I would like to wish all the readers of Falklands News a very Happy New Year and hope that 2014 brings them all they hope for.
News here has been a little slow following my decision not to report on minor items of news that are of little real relevance to the political progress of the Falkland Islanders and to concentrate instead on the news that really matters – particularly that coming out of the United Nations.
Looking back over 2013, there is little doubt that the March Referendum was a resounding success. Not only for those who promoted the desire to remain linked with the United Kingdom, but also as a political/diplomatic strategy. While dismissed by Argentina as being either irrelevant, or indeed illegal, there has been a notable dropping off of rhetoric coming out of Buenos Aires since the plebiscite.
Even better, there has also been some low-level diplomatic interest emanating from Panama and Brazil which suggests that the Falkland Islands Government’s policy of sending ambassadors to other nations to explain the referendum has been met with some success.
Yet again, Argentina failed to get a United Nations Resolution on the issue of the Falklands and their support within the UN seems to be waning. One exception to this is the Decolonization Committee which continues to be dominated by Argentina’s neighbours and defiant in the face of general UN disdain.
Perhaps in recognition of this Argentina has now formed a special Secretariat within its Foreign Ministry to oversee its pursuit of this ancient, and spurious, claim. Daniel Filmus, who had recently lost his senator’s seat, became the head of the new Department in December. Some may say that it was compensation for failing to get elected – jobs for the boys ?
So what can we look forward to in 2014? Without doubt Argentina will issue its standard form letters to the UN on January 3rd and May 10th. They will also object to further oil exploration around the archipelago and continue to maintain that the UK is ‘militarizing’ the South Atlantic. Buenos Aires will also ship in at least 2 petitioners to the Decolonization Committee hearings, one with the surname of Vernet (there are 2 0r 3 to choose from) and one Betts. These will reassert the twisted view of history that Argentina has a real claim – despite all the evidence to the contrary. Argentina will speak to both the Decolonization Committee and the Fourth Committee at the UN demanding that the UK be brought to account and forced to sit at a negotiating table. What else? Oh yes, the Fourth Committee will ignore both Argentina and its own Decolonization Committee and do nothing.
So, the big question – Will Argentina achieve anything in 2014? No.
Happy New Year