The UK regretted as ‘misfortunate” and “strange” the announced attendance of Argentine president Cristina Fernandez next week to the UN Decolonisation Committee to claim sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
“It’s a misfortunate visit, prompted by internal concerns in Argentina and we regret it”, said UK diplomatic sources at the United Nations on Wednesday.
For the British authorities the tactics of the Argentine leader to underscore the Falklands/Malvinas question are in the framework of “the massive rhetoric escalation” that her government has launched in recent months against the UK “in an attempt to internationalize the issue and obtain the support from regional organizations”.
“The tactics of President Fernandez are very strange” added the sources arguing it is “quite unusual” that a head of state should participate in the meetings of the Decolonization Committee which are scheduled to address the Falklands/Malvinas issue next June 14.
The Foreign ministers at the OAS general assembly this week in Bolivia approved a resolution, on petition from President Cristina Fernandez government, calling on Argentina and the UK to resume as soon as possible negotiations on the Malvinas sovereignty dispute. Canada and the US were not entirely convinced of the terms in which the resolution was drafted.
Cristina Fernandez last March announced her intention of attending the UN to directly address the disputed Falklands/Malvinas Decolonisation issue, and will personally claim sovereignty before the so called C24 which has a list of decolonization cases to help resolve.
The UK does not belong to the C24, thus according to the same sources the British regret regarding the presence of the Argentine president is “a mere observation”.
The C24 will also listen to two members of the elected Falklands Legislative Assembly plus two young professionals from the Islands that will be experiencing their first political forays.
The two MLAs are Mike Summers and Roger Edwards who last week attended the Decolonization Committee regional seminar in Quito, Ecuador.
In his address to the seminar MLA Edwards said that “self-determination is the only solution that will lead to a permanent, peaceful solution to the Falklands’ sovereignty dispute with Argentina”.
He added that “we have no desire to become a colony of Argentina – for that is exactly what we would be if Argentina had its way” insisting “there can be no negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands”.
At the recent OAS general assembly in Bolivia the UK made clear its position to all member countries insisting on the Islanders right to self determination and Argentina’s recent non constructive actions.
Fiona Clouder, Acting Director for the Americas of the Foreign Office recalled that the Falklands are a self governing territory; its leaders are democratically elected and have their own constitution which outlines the relation with the UK by law.
“The future of the Islands is not in the hands of the UK or Argentina, nor any other country represented here at the assembly. It is in the hands of the people of the Falklands”, added Ms Clouder who insisted that the UK “will not talk about sovereignty unless the people of the Falklands so decides”.
“Please take note of the right to self-determination of the Islanders”, Ms Clouder told the assembly adding that “Argentina’s recent actions in respect of the Islands have not been constructive”
The members of the Special Committee are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Syria, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.
The Non-Self-Governing Territories are American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falklands/Malvinas Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.
The C24 is chaired by Ecuadorean ambassador Diego Morejon-Pazmiño and Syria’s Bashar Jaafari will be acting as rapporteur.