As anticipated, the Argentine government objected to the mines' clearance effort announced by the United Kingdom in Geneva for having been addressed “unilaterally in Argentine territory illegitimately occupied” and in violation of UN Resolution 3149 which calls on both sides to abstain from any unilateral action in the disputed territories.
According to a release from the Argentine foreign ministry, the presentation was done by Argentina's Permanent Representative before international organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Federico Villegas, in the framework of the 18th Meeting of State Parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which is taking place in Geneva.
The formal complaint from Argentina follows on the announcement by the UK that the usurped archipelago is finally free of land mines, 38 years after the end of the South Atlantic conflict between UK and Argentina over the Islands sovereignty, during which thousands of anti personnel and anti tank mines were planted.
Ambassador Villegas in Geneva reaffirmed Argentina's sovereignty rights over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime spaces which are an integral of the national territory and reiterated the special situation in which the Malvinas Islands are, described in a declaration when the ratification of the Ottawa Convention
Villegas insisted that Argentina has been impeded from accessing to the antipersonnel mines buried in the Falklands so that it could comply with the commitments of the above mentioned Convention and for that same reason it has been impossible to verify the information made public by the British delegation, referred to the demining of the disputed zone, adds the release.
To that effect Argentina considers that the demining activities displayed unilaterally by the UK, contrast with the history of technical and bilateral cooperation on the issue, which had promising results as were the Accord on Exchange of Notes under the sovereignty formula of 11 October 2001 and August 3 of 2006
These accords helped to jointly elaborate a feasibility study on the removal of the anti personnel mines in the Islands, including unexploded ordnance in the mined areas, continues the release.
Further on it mentions that taking into account the humanitarian value of the commitments under the Ottawa Convention, Argentina formally proposed to the UK in 2019 and again in October 2020, to jointly advance and consider concluded the demining process definitively in the disputed territories.
However, UK persists in its unilateral approach and Argentina reiterates its call for the UK to retake its cooperation willingness in the matter, as well as complying with its obligation to return to the negotiations to solve the dispute, as requested by the International Community
Finally, since 2009, Argentina has been presenting in every annual meeting of the Ottawa Convention its formal complaint regarding the unilateral decision of the British government to advance in the demining process without the participation of Argentina, a protest which it has reiterated and was advanced the previous week by Daniel Filmus, Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands Secretary.