Argentina’s envoy to Britain: Malvinas referendum is illegal
A referendum on the Malvinas Islands’ sovereignty is a publicity stunt with no legal ground, Argentina’s ambassador to Britain Alicia Castro has said.
The Malvinas settlers will take part in a referendum next Sunday for the islanders to decide whether they want to remain British or rather they want to rejoin Argentina as motherland.
Argentina, however, has repeatedly announced that the islander’s vote does not count as they believe the Royal Navy has expelled the Argentinians who originally lived on the territory and has replaced them with British settlers.
“This referendum has no legal grounds. It’s not approved, nor will it be recognized by the United Nations or the international community,” Castro said.
“So this referendum is little more than a public relations exercise.”
Britain illegally occupied the Malvinas Islands in 1833 and has since refused to leave. Over the past years, Argentina has repeatedly brought the question of Malvinas to international forums in a bid to highlight its sovereignty over the region.
I would like to avail myself of the possibility to reach the readers of The Tripoli Post in order to correct a series of inaccuracies included in the article entitled “Senkaku/Diaoyu: Another Falklands?” of your February 9th issue. I thank your prestigious publication for allowing me to contribute to a fairer and better understanding of the “Question of the Malvinas Islands”.
When comparing the case of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and the case of the Malvinas Islands, the author of the aforementioned article says that the latter “have been inhabited by some thousands of English-speaking people of British descent for almost two centuries” and that “Argentina’s claim relates to a short-lived colony in 1830-33 which was preceded by somewhat longer-lived French and British colonies in the 1700s.”
Not true: it is well documented that from as early as the XVIth Century the whole austral region of the Americas – with its coasts, seas and islands – was under the effective control of the Spanish authorities by virtue of several treaties signed by Spain and the United Kingdom. The 32 consecutive Governors named by Spain for the Islands further proves this, as also does the fact that the Argentine governments which succeeded Spain took over and exercised themselves both jurisdiction and administrative faculties over the Malvinas Islands.
Furthermore, all through the process leading to its recognition of the Argentine state in 1825, the United Kingdom did not state any intention to stake a claim to the Malvinas Islands. And in June 1829 Argentina formally created the Political and Military Command of the Malvinas Islands.
On the 3rd of February 1833, a corvette of the British Royal Navy forcefully expelled the Argentine authorities from the islands. Thus started the colonial situation which still prevails and which has incessantly been protested by Argentina.
It is important to mention that in 1965 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2065 (XX) which recognizes the existence of a sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom, establishes that the situation in the Malvinas Islands is a form of colonialism and invites both governments to engage without delay in negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the problem. This mandate has been reiterated and confirmed up to the present through 40 Resolutions
of the General Assembly and the Decolonization Committee of the UN, as well as by other multinational fora, amongst which the most recent is the Africa – South America Summit held last week in Malabo, where the 54 African countries joined South America in recognizing the legitimate Argentine Sovereignty rights over Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.
Unfortunately, while the United Kingdom refuses to resume dialogue with the Argentine Republic, it does continue carrying out unilateral activities in the disputed area, such as exploration and exploitation of oil and fisheries, thus disrespecting also Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly, which calls on both parties in the sovereignty dispute to refrain from adopting decisions which introduce unilateral modifications to the situation. These unilateral activities also include the increasing militarization of the area, which challenges the characterization of the South Atlantic as a Peace Zone, therefore causing concern in the countries of Latin America.
In the meantime, the Argentine Republic reaffirms its vocation for dialogue and its predisposition to comply with the many calls of the international community in order to find a peaceful, fair and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute.
Argentine Embassy in Libya”