Special Committee on Decolonization Approves Resolution Reiterating Need for Negotiations to Resolve Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Question
The Special Committee on decolonization today approved a resolution calling for the peaceful settlement of the “Question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)*”, as delegates urged an end to the “festering” dispute that had long plagued the South Atlantic islands and surrounding territories.
By the text, the Special Committee — known formally as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples — reiterated that the way to put an end to the “special and particular colonial situation” of the Falkland Island (Malvinas) was the “peaceful and negotiated settlement of the dispute over sovereignty” between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
In that vein, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina said that the longstanding dispute dated back to the United Kingdom’s 1833 occupation of the Malvinas, when that country had illegally evicted the legitimate Argentine authorities and people residing there, preventing their return and implanting British subjects. For that reason, the right to self-determination could not be invoked. “It is hard to imagine a clearer picture of an attempt to misrepresent a political and legal principle of such significance,” he said in that regard.
British unilateral acts continued to increase, forcing Argentina to take legal action to stop the “irresponsible” British campaign of exploiting the resources of the territories and maritime areas under dispute, he said. Many nations, including the 132 countries of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, had recognized Argentina’s right to take such actions, he stressed.
The Special Committee heard from a number of petitioners on the issue, including Picardo Patterson, a fourth-generation resident of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), who said the Argentine Government and people had, over the years, maintained a tradition of respect for the lifestyle, culture and values of all inhabitants. The unilateral and illegal actions of the United Kingdom in areas such as fishing and hydrocarbons had made it impossible to continue with the provisional bilateral understanding under the umbrella of sovereignty.
Guillermo Clifton, a second-generation resident, said that recent increases in renewable and non-renewable natural resources exploration and exploitation had posed serious challenges, such as contamination of the seas, which affected the people in the area. British oil exploration in Argentine maritime areas that occurred without authorization or national control demonstrated that the United Kingdom’s position was not to negotiate a solution, but to control natural resources.
Many delegations echoed those concerns. The speaker from Nicaragua, for one, said little progress had been made in settling the sovereignty dispute, while the United Kingdom illegally exploited oil and militarized the South Atlantic region. Syria’s delegate expressed his country’s fervent support for self-determination, but would not tolerate the use of that principle to justify infringements on State sovereignty. Syria opposed all the unilateral steps taken by the United Kingdom in the Malvinas Islands, which undermined any positive resolution of the matter.
Other petitioners, however, stressed that no colonial situation existed in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), where a population was living contentedly under the United Kingdom as the administering Power. In that vein, Phyllis Rendell, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), said the United Kingdom respected the islander’s desires and that the threat from Argentina was a daily reality. She, therefore, urged the Special Committee to reject Argentina’s efforts to strangle the Islands’ economy and environment.
Another member of the Islands’ Legislative Assembly, Michael Summers, said success and economic growth, despite Argentine interference, should be a cause for celebration. The Special Committee should uphold the rights of citizens and should not discuss competing claims. The right to self-determination was sacred to decolonization, he said, adding that Argentina had acted in a manner that sought to colonize the Islands.
Speaking as an observer, the representative of Sierra Leone cautioned that any negotiated settlement must take on board the interests of the peoples of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). The case was unique, presenting the principle of self-determination of the Islanders on the one hand, and on the other, the principle of sovereignty. Peaceful negotiation and dialogue remained the only credible option to advance the issue, he said, calling on the Secretary-General to use his good offices to get all parties to “sit down and talk”.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Chile, Ecuador (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Venezuela, China, Bolivia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, Indonesia, Tunisia, Uruguay (on behalf of the Union of South America Nations), Brazil (on behalf of the Common Market of the South), Mexico (on behalf of the Iberoamerican Summit), Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Brazil (in his national capacity), Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador (in his national capacity).
The Special Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 26 June, to conclude its work.
Question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Taking up an aide memoire 05/15, the Special Committee began its consideration of a working paper (document A/AC.109/2015/19) and a related draft resolution (document A/AC.109/2015/L.7), hearing from members and observers, as well as petitioners.
