No Resolution for Argentina on the Falklands

16 Oct

Concluding its deliberations on the issue of decolonisation, the Fourth Committee yesterday, having considered the question of decolonization in-depth since its began its session on 8 October, forwarded 10 draft texts to the General Assembly reaffirming the rights of the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories to shape their destiny.

The Committee also stressed the importance of the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples being kept apprised of the views and wishes of the peoples of the Territories and would call upon the administering Powers to cooperate fully with that Committee’s work.

Responding, Argentina gave its full support to the right of self-determination, in general for 11 of the Territories as long as the exercise of that right was in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and the freely expressed wishes of the people of the Territories concerned. At the same time, Argentina’s representative said that the principle of self-determination was only one of two guiding tenets that applied to Non-Self-Governing Territories. Territorial integrity, as established by numerous General Assembly resolutions, was also to be considered in special and particular cases, such as that of the Falkland Islands.   

The representative of the United Kingdom, explaining her delegation’s position, expressed regret at the “outdated approach” of the Special Committee, which did not recognize progress made in the Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom.  Some of the language in today’s resolution was unacceptable as it did not reflect that the relationship between the United Kingdom and its Territories, which was based on shared values and the right to self-determination. The United Kingdom did not accept the assertion that the people of Gibraltar and of the Falkland Islands did not have the right to self-determination.

The other draft resolutions approved without a vote today concerned:  the importance of promoting the educational advancement of the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories, and the responsibility of the United Nations towards the people of Western Sahara. The Committee also approved draft resolution II, on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (France, United Kingdom).

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Argentina said the draft just adopted was part of General Assembly resolution 1514 and other relevant Assembly resolutions on decolonization.  As a result, the applicability of the text for specific Territories depended on the right to self-determination, applicable to that Territory in particular.  For the exercise of that right, there needed to be an active subject — a people subjected to domination and exploitation by a foreign party.  If that was not the case, there was no right to self-determination. The delegate added that the Falklands,  South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas had been illegally occupied by the United Kingdom, which had expelled the population by force and replaced it with its own.  That meant that the issue of self-determination was inapplicable to the Falkland Islands.  The draft resolution just approved, therefore, was in no way applicable to the Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.  Any General Assembly resolution on the Falklands as, well as those approved today had expressly established that, because there was a sovereignty dispute the way to end that colonial situation was not self-determination, but a negotiated solution to the sovereignty dispute between the parties, the United Kingdom and Argentina.

Additionally, said the representative, the unilateral exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural energy sources of the Republic of Argentina in the Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, was unacceptable and not in line with the United Nations resolutions.

In response to the statement made by the representative of Argentina, the representative of the United Kingdom stated that her country did not accept the assertion that the people of Falkland Islands did not have the right to self-determination.

No draft Resolution on the subject of the Falkland Islands was forwarded to the General Assembly.


2 Responses to “No Resolution for Argentina on the Falklands”

  1. lordton1955 October 16, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Don’t you just love the way that Argentina attempts to qualify its vote AFTER it has voted ?

  2. Bloke October 16, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Sometimes I get the distinct impression that Argentina’s diplomacy is one of the most brilliant bits of satirical performing art in history.

    The rank hypocrisy, unthinking malevolence and professional victimhood are just tuned slightly *too* perfectly to be the real actions of real diplomats in the real world.

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