As Cristina Fernandez, the President of Argentina, prepares to fly to New York for the Decolonisation Committees meeting about the Falklands on the 14th, her attendance at this minor Committee’s deliberations are being met with some enthusiasm by the Islanders delegation.
Two Members of the Falklands’ Legislative Assembly will be there. Both ‘old hands’; Mike Summers and Roger Edwards, are being accompanied by two young professionals, Andrew Pollard and Krysteen Ormond who are eager to question President Fernandez about her views on ‘self-determination’.
Booked for a full day’s consideration on the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s defeat at the hands of a British Task Force in 1982, the Decolonisation Committee rarely attracts any real attention. The Decolonization process has been happening since the United Nations organisation came together in 1945, but little has happened in the last 20 years. There are now only 16 remaining ‘colonies’ on the UN’s list, some of which are just too small to have any realistic prospect of surviving as independent states. The most contentious are the Western Sahara, Gibraltar and the Falklands where countries other than the occupiers lay some claim.
The UN’s founding Charter gives all these peoples the right to determine their own future, a Human Right heartily supported by Britain in relation to the 10 non-self governing territories that it oversees. Britain has fully complied with all UN Resolutions concerning these territories and very publicly proclaimed that the future lies their own hands.
Argentina, on the other hand, describes the Falklanders as an ‘implanted’ population, suggesting that Britain deliberately moved a segment of its own people to the Islands just to be able to use the ‘self-determination’ argument.
The South Atlantic archipelago has been British since 1765 although Spain attempted to claim the islands as its own until 1863.
It is unlikely that President Kirchner will stay at the Committee meeting long enough to listen to the Falklanders’ unpalatable questions however, and is more likely to flee as soon as her tirade has finished.