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Montevideo, October 20th 2018 - 03:17 UTC

Argentina/Falklands “constructive spirit” will be tested at the UN C24 presentations

Monday, June 11th 2018 - 07:28 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Argentine president Mauricio Macri and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the recent meeting held in Quebec Argentine president Mauricio Macri and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the recent meeting held in Quebec
In 2013 the Falkland Islanders voted overwhelmingly to remain as a British Overseas Territory In 2013 the Falkland Islanders voted overwhelmingly to remain as a British Overseas Territory
Tierra del Fuego governor Rosana Bertone appointed Jorge Argüello as provincial advisor to the federal government in the Malvinas question Tierra del Fuego governor Rosana Bertone appointed Jorge Argüello as provincial advisor to the federal government in the Malvinas question

The constructive spirit and pragmatic attitude towards Argentina/United Kingdom relations and shared interests seems to have spilled positively to international forae, for example the latest OAS general assembly declaration regarding the Malvinas Islands, which does not mention “militarization of the South Atlantic or nuclear arms”, as was common in the Kirchner couple years, and rather keeps to the traditional annual disputed sovereignty claim under the umbrella of the United Nations.

 Something similar can be said about this weekend's statement on the “Argentine rights over Malvinas Islands”, other South Atlantic islands and an Antarctica sector. This does not mean Islanders should feel relieved or cease their international campaign, particularly in the region, to have their right to self determination recognized, as was clearly exercised and expressed in the 2013 referendum with an overwhelming turnout voting to continue as a British Overseas Territory.

In effect Canada which has been one of the very few to recognize the results of the referendum, and also helped to finance and promote with foreign observers, apparently had changed its firewall stand in support of the Falklands for a more mild see-and-wait attitude as the new constructive spirit evolves.

Some analysts claim this is because of the Liberal administration of Justin Trudeau and even a closer relation between the Canadian leader and president Mauricio Macri. What sounds more plausible is that Argentina is intent in “integrating to the world” and be considered a serious, reliable partner, advancing relations and cooperation with the UK in those areas of shared interest both in the South Atlantic and in the rest of the world. Likewise removing ideology from the country's commitment to development, fair trade, multilateralism, combating poverty, climate change and respecting the environment.

However it must not be forgotten that at the recent OAS general assembly in Washington the declaration in support of Argentina was sponsored by Brazil and Bolivia, in the extremes of the current ideological arch of Latin America: the conservative government of president Temer removed the populist Dilma Rousseff, and Bolivia, which together with Uruguay remain the only supporters, from different angles, of the Venezuelan regime of Maduro.

Anyhow another test of this new constructive spirit will be taking place at the end of the month in the United Nations Decolonization or C24 meeting where Argentina and Falklands representatives will be making presentations. No surprises can be expected at the end of the round since the UN C24 is not necessarily an example of common sense or fairness, rather the contrary, but the tone and attitudes will be fathomed, plus the fact that the self proclaimed “international law and history expert, one time hero of the Argentine media”, Alejandro Betts, apparently has been delisted as petitioner from the Argentine delegation.

Nevertheless other events are evolving in Tierra del Fuego where governor Rosana Bertone signed provincial bill 1222 creating the Secretary of State for the official representation in the Malvinas question. This in other words means the province of Tierra del Fuego, which nominally includes the Falklands and a sector of Antarctica, will be advising the federal government in issues referred to the Falklands, South Atlantic islands and adjoining maritime spaces. The purpose of the bill is not only to advise Buenos Aires but to promote Tierra del Fuego sovereign rights on the insular territories before international and multilateral organizations.

And Bertone also appointed as head of the recently created Secretariat, Jorge Argüello, who was Argentine ambassador before the UN between 2007 and 2011. Ambassador in Washington 2011/13 and in Portugal 2013/15. During his diplomatic performance in the UN and Washington he was no fan of the Falklands, and went to claim on record that Falkland Islanders had voted in the 2013 referendum at gun point in favor of UK. He added that in really free elections, UN monitored, Falkland Islanders would enthusiastically abandon their poverty conditions to embrace the Argentine option.

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  • Conqueror

    The “constructive spirit and pragmatic attitude” only go so far. It's fair enough for the United Kingdom to trade with argieland, although I won't purchase anything from there, and for the Falkland Islands to “co-operate” with argieland about data on fish stocks if the Falkland Islanders are willing.

    However, nothing will really change until argieland removes its ridiculous “claim” to the Islands from its constitution, changes its “education” system to remove the propaganda about the Islands and ceases to waste the world's time with its imperialist ambitions. It's not as though argieland has anything that educated or intelligent Islanders need. Argieland has pursued its illicit “claim” right up to the present day because it wants the wealth that will accrue to the Islands. The younger generation of Islanders might be dazzled by the bright lights etc of the mainland, but they should bear in mind that someone shines a bright light in one's eyes to blind one to assault and theft. As a specific example, the United Kingdom is in a particularly good position to take a part of any revenues resulting from gas or oil exploitation. It is understood that the Falkland Islands Government has made a commitment to making a significant contribution toward the costs of maintaining and adequate military presence. But has Britain actually asked for a contribution? Bearing in mind that Britain maintained a token presence before the 1982 war and has subsequently considerably increased that presence, and updated it, over the last 36 years. Is there anyone that could actually believe that an accepted official argie presence wouldn't lead to a land and resources grab?

    If argieland truly has a “constructive spirit”, it could have demonstrated it when Macri took power. There was even a possibility that he might have thought that dropping his country's laughable “claim” needed to wait until he was properly established. He's now three quarters into his term and nothing substantive.

    Jun 11th, 2018 - 08:38 am +4
  • Brit Bob

    Ah the UN C24.

    The C24 continues to operate, despite numerous criticisms levelled at it over the years, including that it is an 'anachronism' because of its inflexibility, that does not accurately reflect territorial developments in its Resolutions, that it is no longer useful, and that its operation is too expensive. (New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, Vol 11, 2013, p12, quoting Connell, p168, Overseas Territories Memorandum by UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Jorri C Dursma, Fragmentation and The Internal Relations of Micro-States : Self-Determination & Statehood, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p49, Mittlemann J. H. 'Collective Decolonization and the UN Committee of 24' 1976, the Journal of Modern Africa Studies, 41 at 55).

    Falklands – UN C24 Committee:
    https://www.academia.edu/11274445/Falklands_-_UN_C24_Committee

    Jun 11th, 2018 - 09:27 am +2
  • gordo1

    Same old! Same old!

    Jun 11th, 2018 - 07:36 pm +1
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