Hearing of Petitioners
PHYLLIS RENDELL, Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), said the threat from Argentina was a daily reality. As such, the General Assembly had chosen to associate with the United Kingdom. In the 1960s, the label “colony” might have applied, but today, political change and a constitutional evolution had followed Argentina’s 1982 invasion, a tragedy that Islanders could never forget. The administering Power respected the islanders’ desires. Falkland Islands’ constitutional reform had stripped away colonial labels. A legal system, economic development and other advances had been made despite Argentine interference. She urged the Special Committee to reject Argentina’s efforts to strangle the Islands’ economy and environment, and invited members to visit the Islands.
MICHAEL SUMMERS, Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), said success and economic growth, despite Argentine interference, should be a cause for celebration. The Special Committee should uphold the rights of citizens and should not discuss competing claims. The Secretary-General had called for practical measures, to which the Committee had failed to respond. The right to self-determination was sacred to decolonization, he said, underlining the right of all affected to be involved in that process. Argentina had acted in a manner that sought to colonize the Islands. If the Committee cared about the situation, they should visit the Islands so that its members could see for themselves.
PICARDO PATTERSON, a fourth-generation resident, said the Argentine Government and people had, over the years, maintained a tradition of respect for the lifestyle, culture and values of all inhabitants. That attitude, however, had faced an adamant refusal of the United Kingdom to engage in a dialogue about sovereignty. The unilateral and illegal actions of the United Kingdom in areas such as fishing and hydrocarbons had made it impossible to continue with the provisional bilateral understanding under the umbrella of sovereignty, making it more difficult for a dialogue to occur. The time had come to begin a new stage in a bilateral relationship. As such, he asked the Committee to continue its efforts.
GUILLERMO CLIFTON, a second-generation resident, said that recent increases in renewable and non-renewable natural resources exploration and exploitation had posed serious challenges, such as contamination of the seas, which affected the people in the area. British oil exploration in Argentine maritime areas that occurred without authorization or national control demonstrated that the United Kingdom’s position was not to negotiate a solution, but to control natural resources. Today’s draft resolution recognized the existence of a sovereignty dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina, and urged them to resume bilateral negotiations. The main problem was the territorial sovereignty, he said, expressing hope that the Committee’s efforts would put an end to colonialism in all its forms, leading to a peaceful and rapid solution to the dispute.
Introduction of Draft
CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) introduced the draft resolution entitled, “Question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)” (document A/AC.109/2015/L.7), which outlined the main elements adopted by the United Nations on the matter over the years. The text enshrined the fact that the only solution to the question was a peaceful resolution between Argentina and the United Kingdom, the only two parties involved. The text showed that the question was a “special and particular colonial” situation, different from other colonial matters, due to the presence of a sovereignty dispute. It requested the parties to renew negotiations with a view to finding a solution in line with United Nations’ principles.
He said that maintenance of colonial situations in the twenty-first century was an anachronism that should be ended. The international community had long called for an end to the conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The resolution’s co-sponsors regretted that diplomatic, direct negotiations between the parties had not been renewed, and strongly supported the sovereign rights of Argentina over the Malvinas, the South Georgia Islands and the South Sandwich Islands, as well as the surrounding maritime areas. He hoped that the Special Committee would adopt the draft by consensus.
HÉCTOR TIMERMAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina, said that he came before the Special Committee to reaffirm Argentina’s rights over the Malvinas, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. It was now 50 years since the General Assembly adopted the first resolution specifically referring to the “Question of the Malvinas Islands”. He urged the United Kingdom to comply with the obligations imposed on it by international law as the only counterpart in the sovereignty dispute that existed between Argentina and that country over the said archipelagos and maritime areas.
He said that the longstanding dispute dated back to the United Kingdom’s 1833 occupation of the Malvinas, when that country had illegally evicted the legitimate Argentine authorities and people residing there, preventing their return and implanting British subjects. That usurpation never translated into a peaceful occupation. From the moment it took place, Argentina had protested permanently and continuously demanding the restitution of that part of its territory at all international forums. “Our brother countries in the region also expressed unequivocally in favour of respecting Argentina’s rights immediately after the usurpation,” he said. Resolution 2065 (XX) acknowledged that the question of the Malvinas Islands was a case of colonialism. British colonialism there remained in place, although the British side sought to disguise the act of usurpation in the garb of the self-determination of peoples.
