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Montevideo, December 4th 2022 - 23:15 UTC

 

 

Latin American countries support Argentina's Falklands' claim at UN Fourth Committee

Tuesday, October 4th 2022 - 09:59 UTC
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Uruguay’s representative, Carlos Amorin, speaking on behalf of Mercosur, was among many delegates expressing support for Argentina in its dispute on the sovereignty of the Falklands/Malvinas Uruguay’s representative, Carlos Amorin, speaking on behalf of Mercosur, was among many delegates expressing support for Argentina in its dispute on the sovereignty of the Falklands/Malvinas

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) began its general debate on decolonization and related agenda items on Monday, with speakers underscoring their nations’ commitment to eliminating colonialism in all corners of the world, with Latin American countries emphasizing in the Falklands/Malvinas dispute..

In opening remarks, the President of the General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary) said the future of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories must be established under international law and postulated on the peaceful settlement of disputes. “It is up to us to ensure that this Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism is the last of its kind,” he said.

Ecuador’s representative, speaking also for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), noted that more than half of the Non-Self-Governing Territories are in his region. He called on the administering Powers to adopt measures necessary to attain rapid decolonization, with special attention being paid to key issues affecting small islands such as climate change and volcanic eruptions.

Uruguay’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), was among many delegates expressing support for Argentina in its dispute on the sovereignty of the Falklands/Malvinas, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas. The United Kingdom must end its exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the disputed area, he said, adding that a peaceful and negotiated solution between the two States be found as soon as possible.

Mexico’s representative said there has been a resurgence in the discussion around the relationship between the right to self-determination of peoples and the principle of territorial integrity of States. One principle cannot be given priority over the other, he said, adding: “It is anachronistic that, 60 years after the great movement of emancipation began for countries and peoples that were subject to colonial regimes, this task is still unfinished.”

In other business, the Committee decided to grant requests for hearings from petitioners regarding the questions from American Samoa, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), French Polynesia, Gibraltar, New Caledonia, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara. Mohamed Al Hassan (Oman), Committee Chair, said that requests for hearings regarding the questions of Guam and Saint Helena have been withdrawn.

Due to the large number of petitioners, the Committee agreed to hear their presentations on 4 October, 6 October, 7 October and 10 October. Also speaking on Monday were representatives of Nicaragua, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, Panama and Iran.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of the United Kingdom and Argentina.

Christina Espinoza, from Ecuador, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), noting that more than half of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories are geographically located in his region, reaffirmed his group’s commitment to continue working to free the region of colonialism. Inviting the administering Powers to participate fully in the work of the Special Committee, he called on them to adopt the measures necessary to attain the rapid decolonization of each of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, taking into account the specific situation in each case, which includes colonial situations defined as “special and particular”.

Also voicing support for the dissemination of information on decolonization, he reiterated support for the legitimate rights of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgia Islands and the South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas.

Carlos Amorín from Uruguay, speaking on behalf of Mercosur and the Associated States, reiterated the bloc’s support for Argentina in its dispute on the sovereignty of the Malvinas, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas. “The Malvinas are Argentine territory,” he said, underscoring the importance of respecting the principle of territorial integrity in accordance with international law.

“Ending that special colonial situation requires a peaceful and negotiated solution between the two parties, he added. That solution must be found as soon as possible in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the statements of the Organization of American States, Mercosur and other regional and multilateral forums, he said. The United Kingdom must end its exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the disputed area, he continued, underscoring Argentina’s right to promote actions against unauthorized activities”.

Maria del Carmen Squeff from Argentina reiterated her country’s willingness to contribute to resolving the outstanding colonial question of Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas. Describing it as a special colonial situation involving a sovereignty dispute between two Member States, namely, her country and the United Kingdom, she stressed the need for bilateral negotiations. The question of the Malvinas, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas is that of a territory colonized without a people subject to colonization because British subjects were implanted there with a view to changing the demographic makeup of the territory, she said.

