There seems to be some confusion about a recent U.N. decision to let Argentina expand its territorial waters. Some correspondents seem to think that the U.N. stripped away the Falklands’ exclusive economic zone. That’s not what happened.
What happened: In 2009, Argentina filed a claim to its continental shelf under Article 76, paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (aka, UNCLOS). The Obama administration gently reminded the U.N. that the United States does not recognize Argentina’s Antarctic territory, and so the U.N. did not consider it. (The Russians did the same.) The U.N. agreed.
The U.K. also rejected Argentine claims to Antarctic waters but went a little further. It pointed out that the Falklands lie on the same continental shelf, and so the U.N. had better not apportion out any territory adjacent to the Falklands’ maritime zone, because, you know, the Falklands might also want to expand its claim. This map shows the total Argentine claim (absent Antarctic waters) and divides that claim up into the parts that the U.K. was okay with and the parts to which it strenuously objected:
If you want to see a map with all Argentine claims on it, see this post. A dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica.
The U.N. just made a preliminary advisory ruling granting all of Argentina’s claims. So nothing is settled. But for reasons unclear in this age of low oil prices, British observers are quite upset that the U.K. might possibly be locked out of the bonanza that is the South Atlantic. The Falklands will be encircled! Or something. It isn’t clear.
But there you have it. I wonder what Donald Trump thinks?