“It is hard to imagine a clearer picture of an attempt to misrepresent a political and legal principle of such significance,” he said. The British attempt to apply that principle to the population implanted in the Malvinas Islands was diametrically opposed to the goals established by the international community with a view to recognizing the right to self-determination. That attempt would mean that the right to self-determination of a people, conceived as a tool to end colonialism, would apply as a tool to perpetuate it. It was for that reason, among others, that two amendments proposed by the United Kingdom in the resolution on the subject had been rejected by the General Assembly in 1985, as those sought to evoke the principle of self-determination in the context of the question of the Malvinas Islands.
It was also very serious that the British policy of settler’s implantation was today as much in force as two centuries ago, he went on. That was evidenced by the fact that 90 per cent of the islands’ 2,840 inhabitants were British citizens or of a British Overseas Territory, although only 47 per cent of them had been born there. Resolution 2065 (XX) recognized the existence of a colonial question and a sovereignty dispute, and urged its only two parties, Argentina and the United Kingdom, to find a peaceful resolution as soon as possible, though bilateral negotiations, duly taking into account the objectives of the United Nations Charter and resolution 1545 (VX), as well as the interests of the population. That text was followed by 40 more, subsequently adopted by the General Assembly.
Pursuant to resolution 2065 (XX), negotiations had been held over some years between the two parties to the dispute, during which both parties updated the Secretary-General. The United Kingdom had acknowledged its obligation to negotiate, but nothing that happened since the start of those talks that changed in any way the characteristics of the sovereignty dispute from which that obligation arose. In addition, there were several acts through which the British side aggravated the dispute, including the permanent increase of its military presence in the South Atlantic; its new attempts to explore and exploit non-renewable natural resources; the exploitation of fishing resources beyond the limits of sustainability; and a campaign permanently oriented to distorting the perception of the population transplanted to the Malvinas Islands on their legal and political situation, to name a few.
It was out of any purpose and proportionality that the United Kingdom had the largest existing military installation to the south of the parallel 50° South and that its naval deployment included patrolling by atomic submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The real challenges for international peace and security would not be found in the South-West Atlantic, and the real threats included weapons of mass destruction proliferation, fundamentalism and growing environmental degradation.
Argentina had given the clearest guarantees that a national legal system “may conceive to ensure” the full respect for the interests and way of life of the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands. The first transitory provision of the Argentine National Constitution gave such assurances unconditionally. The only hostility against the population of the Malvinas Islands emanated from the British policy aimed at bringing it to ignore its political and legal situation. Such behaviour — unacceptable by any State, but even more so in one seeking leadership in the international arena — attempted to justify that international law could be violated if that was the desire of a population implanted in a territory of disputed sovereignty.
Today, British unilateral acts, he said, had done nothing but increase, requiring Argentina to adopt any and all measures allowed by Argentine law and international law to stop the irresponsible campaign being developed by the United Kingdom with a view to exploiting the resources of the territories and maritime areas under dispute. Consequently, Argentina had taken various measures in the field of domestic law and initiated administrative and criminal proceedings against such activities. Those legal actions had the support of the overwhelming majority of the international community. The Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), the Latin American Integration Association and the Latin American Energy Organization, as well as the 132 countries in the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, had recognized Argentina’s right to take such actions.
Indeed, he said, in its most recent Ministerial Declaration, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China had “expressed that the operations carried out by the companies not authorized by the Argentine Government in the Malvinas Islands area relating to the exploration of natural resources, especially hydrocarbon resources, were seriously detrimental to the sovereignty rights of the Argentine Republic over its continental shelf”, and recognized the right of Argentina to take legal action in that regard.
