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Three cheers for our friends in Sierra Leone

It is time for the annual UN gabfest where the Argentinians moan about the Falklands, and the 'Special Committee on Decolonization recommended today that the General Assembly call for direct negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom over that Non-Self-Governing Territories'.

Prior to throwing in a few quotes, here are some of that committee's members: Cuba, Iran, China and Syria. All splendidly upstanding liberal democracies, I am sure we will all agree.

Firstly, Jorge Taiana, Argentina’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship has hauled out his usual warhorses (the whole discusssion varied little from that last year), including this 'shocker': "The United Kingdom alleged that it would only accept a resumption of negotiations should the inhabitants of the Islands so wish, thereby ignoring the will of United Nations Member States".

And the rebuttal: "Petitioner Richard Stevens, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), said in that regard that it would be unfair to apply sovereignty rights to the Falklands case alone. “Imagine every country complying with these demands with every international border reverting back to how it was in 1833. Would America for example, return part of California to Mexico, or Russia demand Alaska?” That view of territorial integrity would also lead to unbelievable global chaos".

Without spending too long mulling on this one, and pausing only for a quick peer at the 1836 SDUK map of Europe (every home should have one) on the wall next to my desk, only four substantial European counties would find their 2009 borders unchanged in the last 179 years - Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Although the latter is arguable, what with land reclaimation and so on.

Another Falklander gave Argentina both barrels: Another Member of the Legislative Council, Janet Robertson, said there were fundamental reasons why there was “no foreseeable prospect” that the United Kingdom would agree to negotiate. Argentina asserted that the principle of self-determination was not applicable due to the pre-existing sovereignty dispute, and that the principle of territorial integrity was of superior validity to that of self-determination. Annexation by the Argentine State was, therefore, the only acceptable solution to the Government of Argentina, a goal enshrined in its Constitution, she said. That pre-determined outcome was wholly contrary to the wishes and interests of the islanders and, consequently, unacceptable to the United Kingdom. A resumption of negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom, without the participation and agreement of the islanders, could not, by definition, lead to a peaceful solution".

Anyway, the LatAm countries lined up with Argentina, as per usual, and do not really merit quoting, so on to our friends from Freetown:

"Victoria Sulimani (Sierra Leone) reaffirmed her delegation’s commitment to the principle of self-determination of all peoples, noting that colonialism in all its forms and manifestations was incompatible with the principles of the Charter, Chapter 11 of which ensured the responsibility of administrating Powers to promote the well-being of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. It was in that spirit that Sierra Leone supported the position that the population of the Falkland Islands should be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination.

Not quite as good as this one from SL in last year's debate:

"h
is delegation had repeatedly maintained that the rights of the islanders who had lived on the Territory for 175 years should be paramount in any negotiated settlement. Subjecting people to alien domination constituted a violation of their right to freely determine their political status and pursue development. There was no dispute that the people were the holders of the right to self-determination".

Now if only the Falklands, Gib, Ascension, Pitcairn etc had an MP in Westminster we could make the UN shove it.

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Anonymous Che Gayvara said... 11:29 am

Argentina shd be returned to the Indians. The fact that the Argies have exterminated nearly all the Indians (& the giant dynosaurs) is irrelevant.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:39 pm

There is that point, yes.  



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