Mercopress reported this week that the Presidents meeting at the MERCOSUR summit in Brasilia had rejected the anticipated 2013 referendum by the Falkland Islanders on their future. The news report also stated that the United Nations had rejected the concept of self-determination for the people of the Falklands in 1985.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Argentina has made a claim that the right of a people to determine their own future, as enshrined in the UN Charter in 1945, was dismissed in 1985. Which would have been, on the face of it, a flagrant breach of the principles underlying the United Nations Organisation and its founding Treaty.
However the UN General Assembly did, in 1985, issue a Resolution on the Falklands Question –
” The General Assembly,
Having considered the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and having received the report of the Secretary-General,
Awareof the interest of the international community in the peaceful and definitive settlement by the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of all their differences, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
Taking note of the interest repeatedly expressed by both parties in normalising their relations,
Convinced that such purpose would be facilitated by a global negotiation between both Governments that will allow them to rebuild mutual confidence on a solid basis and to resolve the pending problems, including all aspects on the future of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas),
1. Requests the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to initiate negotiations with a view to finding the means to resolve peacefully and definitively the problems pending between both countries, including all aspects on the future of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his renewed mission of good offices in order to assist the parties in complying with the request made in paragraph 1 above, and to take the necessary measures to that end:
3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its forty-first session a report on the progress made in the
implementation of the present resolution;
4. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-first session the item entitled “Question of the Falkland Islands
This Resolution (40/21) twice uses the phrase; “in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,” and contains no mention of removing the right to self-determination from the Islanders. So what is Argentina talking about when it makes the bold statement, supported by its neighbours in MERCOSUR, that the UN has taken the Falklander’s right to self-determination away?
Enlightenment appears in the UN Yearbook for 1985, where two failed Amendments, proposed by the UK, are mentioned.
‘The Assembly rejected, by recorded votes requested by Argentina, two amendments proposed by the United Kingdom. By 60 votes to 38, with 43 abstentions, it rejected a proposal to insert a new second preambular paragraph, by which the Assembly would have reaffirmed the right of all peoples to self-determination and “by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Another proposal, to add the phrase “and the right thereunder of peoples to self-determination” at the end of paragraph 1, was rejected by 57 votes to 36, with 47 abstentions.’
Argentina apparently believes that their success in getting these proposals voted down, amounted to a recognition by the General Assembly that the Falkland Islanders had no right to self-determination as stated in the UN Charter. Even though the proposed Amendments did not name the Falklanders and used phrases such as “all peoples,” and “peoples.”
It would seem that the recent interview in which the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, dismissed Argentina’s claims that Britain was in breach of UN Resolutions rattled a few cages in Buenos Aires and so a new strategy is required.
Convoluted interpretations of this nature are really clutching at straws.