“We should not simply leave the Falklands dispute with Argentina for future generations to deal with”, was the message from outgoing Falklands Member of Legislative Assembly Mike Summers, in his final Speech to the Motion for Adjournment.
Speaking to Penguin News after his last meeting of Legislative Assembly he said the Falklands, “should not give any grounds in terms of where we currently are on self determination, and the fundamental human rights principles, but we must be always open minded to find ways of moving forward.”
He said the basic premises were, first of all: “There is nothing in the world that is completely insoluble, because we have seen all sorts of examples in the past… of problems that looked as though they were insoluble but actually at the end of the day there is a solution.”
In his speech on Thursday, MLA Summers gave Northern Ireland as one example.
Secondly, he said: “If we just shut down and say there is no solution to this, and don’t try to find a way of moving forward, then we’re never going to move forward.”
He believed it was irresponsible, “to take the position that the problem is insoluble and therefore we just leave it for future generations to deal with.”
But some people see it as Argentina’s problem not ours, suggested Penguin News.
MLA Summers said: “There is a problem because we are constantly trying to solve it. When you look at the sanctions regime the reason that is in place is because we have an issue, we have dispute.”
He said the message was for those who believed the Falklands were better served by being isolationist and staying away from any kind of forward movement, ”frankly because we are scared of what might happen.”
But why would we believe there’s any hope - what has changed?
He said: “I think there is hope for as long as there is relative peace in South America and as long as they don’t revert to military style dictatorships, as long as they continue to have and to elect democratic governments and embrace the concept of democracy and with it embrace the concept of the rights of people and human rights, then there is hope.”
As an example he said Chile had matured in their examination of issues compared to other South American countries: “So what we have to do is to hold our position but be ready to engage if there are things that are to our benefit and push forward with, but not give anything if we don’t have to.”
He accepted, “it probably will take another 30 years frankly, for democratic concepts to broaden and deepen, not only in governments but in the community; that’s where ultimately it will blossom. When people really do believe that the rights of people are more important than land grabs, then there’s hope.”
Speaking of the Falklands in 30 years time he said, “it’s not just up to them [Argentina] it’s up to all of us to fix it if we can.” (Penguin News)