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Montevideo, December 7th 2016 - 18:15 UTC

Falklands claims UN Decolonization chair is not acting with impartiality

Tuesday, November 20th 2012 - 19:05 UTC
Full article 234 comments
Cristina Fernandez, first time a president sits at the C24 meeting in New York  Cristina Fernandez, first time a president sits at the C24 meeting in New York

The Falkland Islands government complained on Tuesday that the Chairman of the UN Decolonization Committee, Ambassador Diego Morejón Pazmiño is not acting with the impartiality that his role demands and revealed a letter, which remains unanswered, inviting the ambassador to visit the Falklands matching his informative trip to Argentina on the sovereignty of the Islands dispute.

The Falklands’ release refers to an interview published by the Argentine newspaper Tiempo Argentino where Mr Morejón Pazmiño, last 8 October, is quoted making statements “that, if reported accurately, would conflict with his role as an impartial C24 Chairman” and with a later interview in the same media (November 10) with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who stated people should be able to plan and govern their own future, which “is the main criteria of relevant UN bodies”.

The Falklands government letter dated 18 October to Ambassador Morejón Pazmiño points out that it is clear from the Tiempo Argentino interview and other speeches in the past, “that you have already decided that the Falkland Islands should be ceded to Argentina against the clear wishes of its people. This is in direct conflict with the United Nations principle of self determination”.

Further on the letter underlines that the Chair of C24 has visited Argentina “so as to better inform yourself in this matter and yet you have failed to do what any impartial Chair would then do, namely to visit the Falkland Islands, speak to Elected Members and talk to our people”.

The letter also mentions the fact that Ambassador Morejón Pazmiño admits to have been chosen to the C24 Chair “as candidates in the Caribbean were thought to be biased” on the issue of the sovereignty dispute.

After recalling that the Falklands are a self-governing Overseas Territory of the UK, (“on our own choosing”), the letter says that “we are a thriving democracy with a modern Constitution. We elect our own Government in a democratic manner, make our own laws and run our own affairs. We neither receive funds from nor send monies to the United Kingdom”.

The letter also rebukes statements of alleged ‘militarization’, reminding the C24 chair that the only reason there are military forces in the Falklands is “as a result of our country being invaded by Argentina in 1982”.

Finally the elected Members of the Falkland Island Government “yet again extend an invitation to you and other members of the C 24 to visit the Falkland Islands before the next meeting of the Committee so as to better inform yourselves of the real situation here”.

It must also be said that the Falklands government states that “the Decolonisation Committee is seen by most people as an outdated, ineffective and partial Committee and your actions as Chair have brought its reputation even further into disrepute”.

Follows the complete text of the letter addressed to the C24 Chair:

“Dear Ambassador,

I write to you on behalf of the Members of the Falkland Island Legislative Assembly. We were concerned to read your comments on the Falkland Islands as reported recently in Tiempo Argentino.

In the article you rightly say that the Falkland Islands are no longer a colony. The modern Falkland Islands are a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom; a situation of our own choosing.

We are a thriving democracy with a modern Constitution. We elect our own Government in a democratic manner, make our own laws and run our own affairs. We neither receive funds from nor send monies to the United Kingdom.

As the Chair of a United Nations Committee you are bound to uphold the values of that institution and to act in a democratic and impartial manner. You state that you were chosen to Chair this committee as candidates in the Caribbean were thought to be biased.
However, it is clear from this report, and from other speeches in the past, that you have already decided that the Falkland Islands should be ceded to Argentina against the clear wishes of its people. This is in direct conflict with the United Nations principle of self determination.

You have visited Argentina so as to better inform yourself in this matter and yet you have failed to do what any impartial Chair would then do, namely to visit the Falkland Islands, speak to Elected Members and talk to our people.

You also claim that the United Kingdom has failed to respond to Argentina’s claims of militarisation of the Falkland Islands.

I would first remind you that the only reason there are military forces here is as a result of our country being invaded by Argentina in 1982. On the specific point, I would refer you to the written reply of 22nd February 2012 from the United Kingdom Government to the Government of Argentina.

The Decolonisation Committee is seen by most people as an outdated, ineffective and partial Committee and your actions as Chair have brought its reputation even further into disrepute. The elected Members of the Falkland Island Government yet again extend an invitation to you and other members of the committee to visit the Falkland Islands before the next meeting of the Committee so as to better inform yourselves of the real situation here.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Dr Barry Elsby MLA,
On behalf of Members of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly”
 

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Brit Bob

    With pillars of democracy like Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China, Syria and Iran on the C24 what does the UN expect.

    Nov 20th, 2012 - 07:40 pm 0
  • scarfo

    It must also be said that the Falklands government states that “the Decolonisation Committee is seen by most people as an outdated, ineffective and partial Committee and your actions as Chair have brought its reputation even further into disrepute”.

    this pretty much hits the nail on the head!

    Nov 20th, 2012 - 07:48 pm 0
  • Brit Bob

    Interesting UN judgement on the islands that ownership was disputed between Venezuela and Columbia. It seems that they belonged to Columbia as Venezuela had signed them away in a treaty some years ago in the 20th Century. Venezuela claimed that the treaty was signed under duress from the US.

    Sounds rather like Argentina signing the 'Convention of Settlement' in 1850 and then not making any protests about British Sovereignty until 1941 (after 50 years such disputes on sovereignty are considered defunct if there is a gap of 50 years or more between protests).

    Still, what would Argentina do without the 'Great Malvinas Lie?'

    Nov 20th, 2012 - 07:59 pm 0
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