South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 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 by far the largest island in the territory; the South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 km southeast of South Georgia. The territory's total land area is 3,903 km2; the Falkland Islands are about 1,300 km north-west from its nearest point. No permanent native population lives in the territory although a small non-permanent population does reside in South Georgia; the present inhabitants are three officers of the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands along with scientists and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island and at the capital, King Edward Point along with postal staff, as well as three museum staff at Grytviken. With an estimated minimum non-permanent population of around sixteen people in the winter months to a maximum of around thirty five people in the summer months it is the least populated of all the British Overseas Territories.
There are no scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from the territory, although visits by cruise liners to South Georgia are popular, with several thousand visitors each summer. The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908; the territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985. 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 occupied the island. Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over the South Sandwich Islands. Toothfish are vital to the islands' economy; the Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, was named Roche Island on a number of early maps.
It was sighted by the commercial Spanish ship León operating out of Saint-Malo on 28 June or 29 June 1756. At one time it was confused with Pepys Island, "discovered" by Dampier and Cowley in 1683 but proved to be a phantom island. Captain James Cook made the first landing, he claimed the territory for the Kingdom of Great Britain, named it "the Isle of Georgia" in honour of King George III. British arrangements for the government of South Georgia were 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. Seal hunting at South Georgia continued throughout the 19th century; the waters proved treacherous and a number of vessels were wrecked there, such as Earl Spencer, in late 1801. South Georgia became a base for whaling 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; the station operated until 1965. Whaling stations operated under leases granted by the Governor of the Falkland Islands; the seven stations, all on the north coast with its sheltered harbours, from the west to east: Prince Olav Harbour Leith Harbour Stromness Husvik Grytviken Godthul Ocean Harbour The whaling stations' tryworks were unpleasant and dangerous places to work. One was called "a charnel house boiling wholesale in vaseline" by an early 20th-century visitor. Tim Flannery wrote that its "putrid vapors the pong of bad fish, a tanning works mixed together", noted one bizarre peril: "A rotting whale could fill with gas to bursting, ejecting a fetus the size of a motor vehicle with sufficient force to kill a man." With the end of the whaling industry, the stations were abandoned. Apart from a few preserved buildings such as the museum and church at Grytviken, only their decaying remains survive.
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 that established constitutional arrangements for its possessions in the South Atlantic; the letters covered South Georgia, the South Orkneys, the South Shetlands, the South Sandwich Islands, Graham Land. 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
British Antarctic Survey
The British Antarctic Survey is the United Kingdom's national Antarctic operation. It is part of the Natural Environment Research Council. With over 400 staff, BAS takes an active role in Antarctic affairs, operating five research stations, two ships and five aircraft in both polar regions, as well as addressing key global and regional issues; this involves joint research projects with over 40 UK universities and more than 120 national and international collaborations. Having taken shape from activities during World War II, it was known as the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey until 1962. Operation Tabarin was a small British expedition in 1943 to establish permanently occupied bases in the Antarctic, it was a joint undertaking by the Colonial Office. At the end of the war it was renamed the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and full control passed to the Colonial Office. At this time there were three occupied and one unoccupied. By the time FIDS was renamed the British Antarctic Survey in 1962, 19 stations and three refuges had been established.
In 2012 the parent body, NERC, proposed merging the BAS with another NERC institute, National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. This proved controversial, after the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee opposed the move the plan was dropped. 1945 – 1948: Edward W. Bingham 1958 – 1973: Vivian Fuchs 1973 – May 1987: Richard Laws 1987 – 1994: David Drewry 1994 – 1997: Barry Heywood 1998 – 2007: Chris Rapley 2007 – May 2012: Nick Owens November 2012 – September 2013: Alan Rodger October 2013: Jane Francis The BAS operates five permanent research stations in the British Antarctic Territory: Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island Halley Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf Signy Research Station on Signy Island Fossil Bluff logistics facility on Alexander Island Sky Blu logistics facility in Ellsworth LandOf these Research Stations, only Rothera and Halley are manned throughout the year. Halley VI was closed for the March 2017 winter after relocation due to safety concerns when a inactive crack, "Chasm 1", in the Brunt Ice shelf began to expand in the direction of the base.
