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Malcorra: "The Argentine Antarctic Programme is among the most active in the world"
"Antarctica has a very important meaning for Argentinians and for the future of our country. It has a long history that unites us all," Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra stated today at the Palacio San Martín, as she inaugurated the Summer Antarctic Campaign in the presence of authorities of the Ministry of Defence, the Argentine National Antarctic Institute and the National Directorate for the Antarctic, among others.
“The fact that we are conducting the 113th Antarctic campaign is proof that the government officials, scientists and members of the armed forces—of yesterday and of today— are continuers of an Antarctic tradition that has evolved over more than 110 years”, Malcorra said in front of a numerous audience.
The head of Argentine diplomacy recalled that our country's pioneering history in Antarctica was "witness to the actions of men such as José María Sobral, Julián Irízar, Hernán Pujato, Jorge Leal and Mario Luis Olezza, among others." She also recalled Ambassador Juan Carlos Beltramino, who recently passed away and was a member of the Argentine delegation that negotiated the Antarctic Treaty at the 1959 Washington Conference, where Argentina, thanks to its intense Antarctic activity and strong interest in the continent, was one of the twelve countries that went on to decide the legal framework for Antarctica.
Malcorra also explained: "Where the defence of our interests required—in early Antarctic activity—territorial deployment, Argentina was able to effectively fulfil such task thanks to the Armed Forces. Today, the defence of our rights and interests requires strong, high-quality scientific deployment to carry out relevant research."
"The Argentine Antarctic Programme, which is among the most active and important in the world, has set an example as a true state policy that has remained unchanged for more than a century. This involves a great collective work challenge where science, logistics and diplomacy contribute to a priority objective of Argentina: to defend its rights and interests over Antarctica," Malcorra added.
Finally, the Foreign Minister recalled: "In December, the departure of aviso ARA Puerto Argentino initiated a deployment that is being carried out efficiently, with our own logistics. Supplies are being shipped on board Army vessels and Air Force aircraft, and distributed among our 13 bases, including permanent and summer bases. Also, our crews are being relieved and scientific and support personnel are being deployed." She also announced that: "Scientific activity in cooperation with other countries will increase this year thanks to new agreements that are being negotiated with other Antarctic countries."