At the end of the Organisation of American States conference yesterday, and the acceptance of a Resolution calling for Britain to enter into negotiations over the Falkland Islands, the Canadian representative, Allan Culham, demonstrated the high ideals of his country in rejecting the Resolution.
“Canada believes that only the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands can determine their own future. We therefore do not support the resolution as it is drafted. Canada disassociates itself from the text and asks that this statement be read into the record of the meeting. Canada believes that we should use the General Assembly to address common challenges faced by our citizens by working to create a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.”
His statement met with total silence from other delegates who had been keen to applaud any support for Argentina’s spurious claim to the British archipelago.
The statement from the USA was sufficiently convoluted to gain some confused applause while the delegates tried to work out whether she was in favour of the Resolution or not.
“As we have stated on numerous occasions, the USA supports both UK and Argentine cooperation on practical matters and continues to urge a peaceful resolution to the overall issue. We believe that it is important that the parties are constructive in their approach, focusing on efforts that will facilitate this Resolution. The United States recognises de facto UK administration of the Islands but takes no position regarding the sovereignty claims of either party.”
Ms Clouder, the UK’s observer at the OAS conference added; “The future of the Islands is not in the hands of the UK or Argentina, nor any other country represented here at the assembly. It is in the hands of the people of the Falklands.”
After the meeting Ms Clouder and Hector Timerman, Argentina’s Foreign Minister were photographed shaking hands. Minister Timerman immediately insisted that negotiations should commence.
The Falkland Islands have been British sovereign territory since 1765. Argentina bases a claim on a concept of inheritance when it declared its independence from Spain in 1816. This concept is not supported by international law.