AGUSTÍN FORNELL (Ecuador), speaking for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), expressed the bloc’s strong support of Argentina’s legitimate right in the matter. CELAC had, on many occasions, expressed that position, including by issuing a special declaration in January. Reading out that text, he said the Heads of State and Government of the Community’s member States submitted a request to the United Nations Secretary-General to renew efforts to carry out the good offices mission entrusted to him by the General Assembly through successive resolutions, with a view to achieving a resumption of negotiations aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the dispute. The declaration also highlighted the permanent constructive attitude and willingness of the Argentine Government to reach, through such talks, a peaceful and definitive solution.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said his delegation aligned with statements of Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay, MERCOSUR, CELAC and the Union of South America Nations (UNASUR). The occupation of the Islands by the United Kingdom constituted a clear example of colonial and imperial practices, and the use military force in violation of internationally recognized rights. His delegation supported the resumption of negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom towards a peaceful solution that conformed to international standards, including General Assembly resolutions, he said, underlining that all Member States had an obligation to resolve such international disputes in a peaceful manner.
BASHAR JA’AFFARI (Syria) said that the existence of 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories merited consideration given its political repercussions. His delegation supported the draft resolution on the Malvinas Islands, whose adoption by consensus would support the Argentine position. Syria had continued to vehemently support the self-determination right, but would not tolerate the use of that principle to justify infringements on a State’s sovereignty. Syria opposed all the unilateral steps taken by the United Kingdom in the Malvinas Islands, which undermined any positive resolution of the matter. He supported the principle of the territorial integrity of Argentina, including its right to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. Indeed, the case was a “special and particular colonial situation” that included a dispute over sovereignty. There had been 33 resolutions adopted by consensus on the Malvinas Islands over the years; however, not a single one had been implemented so far. He, therefore, called on the United Kingdom to engage in dialogue and to report on measures taken.
WANG MIN (China) said that the issue of the Malvinas Islands was a “leftover” from the world’s colonial period. China supported Argentina’s claims of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands and hoped that Argentina and the United Kingdom would engage in dialogue with a view to finding a peaceful settlement to the dispute. His delegation would, therefore, support the draft resolution before the Special Committee.
MARIA RUBIALES DE CHAMORRO (Nicaragua), associating with CELAC, said her delegation strongly supported Argentina’s legitimate claim on the question of sovereignty. In the 50 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 2065, no significant progress had been made. Instead, the United Kingdom had illegally exploited oil, and Nicaragua supported Argentina’s right to pursue legal action for exploring and exploiting its national resources. Her delegation opposed the militarization of the South Atlantic region by the United Kingdom. In closing, she said he hoped the draft text would be adopted by consensus.
SACHA LLORENTY (Bolivia) welcomed the attendance at the meeting of the Argentinian officials. Aligning with CELAC, he went on to say his delegation was proudly co-sponsoring the draft text. The Special Committee was among the most important in the United Nations, speaking clearly through words. Attendance at Committee meetings was also revealing. The historic matter before it had begun with the 1833 invasion. The United Kingdom’s representative should be present to occupy his seat in the Special Committee to hear the case at hand. A group of occupiers were not “a people” that should enjoy self-determination. The Special Committee and regional organizations would tirelessly repeat the call to resolve the dispute and to end colonialism. “The Malvinas are and will be Argentine,” he concluded.
INGA RHODA KING (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), aligning with CELAC, said that the lack of political will to negotiate in good faith the matter of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) had been the root cause of military and diplomatic tensions over the years. The General Assembly had repeatedly acknowledged that what was at issue was not the will of a colonized population under alien control, but rather the competing claims of sovereignty over islands that lay a short distance off the Argentine coast. Territorial integrity and sovereignty over each island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was “not subject to the whims of distant former Powers”, she said. Her nation remained deeply concerned and frustrated with the ongoing failure to achieve progress in the longstanding dispute over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). At the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations, it was time to reflect deeply and meaningfully on the contents of the United Nations Charter, she said, adding that the Organization must identify the causes and culprits of the failure to negotiate to date and bring all available pressures to bear in an effort to resolve the “festering” dispute”, had gone on “way too long”.
The Committee then approved, without a vote, draft resolution “L.7”, co-sponsored by Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
DAVID FORES RODRIGUEZ (Cuba), joining with CELAC, reaffirmed his delegation’s commitment to working towards a resolution of the sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Cuba supported Argentina and its sovereignty claim, and stressed that the only solution would be through peaceful negotiations between the parties. It was critical to renew those negotiations, he said, urging the United Kingdom to adhere to General Assembly resolution 31/49, which called on both sides to abstain from unilateral changes to the situation while the dispute was still pending.
