UN’s Fourth Committee Consider the Falklands – no action pending

18 Oct

The United Nation’s Fourth Committee opened its annual consideration on the issue of decolonization on October 7th and concluded on the 14th.

As with previous years the Committee had before it the Reports of its sub-Committee, the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples – known informally as the Special Committee or the C24.

Again, in a repetition of the course of business that takes place every year, Argentina and its allies were heard to repeat the mantra that the Falkland Islands were in some way a special case despite the UN’s General Assembly never having said any such thing. Those representatives were also at some pains to include along with the Falklands – South Georgia and the South Shetland Islands, together with the more recently added “surrounding maritime areas.” In fact so much effort was spent in the attempt to include these locations, none of which fall onto any UN list for decolonization, that the official Press Release from the Committee for the first day had to be withdrawn and re-done to Argentina’s specifications.

In particular, the input from Chile had to be largely re-written as, according to the first press report, her representative had failed to mention the Falklands Islands, etc, etc, at all.

The most important statement to come out of the Fourth Committee’s deliberations over the week was the affirmation that the process of decolonization was both “irresistible and irreversible,” although typically Argentina attempted to distance the Falkland Islands, etc., etc., from the decolonization process even though the Fourth Committee, and indeed the UN, has no remit to resolve any sovereignty dispute. Argentina appears to like the decolonization forum while trying to convince the world that the Falklands should not actually be considered a case for decolonization.

It seems that yet again they failed. At the conclusion on Monday the Fourth Committee reaffirmed that there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination before forwarding 11 draft- Resolutions to the General Assembly for adoption, none of which directly concerned the Falkland Islands, although some of the more general expressions may be applied.

Having voted in favour, Argentina, as every year, then attempted to say that its vote did not recognise the Falkland Islanders as having any right to self-determination despite the fact that this is now recognised as a fundamental Human Right. They even referred to the long-dead Resolution 2065 which had been killed off in 1982 – by Argentina’s invasion of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc., etc., etc.

Another year gone.



3 Responses to “UN’s Fourth Committee Consider the Falklands – no action pending”

  1. Don Alberto October 18, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    Oh, please, Argentina is ready to send a delegation to the pig farmers’ convention in L’eglise sur Mer to talk about the Falkland Islands.

    Always the same dreary nonse, which is contrary to the statutes of the UN and all its subcommittes.

  2. BritBob October 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    According to the UN ICJ, ‘a state’s right under International Law to acquire a non-self-governing territory against the will of the people under the theory of ‘historical ties’ is severely circumscribed. When applied to a non-self-governing territory the requirements are strict; it requires proof of continuous, important and formal ties of a political and economic nature in the few instances where it has successfully defeated the right of the inhabitants to self-determination.’ (Ref: New York City Bar Association – Legal Issues in the Western Sahara Dispute – the Principle of Self-Determination – Committee on the UN 2012 para 51)


    International Courts of Justice Advisory Opinion of 21st June 1971

    Paragraph 52

    ‘Furthermore, the subsequent development of International Law in regards to non-self-governing territories, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, made the principle of self-determination applicable to all of them.’

    It seems that Argentina is rushing to take Uruguay to the UN ICJ in the Hague over that pulp mill but are unwilling to take their ‘Malvinas case’ to the UN ICJ. I wonder why…

    • Don Alberto October 21, 2013 at 2:47 am #

      I am afraid you got it wrong, BritNob.

      Argentina is rushing to **claim** that they will take Uruguay to the ICJ over the UPM pulp mill, but that is because there is a midway election in Argentina Sunday 27th October.
      When that is over, reasons to not take Uruguay to the ICJ will be found. Do not confuse Argentine foreign minister Timerman with a human being.

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