The base was closed again in March 2018 with similar concerns. The remaining bases are manned only during the Antarctic summer; the BAS operates two permanent bases on South Georgia: King Edward Point Research Station at King Edward Point Bird Island Research Station on Bird IslandBoth South Georgia bases are manned throughout the year. The headquarters of the BAS are on Madingley Road; this facility provides offices and workshops to support the scientific and logistic activities in the Antarctic. The BAS operates the Ny-Ålesund Research Station on behalf of the NERC; this is an Arctic research base located at Ny-Ålesund on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. BAS operates two ships in support of its Antarctic research programme. Whilst both vessels have research and supply capabilities, the RRS James Clark Ross is an oceanographic research ship, whilst RRS Ernest Shackleton is a logistics ship used for the resupply of scientific stations. James Clark Ross replaced RRS John Biscoe in 1991 and Ernest Shackleton was the successor to RRS Bransfield in 1999.
Both vessels depart from the United Kingdom in September or October of each year, return to the United Kingdom in the following May or June. Both vessels undergo refit and drydock during the Antarctic winter, but are used elsewhere during this period. James Clark Ross undertakes scientific research on behalf of other organisations in the Arctic, whilst Ernest Shackleton is chartered into commercial survey work; the two civilian ships operated by the BAS are complemented by the capabilities of the Royal Navy's ice patrol vessel that operates in the same waters. Until 2008 this was a Class 1A1 icebreaker. Endurance's two Lynx helicopters enabled BAS staff to get to remote field sites that BAS aircraft could not access. However, a catastrophic flooding accident left Endurance badly damaged, with a replacement only being procured in 2011; this ship, HMS Protector, first deployed to the Antarctic in November 2011. In April 2014 the government authorised the procurement by BAS of a new large Antarctic research vessel at an estimated cost of £200 million, expected to be in service in 2019.
BAS operates five aircraft in support of its research programme in Antarctica. The aircraft used are all made by de Havilland Canada and comprise four Twin Otters and one Dash 7; the planes are maintained by Rocky Mountain Aircraft in Springbank, Canada. During the Antarctic summer the aircraft are based at the Rothera base, which has a 900-metre gravel runway. During the Antarctic winter, conditions preclude the aircraft return to Canada; the larger Dash 7 undertakes regular shuttle flights between either Port Stanley Airport on the Falkland Islands, or Punta Arenas in Chile, Rothera. It operates to and from the ice runway at the Sky Blu base; the smaller Twin Otters are equipped with skis for landing on snow and ice in remote areas, operate out of the bases at Rothera, Fossil Bluff and Sky Blu. In January 2008, a team of British Antarctic Survey scientists, led by Hugh Corr and David Vaughan, reported that 2,200 years ago, a volcano erupted under Antarctica's ice sheet; the biggest eruption in the last 10,000 years, the volcanic ash was found deposited on the ice surface under the Hudson Mountains, close to Pine Island Glacier.
The British Antarctic Survey were responsible for the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. The discovery was made
Territorial claims in Antarctica
There are seven sovereign states who maintain de jure symbolic territorial claims in Antarctica: Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. These countries have tended to place their Antarctic scientific observation and study facilities within their respective claimed territories. According to Argentina and Chile, the Spanish Empire had claims on Antarctica; the capitulación granted to the conquistador Pedro Sánchez de la Hoz explicitly included all lands south of the Straits of Magellan. This grant established, according to Argentina and Chile, that an animus occupandi existed on the part of Spain in Antarctica. Spain's sovereignty claim over parts of Antarctica was, according to Chile and Argentina, internationally recognized with the Inter caetera bull of 1493 and the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494. Argentina and Chile treat these treaties as legal international treaties mediated by the Catholic Church, at that time a recognized arbiter in such matters; each country has claim a sector of the Antarctic continent, more or less directly south of its national antarctic-facing lands.
The United Kingdom reasserted sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in the far South Atlantic in 1833 and maintained a continuous presence there. In 1908, the British government extended its territorial claim by declaring sovereignty over "South Georgia, the South Orkneys, the South Shetlands, the Sandwich Islands, Graham's Land, situated in the South Atlantic Ocean and on the Antarctic continent to the south of the 50th parallel of south latitude, lying between the 20th and the 80th degrees of west longitude". All these territories were administered as Falkland Islands Dependencies from Stanley by the Governor of the Falkland Islands; the motivation for this declaration lay in the need to regulate and tax the whaling industry effectively. Commercial operators would hunt whales in areas outside the official boundaries of the Falkland Islands and its dependencies, there was a need to close this loophole. In 1917, the wording of the claim was modified, so as to unambiguously include all the territory in the sector stretching to the South Pole.
