South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The territory was formed in 1985; previously it was governed as part of the Falkland Islands dependencies. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia which measures approximately 100 miles by 18 miles and is by far the largest island in the territory- and a group of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. It lies is of Argentina and North of Antarctica.
September 7, 1994- the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland indicated that the Convention will apply to the Isle of Man, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, and Hong Kong… Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, St. Helena Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sand Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands. April 3, 1995- the Government of Argentina rejects the extension of the application of the [said Convention] to the Malvinas Islands, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, affected by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on September 7, 1994 and, reaffirms its sovereignty over those Islands, which are an integral part of its national territory. January 17, 1996- the Secretary-General received from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the following communication:
The Government of the United Kingdom has no doubt about the sovereignty of the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands and over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and its consequential right to extend the said Convention to these Territories. The United Kingdom Government rejects as unfounded the claims by the Government of Argentina and is unable to regard Argentine objection as having any legal effect. October 5, 2000- the Secretary-General received from the Government of Argentina the following communication: [The Argentine Republic]wishes to refer to the report submitted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Committee on the Rights of the child, which contains an addendum entitled “Overseas Dependent Territories and Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.
In that connection, the Argentine Republic wishes to recall that by its note of April 3, 1995 it rejected the extension of the application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands affected by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on September 7, 1994. The Government of Argentina rejects the designation of the Malvinas Islands as Overseas Dependent Territories of the United Kingdom or any other similar designation. Consequently, the Argentine Republic does not recognize the section concerning the Malvinas Islands contained in the report which the United Kingdom has submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/41/Add.9) or any other document or instrument having a similar tenor that may derive from this alleged territorial extension.
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted resolution 2065 (XX), 3160 (XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9,38/12,39/6,40/21,41/40,42/19 and 43/25, in which it recognizes that a dispute exists concerning sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands and urges the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to continue negotiations with a view to resolving the dispute peacefully and definitively as soon as possible, assisted by the good offices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who is to report to the General Assembly on the progress made. The Argentine Republic reaffirms its rights of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime spaces, which are an integral part of its national territory. December 20,2000- The Secretary-General received from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the following communication:
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland rejects as unfounded the claims made by the Argentine Republic in its communication to the depository of October 5, 2000. The Government of the United Kingdom recalls that in its declaration received by the depository on January 16, 1996 it rejected the objection by the Argentine Republic to the extension by the United Kingdom of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Falkland Islands and to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Government of the United Kingdom has no doubt about the sovereignty of the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands and over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and its consequential rights to apply the Convention with respect to those Territories.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands, known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 167.4 kilometres (104 mi) long and 1.4 to 37 km (0.9 to 23.0 miles) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 520 kilometres (320 mi) southeast of South Georgia. The total land area of the territory is 3,903 square kilometres (1,507 sq mi).
The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. In 1908 the United Kingdom annexed both South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938. Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands, from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the island. Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, and was named Roche Island on a number of early maps. It was sighted by a commercial Spanish ship named León operating out of Saint-Malo on 28 June or 29 June 1756. It has been confused with Pepys Island, discovered by Dampier and Cowley in 1683, but this proved to be a phantom island. Captain James Cook circumnavigated the island in 1775 and made the first landing. He claimed the territory for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and named it "the Isle of Georgia" in honour of King George III. British arrangements for the government of South Georgia were first established under the 1843 British Letters Patent.
In 1882–1883, a German expedition for the First International Polar Year was stationed at Royal Bay on the southeast side of the island. The scientists of this group observed the transit of Venus and recorded waves produced by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. Throughout the 19th century, South Georgia was a sealers base as well as a whalers base beginning in the 20th century, until whaling ended in the 1960s. A Norwegian, Carl Anton Larsen, established the first land-based whaling station and first permanent habitation at Grytviken in 1904. It operated through his Argentine Fishing Company, which settled in Grytviken. The station remained in operation until 1965.
From 1905, the Argentine Meteorological Office cooperated in maintaining a meteorological observatory at Grytviken under the British lease requirements of the whaling station until these changed in 1949. In 1908, the United Kingdom issued further Letters Patent which established constitutional arrangements for its possessions in the South Atlantic. The Letters Patent covered South Georgia, the South Orkneys, the South Shetlands, the South Sandwich Islands, and Graham Land. (The claim was extended in 1917 to include a sector of Antarctica reaching to the South Pole.)
