The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association during its conference in Johannesburg noted a motion recognising the Falkland Islands Referendum as a free and fair expression of the Falkland Islanders wishes and their right to Self-Determination.
The motion, proposed by MLA Dr Barry Elsby read:
This Association recognises the internationally observed Referendum held in the Falkland Islands over the period 10 and 11 March 2013, which sought the electorate's views on their Political status, as a free and fair expression of Falkland Islanders wishes and their right to Self-Determination.
The Hon. Dr Barry Elsby and the Hon. Roger Edwards are currently representing the Falkland Islands at the 59th Commonwealth Parliament Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa and also represented the Islands at the preceding 33rd Small Branches Conference last week.
At the Small Branches meeting on Saturday 31st August, Hon. Roger Edwards made a speech and then acted as one of the discussion leaders on the subject of Self Determination, Self Sufficiency and Self Governance.
Over 600 delegates representing all Commonwealth member states attended the first day of the Conference. In a keynote speech the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Dr William Shija, called for large countries to stop bullying smaller ones. His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, called for countries to respect the Charter of the CPA and allow People to develop peacefully.
In the debate that followed, the Hon Dr Barry Elsby was invited to speak. Dr Elsby said: the Falkland Islands are being constantly bullied by Argentina; they are attempting to blockade the Islands, destroy fish stocks and obstruct the development of the Islands oil industry.
He also said that he was aware that many Commonwealth States supported the Falkland Islands position, but asked if it was unreasonable to ask that all Commonwealth States supported the Falkland Islanders.