Cristina Fernandez in C24 Publicity Stunt

3 Mar

Amongst all the shouting over Cristina Fernandez’s offer of direct flights between Buenos Aires and the Falkland Islands, which seem likely to be ignored by the Islanders’ own Government who had poor experiences of the route in the 1970’s, Argentina’s national news agency reported another stunt.

The United Nation’s Special Committee on Decolonisation sits every year to consider the few remaining non-self-governing territories on its list, including the Falkland Islands, and this year is no different. What has already changed is that the original schedule for this year’s work had the ‘Question of the Falkland Islands’ up for discussion on the 21st June. This rather discredited Committee have however now brought the date forward to the 30th anniversary of the surrender of Argentine forces in the 1982 Falklands War on the 14th June.

In a cynical move to derive political capital out of the date, and to draw publicity away from the celebrations on that day, the Decolonisation Committee has once again revealed its bias in matters concerning the Falklands.

To capitalise, President Fernandez is now intending to attend the Decolonisation Committee’s meeting to restate her country’s curious claim to the South Atlantic archipelago, and demand, yet again, that Britain sit down and negotiate the issue of sovereignty. No doubt she’ll proclaim the long-dead Resolution 2065 raised again and accuse Britain of ignoring UN Resolutions. These events usually only attract Foreign Ministers, and often rather more junior officials, so Fernandez’s attendance can only be seen as a publicity stunt.

Britain no longer attends the Committee’s meeting as it believes that it is out-dated, biased, inefficient and a waste of money.

Britain is not alone in these views and the USA, amongst others, has supported proposals for cuts in the general budget that would affect the Decolonisation Committee.The change in date also means that two members of the Falkland Islands Government will miss their celebrations in order to put their case to the Committee. A case based on their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN’s Charter, and a case ignored annually by this Committee.

It is about time that Britain asserted that its relationship with the 10 remaining non-self-governing territories that it oversees is a modern one, untainted by old colonialism, and withdrew totally from the decolonisation process.

UN Resolutions are, after all, only advisory.


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