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Montevideo, November 20th 2018 - 14:10 UTC

Parlasur dialogue with Kelpers: a great opportunity lost

Saturday, November 15th 2014 - 01:13 UTC
Full article 66 comments
“Taking into account the interests of the Islands population”, many of whose ancestors have been living there since the 1850s, is basic for any resolution. “Taking into account the interests of the Islands population”, many of whose ancestors have been living there since the 1850s, is basic for any resolution.

By Jaime Trobo (*) - Parlasur, acronym for Mercosur Parliament, decided to approve a declaration relative to the Malvinas Islands situation, and more specifically on the sovereignty conflict between the Argentine Republic and Great Britain, which has been ongoing for over 180 years with no reasonable accord.

 During those almost two centuries, families from diverse origin, British, Chilean, Argentine and of other territories, including Uruguayans have settled in the Islands, who defying adverse natural conditions and adapting to them have developed their peaceful community life, dedicated to livestock breeding, fishing, receiving tourism avid to enjoy the natural environment conditions of those territories.

A small community of which many members are proud of their “kelper” condition, whose families arrived five or more generations ago and today consider themselves as native of the Islands as Uruguayans whose grandparents arrived to our soil back in the XIX century, feel native of where we stand now.

The long standing conflict, whose solution has been distanced, be it because of the lack of interest from either side to resolve it, with evidence in the long periods in which it seemed immobile, be it the terrible events of the 1982 war which pretended to solve the issue 'manu militari', achieving the complete opposite result.

Meanwhile, the Islands' population, that small community of three thousand people that challenges adverse conditions, including the indifference from its neighbors and even the harassment to its living conditions and relations with the world, is left aside in the debate and its opinion is not taken into account.

The Parlasur declaration, preceded by a call to address the issue, in which not the slightest attention was given to the Islands population, despite the fact that through the elected Legislative Assembly it formally requested to be listened, appeals to United Nations documents which specifically states “to take into account the interests of the Islands population”. A paragraph from that statement says:

That the UN General Assembly through Resolution 2065 (XX) and later resolutions, as well as those from the Special Committee on Decolonization describe the “question of the Malvinas Islands” as a special and particular colonial situation which involves a sovereignty dispute between the Republic of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and the adjoining maritime spaces, and call on both sides to resume negotiations for a peaceful and definitive solution to the problem “taking into account the interests of the population of the Islands”.

It must be taken into account that the mentioned Resolution 2065 from the UN General Assembly, approved 16 December 1965, as in other UN Resolutions on this very issue, clearly points out to ”Reaffirming the need that the sides bear in mind the interests of the population of those Islands in conformity with what is established by the General Assembly in the resolutions referred to the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands) question“.

In the letter addressed by the Islands Legislative Assembly to the Parlasur president, it states that:

”I am therefore writing you to as President of the Mercosur parliament and as a fellow parliamentarian respectfully to suggest that in order for Parlasur to uphold its high ideals, it should give an opportunity to a representative of the elected Government of the Falkland Islands to speak at the session on 11th November. By doing so, you will demonstrate that you are impartial as an institution and support human rights and self-determination, fundamental values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the cornerstone of every democratic Parliament and Assembly“. hhttp://www.falklands.gov.fk/assets/FIG-Request-to-ParlaSur-President-Ruben-Martinez-Huelmo-ENGLISH.pdf

Parlasur didn't pay the slightest attention to this letter dated 25 September 2014, moreover in the hours previous to the 10 November session its existence was not made official. And versions indicate that the Argentine delegation, the only one consulted, rejected point blank that it should be made known and released, rather than admitting its existence as should have been the civilized and democratic case.

With this attitude Parlasur in erasing with the elbow what it writes with the same hand, the definitive resolution of the conflict will take time, or maybe not, but it will be the son of tolerance, of negotiating intelligence and above all of the purpose of satisfying the multiple interests involved in the question. But there's no doubt that, and the UN has said it timidly, it must be achieved ”taking into account the interests of the Islands population”, many of whose ancestors have been living there since the 1850s.

The Mercosur parliament, to the virtual blockade which the Islands suffer, with serious communications difficulties with its neighbors, has added mental and political blockade by dismissing a respectful request for its side of the conflict to be known. Someday, inevitably it will happen, but a great opportunity has been lost.

(*) Jaime Mario Trobo; President of Uruguay's Lower House International Affairs Committee

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  • Anglotino

    Interesting and thoughtful article. And Trobo is right that no one will ever be able to ignore the Islanders when it comes to dealing with the Falkland Islands.

    One point though, Parlasur is not an acronym but a portmanteau - like my name - however considering nearly every single Spanish speaker on here gets it wrong, it is hardly surprising that this mistake was made.

    Nov 15th, 2014 - 03:11 am 0
  • Britworker

    As we have always known, any committee in south america that meets to discuss this matter has one preconceived, preordained outcome.

    Once again south america shows the world that democracy means nothing to them.

    Nov 15th, 2014 - 09:12 am 0
  • Brit Bob

    Argentina has had 92 years to bring their so-called dispute to the ICJ/PCIJ and as a result of not doing anything have acquiesced to British possession. Add 'Conquest and Subjugation' 'immemorial Possession' 'Convention of Settlement peace treaty' 'Extinctive Prescription' and 'Self-Determination' into the mix and anyone with half an once of common sense will realise that the legal status of. The Falklands is NOT in despite. UN 2065 is dead, killed off by the 1982 invasion (the resolution stated 'peaceful' and the 'interests of the inhabitants' is no longer applicable because this has been replaced by 'inalienable rights of the inhabitants' brought about by changes in international law. Hence Ban Ki-Moon's comments, 'I don't think Security Council members Re. Breaching ANY ''relevant'' UN resolutions.'

    Nov 15th, 2014 - 09:25 am 0
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