June is a hectic month for the dispute between Argentina and UK regarding the British Overseas Territory Falkland Islands, with a string of remembrance dates referred to the ongoing disagreement.
In effect, Argentina added to its national calendar since 1973, June 10th, as the Day of the Assertion of Argentine Rights over the Malvinas Islands, (recalling the first Argentine Comandancia established in the Islands on 10 June 1829); then we have 14th June, when the Falkland Islands commemorate Liberation Day, that is when the occupying Argentine troops surrendered to a British Task Force following a 74-day armed conflict, and finally both sides, Falklands and Argentina, attend the United Nations Decolonization Committee to present their cases regarding status and sovereignty over the disputed Islands.
However on this occasion, June has an additional touch, it's one year before the 40th anniversary of the end of the 1982 conflict and both sides are preparing to commemorate it in their own way and purposes. Likewise, it coincides with the end of the five-year term of the British ambassador to Argentina, Mark Kent, who learnt to be fluent in Spanish, became a popular figure in social networks, even managed a club of fans, and turned the embassy into a hub of activities.
Not to say the fact that during his time the most significant event in four decades took place in the Falklands with the Red Cross mastering the Humanitarian Project that helped DNA identify 115 Argentine remains, from the 1982 conflict, buried in the Islands as soldiers only known to God.
As expected in an Argentine media farewell last interview, the issue of the Falklands sovereignty, British military presence in the Islands, insistently emerged. Ambassador Kent outlined that the Falklands have their own elected government, based on the right to self-determination, which they reaffirmed in a 2013 referendum, make their own decisions, including relations with other countries.
This was immediately replied to by Argentina's defence minister Agustin Rossi, who referred to UK policies as colonial and the offensive British military presence in the Islands, as if the war had never ended. The remarks were made during a Monday ceremony at the Defense ministry which also gathered the Security minister, Chiefs of Staff, commanders of all military services and Malvinas veterans.
As the UK well knows UN Resolution 2065 and subsequent ones, are very clear in that the way to solve the colonial situation of the Malvinas is a bilateral negotiation between the United Kingdom and Argentina. It never included the right to self-determination, since this principle only applies to cases involving a dominated or colonized people. This is not the case of those living in Malvinas, points out a statement from Malvinas Secretary Daniel Filmus.
The sensitivity of the matter for Argentina is evident, and this can be gauged by the delegation that will be attending in the last week of June, in New York, the United Nations Decolonization Committee, or C24, meeting to confront the Falklands, which is to be headed by Foreign minister Felipe Solá.
The Falkland Islands insist on participating in the annual C24 meetings, even though the Foreign Office is not entirely convinced since many, when not most, of C24 members are countries that have little consideration for human rights, democratic values or rule of the law, and year after year agree on a unanimous declaration in support of Argentina's claim over the Falkland Islands, with little consideration for self-determination or accepting an in situ visit to the Islands despite repeated invitations.
The problem is also that some neighbouring countries, with whom the Falklands has normal relations, are usually sponsors of the C24 declaration in support of Argentina.