The Falkland Islands Government intend to take a, “stronger and more productive stance” at next month’s UN meeting in New York of the United Nations ‘Special Committee of 24’ on decolonisation.
In preparation for the June meeting, in mid May, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Emma Edwards will visit Noumea in New Caledonia to attend a seminar organised by the United Nations (UN) committee. The purpose of the seminar is ‘an assessment of the decolonization process in today’s world’.
The seminar aims to cover three main areas. First, the role of the Special Committee in facilitating the decolonisation of the remaining ‘non-self-governing territories’ will be examined. (The definition of non-self-governing territories includes all those British Overseas Territories which have permanent populations, such as the Falkland Islands, St. Helena and Gibraltar.)
Second, delegates will consider the perspectives of the Special Committee, the various ‘administering powers’ and ‘territorial governments’, as well as the views of experts and civil society on what the Committee itself describes as “the resolution of the remaining challenges”.
Finally, the seminar will address the role of the United Nations system in providing developmental assistance to non-self-governing territories on the way forward.
The seminars are held annually but Falkland Islands Government does not always send a representative.
Miss Edwards stated, “This year, given the increasing prominence given to its territorial claims by Argentina, Members of Legislative Assembly felt that it was appropriate that the Falkland Islands Government’s stance be aired in the international arena as much as possible. Attendance at the seminar will give the Falkland Islands a greater insight into what the aims of the Committee of 24 are, enabling us to take a stronger and more productive stance at next month’s meeting in New York.
“It will also allow us to network with other territories in a similar position to ourselves, as well as meeting member countries of the Special Committee. It is important for the Falkland Islands to raise their profile on the international scene.”
The Honourable Gavin Short, MLA will also attend the annual meeting of the Special Committee of 24 in New York in June. Falkland Islands Government representatives have taken the opportunity to speak directly to the United Nations and refute the Argentine sovereignty claim to the Falkland Islands every year since 1987.
By Lisa Watson — SeAledPR — Stanley