In 1909, an administrative centre and residence were established at King Edward Point on South Georgia, near the whaling station of Grytviken. A permanent local British administration and resident Magistrate exercised effective possession, enforcement of British law, and regulation of all economic, scientific and other activities in the territory, which was then governed as the Falkland Islands Dependencies. In about 1912, what is according to some accounts the largest whale ever caught, a blue whale of 33.58 metres (110 ft), was landed at Grytviken.
In April 1916, Ernest Shackletons Imperial Trans- Antarctic Expedition became stranded on Elephant Island, some 800 miles (1,300 km) southwest of South Georgia. Shackleton and five companions set out in a small boat to summon help, and on 10 May, after an epic voyage, they landed at King Haakon Bay on South Georgias south coast. While three stayed at the coast, Shackleton and the two others, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley, went on to cover 22 miles (35 km) overland to reach help at Stromness whaling station. The remaining 22 members of the expedition, who had stayed on Elephant Island, were subsequently rescued. In January 1922, during a later expedition, Shackleton died on board ship while moored in King Edward Cove, South Georgia. He is buried at Grytviken. The ashes of another noted Antarctic explorer, Frank Wild, were interred next to Shackleton in 2011 Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927.
During the Second World War, the Royal Navy deployed an armed merchant vessel to patrol South Georgian and Antarctic waters against German raiders, along with two four-inch shore guns (still present) protecting Cumberland Bay and Stromness Bay, manned by volunteers from among the Norwegian whalers. The base at King Edward Point was expanded as a research facility in 1949/1950 by the British Antarctic Survey, which until 1962 was called the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey. The Falklands War was precipitated on 19 March 1982 when a group of Argentinians, posing as scrap metal merchants, occupied the abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbour on South Georgia. On 3 April the Argentine troops attacked and occupied Grytviken. Among the commanding officers of the Argentine Garrison was Alfredo Astiz, a Captain in the Argentine Navy who, years later, was convicted of felonies committed during the Dirty War in Argentina.
The island was recaptured by British forces on 25 April in Operation Paraquet. In 1985 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ceased to be administered as a Falkland Islands Dependency and became a separate territory. The King Edward Point base, which had become a small military garrison after the Falklands war, returned to civilian use in 2001 and is now operated by the British Antarctic Survey.
Captain James Cook discovered the southern eight islands of the Sandwich Islands Group in 1775, although he lumped the southernmost three together, and their status as separate islands was not established until 1820 by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. The northern three islands were discovered by Bellingshausen in 1819. The islands were tentatively named "Sandwich Land" by Cook, although he also commented that they might be a group of islands rather than a single body of land. The name was chosen in honour of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty. The word "South" was later added to distinguish them from the "Sandwich Islands", now known as the Hawaiian Islands. The United Kingdom formally annexed the South Sandwich Islands through the 1908 Letters Patent, grouping them with other British-held territory in Antarctica as the Falkland Islands Dependencies
Argentina claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938, and challenged British sovereignty in the Islands on several occasions. From 25 January 1955 through mid-1956, Argentina maintained the summer station Teniente Esquivel at Ferguson Bay on the southeastern coast of Thule Island. Argentina maintained a naval base (Corbeta Uruguay) from 1976 to 1982, in the lee (southern east coast) of the same island. Although the British discovered the presence of the Argentine base in 1978, protested and tried to resolve the issue by diplomatic means, no effort was made to remove them by force until after the Falklands War. The base was removed on 20 June 1982. On 10 February 2008, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake had its epicentre 205 km (127 mi) SSE of Bristol Island. On 30 June 2008 at 06:17:53 UTC, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the region. Its epicentre was at 58.160S 21.893W, 283 km (176 mi) ENE (73 degrees) of Bristol Island.
Apr 1675 South Georgia discovered by the English merchant Anthony de la Roche. 17 Jan 1775 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands claimed for Britain. 6 Dec 1821 South Orkney Islands claimed for Britain (named and reclaimed Feb 1822). 16 Nov 1904 Grytviken established by the Norwegian Capt. Carl Anton Larsen as a whaling station.
21 Jul 1908 Occupied and made part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. 1925 South Orkney Islands claimed by Argentina. 1927 South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands claimed by Argentina. 3 Mar 1962 South Orkney and South Shetland Islands made part of British Antarctic Territory. 1977 - 20 Jun 1982 Argentine Naval base Corbeta Uruguay on Morrel Island.
3 Apr 1982 - 25 Apr 1982South Georgia occupied by Argentina (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Orcadas del Sur). 3 Oct 1985 Made a separate territory (British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands). 21 Mar 2001 The small British military garrison on South Georgia is withdrawn (present since 1982