MLAs Sharon Halford and Mike Summers robustly defend Falkland Islands interests against the usual propaganda of the Argentine Government.
At the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation (C24) meeting on 20 June, 2013 the Argentine Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, made the usual Argentine demand for negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, rejecting the referendum results and accusing the UK Government of exploitation of the hydrocarbon resources around the Islands and the militarisation of the South Atlantic.
The Falkland Islands responded robustly in presentations by MLAs Sharon Halford and Mike Summers and repeated the Falkland Islands Government's invitation to the C24 Committee to visit the Falkland Islands (never even acknowledged or taken up) to see the reality for themselves.
The charade of the C24's annual resolution on the Falkland Islands, which is unchanged from year to year, makes one wonder whether the Decolonisation Committee really has a relevant role to play with respect to the Falkland Islands (and, indeed, the other UK Overseas Territories). The Falkland Islands cannot be said to be in the anachronistic colonial position that Argentina falsely represents. The Falkland Islands is internally self-governing and the results of the referendum have shown incontrovertibly that the Falkland Islanders want to remain a UK Overseas Territory (92% turnout; 97.8% in favour).
The Argentine accusation that the British Government is exploiting the hydrocarbon resources around the Falkland Islands is also untrue. As set out in all UK Overseas Territory constitutions, the natural resources of a UK Overseas Territory belong to the Overseas Territory. The commercial development of a hydrocarbons industry is therefore a matter for the Falkland Islands Government. The Argentine Government could have co-operated in the exploration for hydrocarbons in one designated area but chose to withdraw in 2007 from the Joint Declaration on Hydrocarbons Co-operation signed in 1995.
And the UK Government is not 'militarising' the South Atlantic. The UK military presence in the Falkland Islands is merely for their defence against the future possibility of aggression. As for Argentine allegations about nuclear weapons, the UK is a state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and, in 1969, gave assurances under the Treaty of Tlatelolco which sought to set up a nuclear weapons-free zone amongst states parties in Latin America and the Caribbean."
Alan Huckle (Chairman FIA)
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