Falklands invites C-24 president to “balance” recent visit to Argentina
The Falkland Islands government has officially extended an invitation to the chairman of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization Ambassador (C 24), Donatus Keith St. Aimee to visit the South Atlantic Islands with the purpose of ‘balancing’ a recent similar invitation from Argentina and to defend the Falklands’ people right to exercise self-determination.
In the letter addressed 7 December FIG points out that during the visit to Argentina, Ambassador Donatus Keith St. Aimee is reported to have made a number of statements “which were either factually incorrect or marginalised the people of the Falkland Islands along with the founding principles of the United Nations Charter and UN Resolution 1514 (XV) on which the Decolonisation Committee is based”.
Therefore FIG decided it would set out its position and “offer you the chance to balance what you heard in Argentina through a visit to the Falkland Islands”.
Furthermore, “we believe that, as you have visited the territory of Argentina (Tierra del Fuego) which claims to be affected by the Falkland Islands Question, that you should also now visit the territory that is actually affected; namely the Falkland Islands”.
The letter describes some of Argentina’s attitudes to isolate and subjugate the Falklands by strangling the local economy and denying their people the exercise of the basic right to self determination.
In the letter the relationship of the Falkland Islands with the United Kingdom is described as having evolved naturally and progressively over the years and “it is certainly no longer colonial - it is a relationship that the people of the Falkland Islands have chosen freely”.
During the visit to Argentina Ambassador Donatus Keith St.Aimee was quoted by the Buenos Aires press saying that “the visit is important because it helps to collect the most information possible, to have an idea of the feelings and it all helps for a better understanding and action at the (UN) Committee. I can read hundreds of documents and resolutions, but nothing equals contact with reality”.
Follows the text of the letter:
H.E. Mr Donatus Keith St. Aimee
Chairman, United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION: FALKLAND ISLANDS
The question of the Falkland Islands is discussed annually at the United Nations at a meeting of the Special Committee on Decolonisation. As elected Chairman of the Special Committee on Decolonisation it is your responsibility to oversee these discussions.
The Falkland Islands Government is aware of your recent visit to Argentina, where you spoke about the Falkland Islands and the Decolonisation Committee. While the Falkland Islands Government appreciates that the Argentine Government and media have their own agendas, you are reported as making a number of statements which were either factually incorrect or marginalised the people of the Falkland Islands along with the founding principles of the United Nations Charter and UN Resolution 1514 (XV) on which the Decolonisation Committee is based. The Falkland Islands Government therefore decided it would set out its position and offer you the chance to balance what you heard in Argentina through a visit to the Falkland Islands.
The Republic of Argentina wishes to subjugate and exploit the people of the Falkland Islands, against their will, under its own full sovereignty. It justifies this by claiming that descendents of immigrants from Europe who settled in the Falkland Islands do not have the same human right to self- determination as descendents of immigrants from Europe who settled on the American continent during the same era. Conversely, the United Kingdom wishes to give the people of the Falkland Islands, like any other people, the right to self-determine freely their own political status and pursue freely their economic, social and cultural development. The Falkland Islands wishes to defend its people and its right to exercise self-determination.
The Falkland Islands and the world are very different today to what they were in the 1960s when the original language for the question of the Falkland Islands was drafted. While the islands and the world have modernised, along with the constitutional relationship between the Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom, the language of the question of the Falkland Islands within the United Nations has remained remarkably similar. It is now outdated.
The Falkland Islands Government understands that as Chairman you wish to modernise the work of the Decolonisation Committee. We believe that , as you have visited the territory of Argentina (Tierra del Fuego) which claims to be affected by the Falkland Islands Question, that you should also now visit the territory that is namely the Falkland Islands. Therefore, on behalf of the Falkland Islands Government, I would like to invite you formally, in your capacity as Chairman of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee, to visit the Falkland Islands in order that you may appreciate the real situation. Because of the Argentine Government’s attempts to stifle our economic development, flight options are limited. I would be happy to advise you on the best way to travel to the islands. A visit, including travelling time would take at least a week out of your schedule.
The Falkland Islands’ relationship with the United Kingdom has evolved naturally and progressively over the years and it is certainly no longer colonial - it is a relationship that the people of the Falkland Islands have chosen freely. The Falkland Islands Government hopes to show you that relationship during your visit.
I have asked that the United Kingdom Permanent Mission to the United Nations send a copy of this letter to the United Nations Secretary General and request its circulation as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 45.
Gavin Short MLA
On behalf of Members of the Legislative Assembly