DESRA PERCAYA (Indonesia) stressed the need to enhance cooperation to successfully implement the third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. Throughout the year, the Special Committee had taken important steps in pursuit of its agenda, and he urged administering Powers, as well as related parties, to engage with it as it carried out its work. Indonesia acknowledged the special and particular situation related to the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), and urged the parties to resume their negotiations in the quest for a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute.
RIADH BEN SLIMAN (Tunisia) expressed his delegation’s support for the resolution adopted today, and urged the parties to resume negotiations as soon as possible in order to reach a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the matter.
GONZALO KONCKE (Uruguay), speaking on behalf of UNASUR’s member States, said that the group’s Heads of State and Government had reiterated their support for the legitimate sovereign rights of Argentina in the question of the Malvinas Islands and a permanent regional interest in the resumption of negotiations between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom. In the Declaration of Los Cardales of May 2010, the Heads of State and Government rejected, in strong terms, the British exploration and exploitation activities of non-renewable natural resources. The Special Declaration on the Question of the Malvinas Islands, adopted in November 2012, also firmly rejected what only the United Kingdom described as a “referendum” in the Malvinas Islands, he said.
Speaking in his national capacity, Mr. KONCKE, aligning with CELAC and MERCOSUR, said his delegation supported the legitimate rights of the sovereignty of a nation. Uruguay also strongly supported the principle of self-determination. The question at hand, however, was not about self-determination but about territorial integrity, he said.
A number of observer States then took the floor.
GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil), speaking on behalf of MERCOSUR, recalled MERCOSUR’s support for the sovereign rights of Argentina over the Malvinas Islands, the South Georgia Islands and the South Sandwich Islands. The year 2015 would be the fiftieth anniversary of the first General Assembly resolution to specifically mention the question of the Malvinas. Over those five decades, States had expressed their grave concern that no progress had been made on the dispute. The Heads of MERCOSUR had also adopted a special communique rejecting unilateral British activities in the area, and recognized the right of Argentina to undertake legal activities to prevent unauthorized activities with regard to the exploitation of oil on its continental shelf. Those statements were consistent with what had been heard from various groups; it was important to take note of the “regional unity” on the issue.
RICARDO ALDAY (Mexico), speaking on behalf of the Iberoamerican Summit and aligning with CELAC, underscored the fundamental right of all peoples to self-determination. However, he recognized Argentina’s sovereign rights to the Malvinas as historically valid. Reading out a special communiqué by the Heads of State and Government of Latin American countries on the question of the Malvinas, he called for a “speedy solution” to the dispute in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter, including those of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The exploitation of natural resources and the British military presence in the disputes areas jeopardized the pursuit of a peaceful resolution.
MÓNICA BOLAÑOS PÉREZ (Guatemala) said his delegation firmly supported the legitimate rights of Argentina. The dispute had begun in 1833, when Argentina’s territorial integrity had been violated. Guatemala had hosted a meeting in March at which Foreign Ministers of the region and of Argentina called for progress in the bilateral negotiations and for a peaceful solution to the dispute. Pointing out that 15 December marked the fiftieth anniversary of the General Assembly’s adoption of resolution 2065, he lauded Argentina’s efforts towards resolving the dispute in line with the Charter and urged compromise in finding a peaceful resolution.
AMADU KOROMA (Sierra Leone) said that, last year, the Special Committee had met to listen to statements about the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Concrete proposals had been put forward, but no progress had been made. The case was unique, presenting, on the one hand, the principle of the self-determination of the people of the Islands, and on the other, the principle of sovereignty. The existence of the problem posed a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. Noting that his delegation strived to maintain neutrality, he cautioned that any negotiated settlement must take on board the interests and needs of the peoples of the Islands. Peaceful negotiation and constructive dialogue was the only credible option for moving forward on the issue, and he therefore called on the Secretary-General to use his good offices to get all parties to “sit down and talk”.
MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia), associating with CELAC, UNASUR and MERCOSUR, supported the right of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute. The “special and particular colonial situation” should be addressed in a peaceful, negotiated way leading to a definitive solution. Any conclusion should be in line with the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on the question of the Malvinas, she said, urging parties to refrain from “unilateral modifications” of the situation while the dispute remained unresolved.
