Extension of Uruguay's continental shelf. (MAP: Armada de Uruguay)
UN approves extension of Uruguayan continental shelf
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
The United Nations (UN) finally accepted the proposition of the Uruguayan Government to extend the Uruguayan continental shelf from 200 to 350 miles.
Thus, Uruguay has become the first South American nation to receive the approval of the UN.
The Convention on the Law of the Sea of the United Nations upheld the Uruguayan order, which involves the addition of 80,500 square kilometres where the country will have exclusive rights on marine reserves and fishing activity.
It is expected that the ruling in favor of Uruguay, which has recommendatory character, is in force from February 2015, La Red21 reported.
The new authorized area is equivalent to almost 50 per cent of the national land area.
The Uruguayan government had to seek technical and scientific information for years to prove, among other things, that its continental shelf extends effectively beyond 200 miles.
The Convention on the Law of the Sea regulates 12 miles of sovereignty, the 20 miles where there is limited sovereignty and the 200-mile exclusive economic use of coastal countries remains.
The former vice-chancellor and the socialist senator, Roberto Conde, stated the decision to recognize the extent of the Uruguayan continental shelf "is very important", the newspaper La República informed.
"It’s important not to forget that we are performing surveys in search of oil and gas across the territory, although so far it has only been possible to work within 200 miles," he pointed out.
By Analia Murias