The new claim covered "all islands and territories whatsoever between the 20th degree of west longitude and the 50th degree of west longitude which are situated south of the 50th parallel of south latitude. It was the ambition of Leopold Amery Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, that Britain incorporate the entire continent into the Empire. In a memorandum to the governors-general for Australia and New Zealand, he wrote that'with the exception of Chile and Argentina and some barren islands belonging to France... it is desirable that the whole of the Antarctic should be included in the British Empire.' The first step was taken on 30 July 1923, when the British government passed an Order in Council under the British Settlements Act 1887, defining the new borders for the Ross Dependency—"that part of His Majesty's Dominions in the Antarctic Seas, which comprises all the islands and territories between the 160th degree of East Longitude and the 150th degree of West Longitude which are situated south of the 60th degree of South Latitude shall be named the Ross Dependency."
The Order in Council went on to appoint the Governor-General and Commander-in Chief of New Zealand as the Governor of the territory. In 1930, the United Kingdom claimed Enderby Land. In 1933, a British imperial order transferred territory south of 60° S and between meridians 160° E and 45° E to Australia as the Australian Antarctic Territory. Following the passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the government of the United Kingdom relinquished all control over the government of New Zealand and Australia; this however had no bearing on the obligations of the governors-general of both countries in their capacity as Governors of the Antarctic territories. The basis for the claim to Adélie Land by France depended on the discovery of the coastline in 1840 by the French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, who named it after his wife, Adèle.. He erected the French flag and took possession of the land for France, on January 21st, 1840 at 5:30 PM; the British decided to recognize this claim, the border between Adélie Land and the Australian Antarctic Territory was fixed definitively in 1938.
These developments concerned Norwegian whaling interests, which wished to avoid British taxation of whaling stations in the Antarctic and felt concerns that they would be commercially excluded from the continent. The whale-ship owner Lars Christensen financed several expeditions to the Antarctic with the view to claiming land for Norway and to establishing stations on Norwegian territory to gain better privileges; the first expedition, led by Nils Larsen and Ola Olstad, landed on Peter I Island in 1929 and claimed the island for Norway. On 6 March 1931 a Norwegian royal proclamation declared the island under Norwegian sovereignty and on 23 March 1933 the island was declared a dependency; the 1929 expedition led by Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen and Finn Lützow-Holm named t
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office called the Foreign Office, is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for promoting British interests worldwide, it was created in 1968 by merging the Commonwealth Office. The head of the FCO is the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs abbreviated to "Foreign Secretary"; this is regarded as one of the four most prestigious positions in the Cabinet – the Great Offices of State – alongside those of Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary. The FCO is managed from day to day by a civil servant, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who acts as the Head of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service; this position is held by Sir Simon McDonald, who took office on 1 September 2015. Safeguarding the UK's national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, working to reduce conflict. Building the UK's prosperity by increasing exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, promoting sustainable global growth.
Supporting British nationals around the world through modern and efficient consular services. The FCO Ministers are as follows: Eighteenth centuryThe Foreign Office was formed in March 1782 by combining the Southern and Northern Departments of the Secretary of State, each of which covered both foreign and domestic affairs in their parts of the Kingdom; the two departments' foreign affairs responsibilities became the Foreign Office, whilst their domestic affairs responsibilities were assigned to the Home Office. The Home Office is technically the senior. Nineteenth centuryDuring the 19th century, it was not infrequent for the Foreign Office to approach The Times newspaper and ask for continental intelligence, superior to that conveyed by official sources. Examples of journalists who specialized in foreign affairs and were well connected to politicians included: Henry Southern, Valentine Chirol, Harold Nicolson, Robert Bruce Lockhart. Twentieth centuryDuring the First World War, the Arab Bureau was set up within the British Foreign Office as a section of the Cairo Intelligence Department.
During the early cold war an important department was the Information Research Department, set up to counter Soviet propaganda and infiltration. The Foreign Office hired its first woman diplomat, Monica Milne, in 1946; the FCO was formed on 17 October 1968, from the merger of the short-lived Commonwealth Office and the Foreign Office. The Commonwealth Office had been created only in 1966, by the merger of the Commonwealth Relations Office and the Colonial Office, the Commonwealth Relations Office having been formed by the merger of the Dominions Office and the India Office in 1947—with the Dominions Office having been split from the Colonial Office in 1925; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office held responsibility for international development issues between 1970 and 1974, again between 1979 and 1997. From 1997, this became the responsibility of the separate Department for International Development; the National Archives website contains a Government timeline to show the departments responsible for Foreign Affairs from 1945.
