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“We want to be us, a free people, practicing self-determination in a democratic country”, Falklands MLA Short

Wednesday, June 19th 2024 - 07:05 UTC
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MLA Gavin Short addressing C24, that actually has 29 members and is chaired by Menissa Rambally from Santa Lucia MLA Gavin Short addressing C24, that actually has 29 members and is chaired by Menissa Rambally from Santa Lucia

Address to the United Nations Special Committee on the situation with regard to the implementation of the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples. Also known as the Committee or C24, 18 June 2024. Petition by MLA Gavin Short, member of the Falkland Islands elected Legislative Assembly.

Madam Chair, members of the C24,

My name is Gavin Short and I am a democratically elected representative of the Government and people of the Falkland Islands and my family have lived there for 175 years.

We are a multi-cultural and forward-looking democracy who have taken the Falklands from zero to a country that can now boast an A+ credit rating. Our economy continues to grow despite the economic woes that afflicts the world and our annualized inflation rate has now fallen to just over 3% . This allows us to, for example, provide our people with completely free education and medical cover both in and outside of the Falklands.

This is 2024, this is my third time in a row before this committee and I am disappointed to be here again - we should not have to be here arguing for our basic human right to self-determination but the world is becoming more unstable and we see that basic right coming under attack in many parts of the world from Europe and Asia to us down in the Falklands with some UN members states actively pursuing an agenda to subjugate people, so here I am again, standing before you speaking for my people.

The C24 are meant to be in existence to guide the so called none self-governing parts of the world on a journey to a form of government that is dictated by the populations of those territories. It is all about self-determination – you should be guiding us to full independence should it be wished by the people, or free association or to a form of Government as decided by the people of those territories and yet we see We see a committee that has publicly refused to visit the Falklands on a fact-finding mission despite repeated invitations from us in the Falklands to do so – we have nothing to hide – we are proud of our country and want to show it to you. Come down, see anything you wish, talk to whoever you wish – we have nothing to hide. If you cannot or will not visit as a committee then I invite individual members states to do so.

The election of a new Government in Argentina does seem to have had the effect of lowering the political temperature in the Southern Cone, which we welcome and it is our desire in the Falklands to work with Argentina on matters of science (for example) and taking relations back to a point where they were before the last Peronist Government walked away from an international agreement covering these matters.

This does not mean that we have any wish or desire to become an argentine colony, we do not, as having escaped from a colonial situation, we aren’t going back there. We asked our people and they made it quite plain that they had no desire either. We do not want to be argentine; we don’t want to be American or Italian or any other nationality – we just want to be us. A free people, practicing self-determination in a democratic country, left alone by the world to get on with making our little corner of the globe a better place for our people.

We ask you to respect that we have the right to self-determination as enshrined under the UN Charter – this is about people not a lump of rock. It’s about people, not some so called ancient dispute between two countries two centuries ago. To say that Britain and Argentina should discuss our future and respect our “interests” is colonial in the extreme – language from the 1960s – this is not about Argentina nor Britain – this is about us, we Falkland Islanders. Only we can say what happens in and to our country.

That is how it is in 2024. It’s called self-determination as freely expressed by the people and for the people. Not “interests” but wishes. Two little words but so different. One colonial and one democratic and modern.

I call on the committee members and both Argentina and Britain to hear these words and respect them.

Madam Chair, to repeat. This is about people. It’s about self-determination it’s about freedom and democracy and if anyone thinks for one moment that they can take these basic human rights away from us and put us back in a real colonial situation then they will have to get past me first and a population of likeminded people who live in the free and democratic Falkland Islands.

Thank you.

Top Comments

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  • Esteban Domingo Fernandez

    Who ever you are above, you are talking nonsense, Britain claimed these islands long before you even existed as a country, Spain France and Portugal have never said they claimed the islands first, only you do, clearly its false, get a proper education and do some genuine research, the diatribe you have posted is laughable,

    Jun 19th, 2024 - 06:04 pm +2
  • Falklands-Free

    Argentina is a sick indoctrinated country that wants everything in the southern hemisphere and includes Chile and Antarctica. Totally fixed on a myth that they are the rightful owners. Given that we islanders were established for almost forty years before the breakaway country from Spain invaded and removed an entire indigenous people from Patagonia.
    They were never given anything from Spain. They fought Spain for four long years to get their independance in the first place. Spain did not recognise them for many years later.
    Argentina is the most selfish greedy land grabbing country in South America and one day her neighbours will wake up and stop them.
    They are the most vile indoctrinated people on the planet.
    They have created billions of dollars of debt. They have put over half their population into poverty. They destroyed the biggest beef industry the world had ever known.
    They are responsible for more than 20,000 disappeared and yet they think we islanders dont exist. We do and we are proving that to the world how successful we have been.
    The UN C24 are a total waste of time. They know we have left the colonial era and yet they still keep us on the list of countries that need to be decolonised. They are as untrustworthy as Argentina who controls them.

    Jun 19th, 2024 - 10:53 pm +1
  • MalvinasArgentinas H&G rights

    For more than 150 years, the pirates have occupied our land after expulsing our people during the 1833 invasion & usurpation, only 8 years after the same British empire signed a treaty of friendship & commerce with our new Argentinian nation.
    Today, the kelpers, their descendants, continue disregarding the sovereignty dispute that Argentina has been year after year claiming, as the rightful descendants of the Spanish Empire. The sovereignty dispute, acknowledged by the UN since 1946, is based on irrefutable historical, geographical & international law principles, such as the Papal docs, Utrecht Treaty, & the 1825 Treaty of Friendship & commerce between Argentina & the British Empire, to mention just a few docs; these islands, that rest on the Argentinian maritime platform, are located almost 13,000 miles from the UK, & are one of the last vestiges of the British colonial imperialism in foreign lands.
    The illegal occupiers raise again their voice to convince the world they’re the victims: not only claim they aren’t colonisers, but they don’t want to be ‘colonised’ by Argentina! To appear credible, they’ve created an invalid 2012 referendum -since the sovereignty of the islands is in dispute- that goes against UN recommendations that decisions on Malvinas must be reached by consensus between both parties.
    They claim 1982 as change of their status, from kelpers to indigenous people (?). The Gesta de Malvinas wasn’t an invasion, but a recovery action of Argentinian land that specifically stopped the 150 years of unanswered sovereignty claims in its tracks, voiding legal effects of what would have been 150 years of uninterrupted illegal occupation.
    With lies, & the US and Europe backing, you may have won a battle, but Argentina actions and claims have captured the world’s recognition of this anachronic colonialism. Don’t scream wolf, when we all know who the real wolf is.

    Jun 19th, 2024 - 05:11 pm -4
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