ZAMORA RIVAS (El Salvador), associating with CELAC, urged the parties to work through the “strong bilateral links that unite us” and use dialogue to put an end to the dispute. His Government had always supported the legitimate right of Argentina on the Malvinas, the South Georgia Islands and the South Sandwich Islands, as well as the surrounding maritime areas. However, it had not yet been possible to make progress towards resolving the dispute. He warned against any unilateral changes to the situation of the Islands; unfortunately, that principle was not being respected. Argentina had expressed a profound belief that international law would prevail and that its sovereignty rights would be respected, he said.
GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil), speaking in his national capacity, said that a long-time “special and particular colonial situation” remained in Latin America. It was important to remember that the current residents of the Malvinas were introduced following the expulsion of the Islands’ original inhabitants. The United Kingdom continued to fail to comply with international tenets, as well as with General Assembly resolution 31/49. Its current activities in the exploitation of oil and fish on the continental shelf near the Malvinas Islands were harmful, and the recent increase of 180 million pounds sterling to militarize the area ran counter to the spirit of cooperation and peace desired by the countries of the region. The resumption of negotiations between the two parties was the only way to resolve the dispute.
SUYAPA CARIAS (Honduras), associating with CELAC, recognized the sovereign right of Argentina to the Malvinas, the South Georgia Islands and the South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas. Her delegation had participated in regional and other forums, subscribing to various resolutions and special communiqués on the question of the Malvinas. The twenty-fourth Iberoamerican Summit, held in Mexico in 2014, had specifically highlighted the General Assembly’s resolutions and called on the Secretary-General to use his good offices to assist in resolving the dispute.
CAROL V. ARCE-ECHEVERRIA (Costa Rica), joining with CELAC, expressed satisfaction at the approval of the resolution on the question of the Malvinas Islands. She urged the Governments of the United Kingdom and Argentina to renew negotiations with a view to ending the longstanding dispute. In the meantime, both parties must respect the General Assembly resolution urging them to refrain from unilateral actions that would change the situation while the dispute remained unresolved. Finally, she supported Argentina’s rights, which were in keeping with international law.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru), aligning with CELAC and UNASUR, also urged the parties to renew their negotiations and to find a lasting, peaceful solution to the dispute over the Malvinas Islands. The involvement of the United Nations at the highest level was valid and critical to finding a resolution. There was no other option but for the parties to negotiate.
FEDERICO A. GONZALEZ (Paraguay), associating himself with CELAC, UNASUR and MERCOSUR, said that the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom must resume, as soon as possible, their negotiations in order to find a peaceful solution to the longstanding dispute. He was pleased with Argentina’s constructive spirit and positive treatment of the Malvinas Islands.
Mr. FORNELL (Ecuador) said a half century had passed since the General Assembly had adopted resolution 20/65. The 2013 referendum had not changed the essence of the agenda item being considered in the Special Committee today. As such, his delegation called on the United Kingdom to resume negotiations with the goal of finding a peaceful solution. Meanwhile, he pointed out that illegal exploration and exploitation of Argentina’s natural resources by the United Kingdom was a concern. He was pleased with the Committee’s consensus approval of the draft today.
Taking the floor again, Mr. TIMERMAN said that, when Argentina was invaded by the British Empire in 1833, three countries had expressed their solidarity with Argentina: Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. Since then, “we see how the world has so strongly expressed its views” in support of Argentina’s position, as well as their calls for the peaceful settlement of the dispute. Regrettably, one voice was missing — that of the United Kingdom. It seemed illogical that that delegation continued to violate General Assembly resolutions, imposing its will without heeding the need for dialogue. The United States had sat down at the table with the people of Cuba, he said, stressing that the United Kingdom should do the same with Argentina. “We are ready to receive a visiting mission,” he said, adding that he hoped the United Kingdom would do the same. Indeed, if London did not answer the phone, let the Secretary-General travel to London to help bring about a peaceful resolution to the dispute. He said that the potential introduction of nuclear weapons in the South Atlantic posed a major threat. The Special Committee must ask the United Kingdom if it had introduced such weapons.
* A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).