When David Miliband took over as Foreign Secretary in June 2007, he set in hand a review of the FCO's strategic priorities. One of the key messages of these discussions was the conclusion that the existing framework of ten international strategic priorities, dating from 2003, was no longer appropriate. Although the framework had been useful in helping the FCO plan its work and allocate its resources, there was agreement that it needed a new framework to drive its work forward; the new strategic framework consists of three core elements: A flexible global network of staff and offices, serving the whole of the UK Government. Three essential services that support the British economy, British nationals abroad and managed migration for Britain; these services are delivered through UK Trade & Investment, consular teams in Britain and overseas, UK Visas and Immigration. Four policy goals: countering terrorism and weapons proliferation and their causes preventing and resolving conflict promoting a low-carbon, high-growth, global economy developing effective international institutions, in particular the United Nations and the European Union.
In August 2005, a report by management consultant group Collinson Grant was made public by Andrew Mackinlay. The report criticised the FCO's management structure, noting: The Foreign Office could be "slow to act". Delegation is lacking within the management structure. Accountability was poor; the FCO could feasibly cut 1200 jobs. At least £48 million could be saved annually; the Foreign Office commissioned the report to highlight areas which would help it achieve its pledge to reduce spending by £87 million over three years. In response to the report being made public, the Foreign Office stated it had implemented the report's recommendations. In 2009, Gordon Brown created the position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the FCO; the first science adviser was David C. Clary. On 25 April 2010, the department apologised after The Sunday Telegraph obtained a "foolish" document calling for the upcoming September visit of Pope Benedict XVI to be marked by the launch of "Benedict-branded" condoms, the opening of an abortion clinic and the blessing of a same-sex marriage.
In 2012, the Foreign Office was criticised by Gerald Steinberg, of the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor, saying that the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development provided more than £500,000 in funding to Palestinian NGOs which he said "promote political attacks on Israel." In response, a spokesman for the Foreign Office said "we are careful about who and what we fund. The obje
Tariq Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon
Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon, is a British businessman and a Conservative life peer. Born in Lambeth, he was educated at Merton Park, southwest London, he was appointed Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 13 June 2017. Speaking at a primary school he said that he decided that he wanted to be a politician after a visit to the Houses of Parliament when he was 13 years of age. In 1991, he entered Natwest's Graduate Management programme working as Head of Marketing and Branding and in 2000 went to work for AllianceBernstein. In 2004, he joined Sucden Financial, where he served on the Executive Committee and as Director of Marketing and Research, he is an Associate of the Institute of Financial Services and a member of the Institute of Directors. He is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and from 1999 to 2008 served as Vice-President of AMYA, a British Muslim youth organization. From 2001 to 2006, he served as a governor of Wimbledon Park Primary school.
He joined the Conservative Party in 1994. In 2002, he was elected as councillor in Wimbledon, he contested Croydon North for the party in 2005. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party. On 13 January 2011, he was created a life peer, taking the title Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon, of Wimbledon in the London Borough of Merton, formally joined the House of Lords on 17 January. In 2014, Ahmad was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DCLG. Following the 2015 election he was appointed in the same role at both the Home Office and the Department for Transport. After the 2015 General Election, he was appointed jointly as Minister for Skills and Aviation Security at the Department for Transport, Minister for Countering Extremism at the Home Office. In 2016, he was appointed Minister for Aviation, International Trade and Europe at the Department for Transport in the First May ministry. After the 2017 General Election, Ahmad was appointed as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard Voting record at PublicWhip.org Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou.com Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
Rothera Research Station
The Rothera Research Station is a British Antarctic Survey base on the Antarctic Peninsula, located at Rothera Point, Adelaide Island. Rothera serves as the capital of the British Antarctic Territory, a British Overseas Territory. Rothera station was established in 1975 to replace Adelaide station where the skiway had deteriorated; the opening of the Bonner Laboratory in 1996/1997 marked the start of new activities in biological sciences in the Antarctic peninsula. These included scuba diving and experiments conducted in the Bonner Laboratory throughout the year; the first Bonner Lab burned down in the winter of 2001 after an electrical fault. Meteorological research using satellite data intercepted at the Rothera ground station continues year round. In January 2017, it was announced that the Rothera Research Station will receive £100m in funding from the government; the money will be used by the British Antarctic Survey to build new living quarters, storage and a new wharf. Tim Stockings, its director of operations called the investment “an exciting moment for polar science”.
A portion of the money will be used to fund the modernisation of facilities and buildings at the British Antarctic stations in Signy, Bird Island and at King Edward Point. Fieldwork is concentrated in the summer months from November until March. Once in the field, the parties travel using skidoos and sledges for up to four months, being in daily HF radio communication with Rothera, they can be resupplied when necessary by air; the station is open throughout the year with a maximum population of 130 in the summer and an average winter population of 22. In 1998, 26 sounding rockets of "Viper"-type were launched from Rothera Research Station, they reached altitudes of 100 kilometres. Rothera has evolved from a small base to the large complex; as is the case everywhere in Antarctica, the buildings need constant repair, eventual renewal, as the harsh environment takes its toll. Although some of the buildings are new, some of the older ones still survive having undergone many different uses; this two story building houses the communal dining area, library, film/TV rooms, computer facilities, phone booth, some offices and the post office/ station shop.
