Argentina at the Third Committee

18 Nov

Yesterday’s meeting of the United Nation’s Third Committee dealt with a number of issues including a draft Resolution on the ‘Use of Mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of self-determination’  (A/c.3/66/L.62) which was introduced by the representative of Cuba.

The Draft expressed concern about the serious human rights violations involving mercenaries, as well as private and security companies.

Questions were raised about the Committee being the correct venue to consider these issue but the Draft Resolution was passed by a vote of 118 in favour to 52 against, with 5 abstentions.

As a part of the Resolution, the Third Committee looked to the issuance of general guidelines encouraging further protection of human rights, in particular the right of peoples to self-determination, and would consider, in its next session, an item entitled, “Right of Peoples to Self-Determination.”

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, Argentina’s delegate said his Government believed the draft should be interpreted in keeping with the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Special Committee on Decolonization, which recognized expressly the existence of a sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom, and that the only solution was bilateral negotiations, as mandated by United Nations resolutions, bearing in mind the interests of the population.  Further, the illegitimate occupation by the United Kingdom of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas rendered the issue of self-determination inapplicable.

The representative of the United Kingdom said his Government had no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and others.  It attached great importance to the principle of self-determination as defined in the United Nations Charter and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Responding, Argentina’s representative reiterated all terms in the statement by his foreign minister before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on 21 June 2011, claiming that the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas were the sole territory of Argentina.  The illegal occupation by the United Kingdom had led the General Assembly to adopt a number of resolutions, all of which recognized the sovereignty dispute and urged both States to find a solution.  The Special Committee on Decolonization had repeatedly spoken to that, most recently in its resolution of 21 June.  The Argentine Government reaffirmed its legitimate rights to sovereignty over the islands, which were an integral part of the national territory of Argentina.

There is no current UN General Assembly Resolution dealing with the Falkland Islands, and the last Resolution was 1988.

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