The governments of the United Kingdom, the Falkland Islands and Argentina agreed on Thursday to carry out a new stage of the Humanitarian Project Plan that began in 2017 and has allowed the identification of 115 Argentine soldiers fallen during the 1982 armed conflict. The agreement was signed at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland and the Plan will be resumed in August, as confirmed by the British Embassy in Buenos Aires.
The agreement again asked the Red Cross to act as a neutral intermediary, in this case for the identification of the remains buried in the grave C.1.10 in the Argentine Darwin Cemetery, located in the Falkland Islands.
Since 2017 we have continued to uphold our commitment to the Geneva Convention, which requires that those who have fallen in action be identified wherever possible, said the Speaker of the Falklands Legislative Assembly, MLA Ian Hansen.
The ceremony was led by ICRC President Peter Maurer and the Permanent Representatives of the United Kingdom and Argentina to the United Nations, Ambassadors Julian Braithwaite and Federico Villegas and other international organizations in Geneva.
The continuation of the Humanitarian Project Plan is excellent news. We look forward to this process helping families who lost a loved one in the conflict to put an end to their grief, said UK Ambassador to Argentina, Mark Kent.
”The Falkland Islands Government has not only allowed this work to go ahead, but has sought to do so in a diplomatic and dignified manner (...). We have had a number of visits from the Families Commission since the DNA identification work began, and I have been proud and honored by the sensitivity and respect that the Falkland Islands community has shown on those occasions,” added Hansen.
This was a follow-up to the exchange of notes made in September 2020 between the Ambassador Kent, and the Argentine Foreign Minister, Felipe Solá, with the aim of giving identity to the soldiers lying under graves until then only identified as “Argentine soldier, only known to God.”
It is estimated that the ICRC team will return to the Falkland Islands in August this year, general circumstances permitting. The agreement stipulates that the costs of the operation will be assumed jointly by the UK and Argentina.