It was opened in 2008. This was re-built from the original in 1985/1986, using parts of the old building; the building was the hub of the base, it has the bulk of the non-science offices, computer rooms, communication facilities, meteorological facilities, dried food storage and kitchen. The building was named after the former BAS ship RRS Bransfield. There is a link corridor to the garage, on one end is the operations tower, used during flight operations. Bransfield produces all the fresh water for the base using a reverse osmosis plant; this was installed to replace old melt tanks. Admirals House was built over two seasons, it is a prefabricated unit from Top Housing AB of Sweden. The building has each with a shower and toilet facility; the building has heated boot rooms. It is named after a dog team; the Bonner Lab has been built twice, the first time in 1996/1997. A fire in winter 2001, caused by an electrical fault, destroyed the building, though nobody was hurt; the lab was rebuilt in the 2002/2003 seasons and opened in the 2003/2004 season.
The Bonner Lab is a state-of-the-art facility for marine biology. The dive facility keeps diving safely going throughout the year. There are three dry labs, one wet lab, library, microscope room and a small kitchen. During the winter this large facility is left in the hands of the dive officer, a terrestrial biologist and two marine biologists, although this can vary depending on the projects underway at the time. In the summer, as many as 30 science staff can occupy the building, upwards of 10 divers can be using the facility; the lab was named after W. Nigel Bonner, head of biological science at BAS between 1953 and 1986, deputy director of BAS from 1986 to 1988; the original lab was built in response to the base at Signy being down scaled to a summer only facility. Known as the Sledge Store, or Phase III; the building was erected in 1978/79, housed the science offices, cold room and travel store. It is now used as the travel store or sledge store; the huge amount of mountaineering or camping equipment for use in Antarctica is maintained and stored here.
The cold store remains, with four large freezers storing all the base's frozen food. It was named after Sir Vivian Fuchs, BAS Director from 1958 to 1973. Erected in 1996/1997 as transit accommodation, it contains eight rooms of four beds, a toilet / shower facility; the building is only used in summer. Bingham House was at Adelaide Island Base, is as such the oldest building on site, it was pulled across from Base T in the winter of 1977. It is now used as a building store. Bingham was named after leader of FIDS 1945 to 1947 and FIDS surgeon commander. Next door is the Chippy Shop, the original Rothera Base, being built in the 1976/1977 season; this building housed the base kitchen and eating facilities until the original Bransfield was built some four years later. As suggested by its name it is now the carpentry workshop, houses the electricians' store and workshop; the generator shed houses four Volvo Penta generators and has its own stores and workshop facilities. The Span and Boat Shed were built at the same time using similar techniques (interlocki
Queen Elizabeth Land
Queen Elizabeth Land is portion of mainland Antarctica named by the government of the United Kingdom and claimed as part of the British Antarctic Territory, the largest of the 14 British Overseas Territories. Situated south of Weddell Sea and between longitudes 20°W and 80°W, stretching from Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole; that territory was unnamed until 2012, though most of it was unofficially known as Edith Ronne Land in 1947–68 and includes areas claimed by the United Kingdom and Argentina. On the occasion of a visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 18 December 2012, it was announced there that a 437,000-square-kilometre area of the British Antarctic Territory had been named Queen Elizabeth Land after The Queen; the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague, said that the naming was "a fitting tribute at the end of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee year". Queen Elizabeth Land is nearly twice the size of the United Kingdom and is a triangular segment of Antarctica, with one vertex at the South Pole.
It is bounded on the North side by the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, to the North East by Coats Land, on the East by Queen Maud Land and extending on the West side to a line between the South Pole and Rutford Ice Stream, east of Constellation Inlet. The Pensacola Mountains, discovered in January 1956, run for some 450 km along a north-east to south-west line along the centre of the territory; the area's name will be included on all British maps. Argentina, whose Argentine Antarctica claim overlaps with the British Antarctic Territory, criticised the naming calling it a "systematic attack" and described it as "provocation" after recent tensions over Argentina's claim to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory; the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement regarding the naming, where they reminded that Russia was one of the original parties to the Antarctic Treaty signed in 1959 and calling for the full and responsible compliance by all State parties with its provisions.
According to the Russians, "no acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial in Antarctica and do not create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica". Queen Elizabeth Islands Princess Elizabeth Land