The United Nations Decolonization Committee, C24, reiterated its call on Argentina and the UK to resume bilateral negotiations for a “peaceful and long-lasting” solution to the Falkland/Malvinas Islands sovereignty dispute.
The resolution received a consensus vote during Tuesday's C24 meeting in New York, with foreign minister Jorge Faurie leading the Argentine delegation.
We are thankful to all the delegations for their support to the consensus of this new resolution. From the heart we are most grateful for this gesture of friendship and support of the country, underlined minister Faurie at the end of his speech before the C24 meeting.
During his presentation, Faurie said Argentina has no doubts about its sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and adjoining maritime spaces: that is why our claim to resume negotiations is non renounceable.
However this does not mean that while we pursue our objective, we cannot cooperate in areas of common interest with the UK.
Again underlining the Argentine government's unrenounceable claim over the Malvinas, Faurie anyhow praised the policy sponsored by president Mauricio Macri, for a renewed relation with the UK, with a constructive focus on all the issues of that relation
The government of president Macri is convinced that, through an open, honest, substantial dialogue with the UK, we can deepen cooperation in all those issues of common interest which represent opportunities for both. This is a necessary condition to generate a climate of trust between both sides, appropriate for the resumption of sovereignty negotiations
The Argentine official also recalled the recent advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice referred to the consequences of separating the Chagos archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, which confirmed the pivotal role played by the UN General Assembly and the Decolonization Committee as governing bodies and supervisors of the decolonization process.
Faurie indicated that the advisory opinion has relevant conclusions for the Malvinas Islands question since it is a territorial dismemberment case, and refers to principles that are at the heart of the Argentine claim, since it dispenses with consulting the people of a given territory, because it is not considered that the population falls in the definition of a people with the right to self determination.
The minister added that Recovering the full sovereignty of the Islands is an unrenounceable objective, in compliance with International Law and respecting the way of life of its inhabitants, while at the same time underlining that Argentina has a most constructive attitude towards the inhabitants of Malvinas, taking into account their interests, in compliance with the Argentine constitution and UN Assembly Resolution 2065.
As to advances in the constructive emphasis of a renewed relation with UK, Faurie pointed out to recent initiatives regarding scientific and cultural cooperation, and coordinating positions in a multilateral framework referred to human rights, fighting terrorism, environment issues, and equally significant the resumption of scientific work in fisheries, spurred by the determination to preserve the natural resources of the South Atlantic.
The foreign minister also mentioned in that line the understanding reached for an additional weekly commercial air-link to the Islands, leaving Sao Paulo, Brazil with two monthly calls in Cordoba. We trust this is the starting point for future connections and closer links between the inhabitants of the Islands and continental Argentina, he underlined.
During this time we have also had reciprocal visits of top officials from both countries, as well as trade and business delegations, as happened when then Foreign secretary Boris Johnson visited Buenos Aires in 2018; cabinet chief Marcos Pe;a's trip to London and Faurie's meeting with his pair Jeremy Hunt, and not to forget when President Macri received PM Theresa May for the G20 Leaders Summit, the first time an acting British Prime Minister was in Buenos Aires.
We strongly believe in the value of sitting at a table to analyze and discuss constructively, all our differences, Faurie said, proudly pointing out that in this renewed framework of confidence it has been possible to advance the humanitarian task, with the International Committee of the Red Cross, of identifying the remains of Argentine soldiers buried as unknown at the Darwin cemetery in the Islands. This task has enabled 113 families out of a total of 122, whose loved ones were buried in graves without names to finally honor them at their final resting place. Likewise this year, as in 2018, a group of relatives travelled to the Islands and were received by the Islanders with the same respect and good will that those who travelled last year, for which we are particularly grateful.
Argentina reiterates is strong commitment to a peaceful solution of controversies, to multilateralism and an international order based on rules summed up Faurie calling on the UK to accept this same commitment by complying with its obligations in decolonization matters, clearly reflected in the pertinent resolutions of the UN General Assembly and this Committee, C24.
The petition resolution before the C24, with Grenada ambassador Keisha McGuire as chair, was presented by the Chilean ambassador before the UN, Milenko Skoknoc Tapia and supported by Bolivia, speaking for CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Uruguay representing Mercosur and other countries such as Cuba, Ecuador, Syria, Russia and China.
The Argentine delegation, besides minister Faurie, was made up of opposition leaders, Daniel Filmus and Jorge Arguello, Senators Julio Cobos and Federico Pinedo, from the ruling coalition and Deputy Cornelia Schmidt Liermann, who is chair of the Lower House Foreign Affairs commission.
Four petitioners also participated in the C24 presentation: two from Argentina, Luis Vernet, great-great-grandson of the last Argentine governor of the Islands and Guillermo Clifton, grandson of Falklanders, plus the two Falkland Islands' members of the elected Legislative Assembly, Roger Edwards and Roger Spink.
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