“We would like nothing better than to have a peaceful coexistence with Argentina”, said Falkland Islands Member of the Legislative Assembly Gavin Short addressing the UN Decolonization Committee.
“But as often happens in Argentina, pragmatism and peaceful coexistence is flung aside and the aggressive posture returns”, added MLA Short enumerating a long list of unilateral actions taken by Argentina against the Falklands’ economy the latest of which are almost “an attempt to blockade the Islands”.
MLA Short recalled that he is a sixth generation Islander and when his family first arrived (1842) there was no indigenous population and in any case several sovereigntyclaims: France, Spain, Britain, Argentina.
Speaking as a simple Islander, Short ‘humbly’ called on the Committee to respect the Falklands’ people’s rights to self determination and freedom of choice.
But he also underlined that the Islands the Committee is talking about, “is the place where I happen to live and work, they are my home, my children’s’ home, my country –I am a Falkland Islander; we have a right to exist”.
He admitted some Islanders have dreamt of the day when “we might become independent but alas the dream always fades, as whilst we are being targeted by an aggressive and bullying neighbour (Argentina) we will always require some benevolent country to guarantee our safety and freedom and it is a sad certainty that were we to choose independence it would probably only last as long as it took our protecting power to leave and Argentina to arrive”.
Finally MLA Short congratulated the newly appointed Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman “a passionate champion of human rights”, and “I sincerely hope that he will just as enthusiastically champion the human rights of the Falkland Islands people as he has done others”.
Follows speech MLA Gavin Short: http://mercopress.com/data/docs/c24-speech-2010-gavin-short-mla.pdf