastward, intending to incorporate into its sovereignty five thousand square kilometres of our sovereignty and 25 thousand square kilometres that are the patrimony of humanity,” Cobos added.
Both pro-government and opposition senators also agreed dialogue was the way to solve border conflicts.
“The Chilean Senate has urged to open a stage of dialogue that is by the Argentine-Chilean bicameral commission. Senators have appointed their members; It is necessary for the Chamber of Deputies (Argentina) to do so if that were the will of the Argentine Republic. Working for the homeland in moments of rift and being able to be united with a favourable opinion favours us in the face of the world.”
We cannot disregard the context in which Chile’s claim is made: on November 21 there will be presidential elections, Cobos warned.
Rio Negro opposition Senator Alberto Weretilneck added that Piñera’s “decree is due to political reasons that break with the diplomatic tradition of both countries. It is necessary to overcome the individual character that led to the issuance of this decree and for a bicameral commission or the two Senates to deepen the path of dialogue that Chile has violated.”
The Senatorial resolution passed Wednesday also expresses the House’s “most energetic rejection to the claim of the Government of the Republic of Chile to extend its continental shelf to the East of Meridian 67 ° 16 ′ 0, violating the Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded with Argentina in 1984 and ignoring the demarcation of the outer limit of the continental shelf approved by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (Clpc) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Convemar) according to the presentation made by our country in the year 2009.”