“Recalling previous negotiations during which both Governments presented their respective positions and explored a diplomatic solution in accordance with international law, she noted the interruption of these negotiations and stressed that the conflict of 1982 did not change the nature of the sovereign dispute. She noted that her Government provides various services to the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas, and called on the United Kingdom to refrain from carrying out unilateral actions”.

Juan Antonio Benard Estrada , from Guatemala associating with CELAC, commended Argentina’s will to resolve its dispute with the United Kingdom. However, despite that country’s invitations and the urging of the United Nations, the United Kingdom refuses to systematically resume negotiations, going against the principles established in the Charter of the United Nations. Its refusal to comply with its obligations to resume negotiations has increasingly worsened, he said, drawing attention to unilateral acts including the exploration and exploitation of natural resources as well as military actions. The Secretary-General must continue to carry out his mission to help the parties comply with what the General Assembly has requested in its resolutions on the question of the Malvinas

Luis Lugarelli, Peruvian delegate, noted that anti-colonialism is a State policy in his country, paid tribute to the Special Committee for 61 years of efforts which have resulted in the decolonization of millions of people. Today there are fewer than 2 million people living under colonial subjugation, he noted. Turning to the question of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas, he said that it is a sui generis case in which the principle of self-determination cannot be applied because of the alteration of the demographic makeup in that territory. He called on the two parties to resume negotiations towards a peaceful and lasting solution, stressing that they must refrain from unilateral actions.

Fabio Cunha Pinto Coelho, Brazil, associated his country with Mercosur and associated members, reiterating Brasilia's firm and historic support for Argentina over the Malvinas, a colonial situation that has gone on for almost two centuries. The British population was introduced during an illegal occupation and thus the principle of self-determination cannot be applied. Underscoring the principle of the territorial integrity of States, he called on the parties to return to the negotiating table and acknowledged their efforts to make progress in their bilateral relations.

Voicing concern about violations of multilateral provisions, he urged the United Kingdom to put an end to its unilateral actions of exploration and exploitation of natural resources and to refrain from promoting military exercises in the disputed area. The South Atlantic is a zone of peace and cooperation with full respect for peaceful settlement of disputes, he said.

Appealing to the Right of Reply

Gordon Brown, from UK, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that his country has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas, nor about the principle and rights of Falklanders to self-determination. There can be no dialogue on sovereignty unless the Islanders so wish. The 2013 referendum in which 99.8 per cent of those who voted wanted to maintain their current status as a territory of the United Kingdom sent a clear message that the Islanders do not want dialogue on sovereignty. Argentina should respect those wishes, he said.

Finally Maximiliano Javier Alvarez, from Argentina, insisted that the Malvinas, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas are an integral part of his country’s territories, illegally occupied by the United Kingdom. Through 10 resolutions, the Member States of the United Nations have called on the United Kingdom to resume negotiations. The principle of self-determination of people is inapplicable to the dispute between the two countries, he stressed, adding that the rights of the inhabitants of that territory are protected by his country’s constitution.

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  • Falklands-Free

    Of course they will support Argentina in the public eye because the bottom line is they are all tarred with the same brush and are petrified of Argentina.
    We Falkland Islanders are the only ones in the region that stand up for our rights and Argentina is scared of the ones protecting us.
    This Argument will go on indefinitely because Argentina has no legal claim only bullying tactics in an attempt to scare us into submission.
    If they had a solid legal claim they would have already gone to the ICJ. They wont because they know they dont have a real legal case. The rest of Latin America is as thick as the Argentines when it comes to peoples rights.
    Human rights dont exist in South America and that is why there is so much unrest today in that region. A disaster waiting to happen.

    Oct 04th, 2022 - 11:19 am +2
  • Judge Jose

    Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, yet another non story, the same garbage as last year, and next year and so on,

    Oct 04th, 2022 - 10:26 am +1
  • Steve Potts

    Nothing more than old pals act (Lip-service). Support Argentina's claim? On what legal basis?

    Remember, nothing for court = illegitimate claim...

    Oct 04th, 2022 - 10:50 am +1
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