Falkland Islands Reception 13 June 2017
The annual Falkland Islands reception, held on 13 June and hosted by Sukey Cameron MBE (Falkland Islands Government Representative in London), was well attended by Falkland Islanders and the many friends of the Falklands in the UK celebrating the 35th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands from Argentine military occupation in 1982. This year, the reception was held in Middle Temple rather than Lincoln's Inn (which is undergoing restoration).
Sir Alan Duncan, newly reappointed Minister of State in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) – this was his first outside public appointment as Minister following the general election on 8 June – welcomed the opportunity to establish a broader bilateral relationship with Argentina under President Macri’s administration but stressed that this would not put British sovereignty at risk.
The Hon. Jan Cheek, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), gave a broad overview of the Falkland Islands’ development since the conflict and painted an optimistic view of the Islands’ future. But she expressed disappointment at the Argentine Government’s failure so far to implement their commitment to remove the barriers to trade and communications between the Falkland Islands and the S. American continent that had been undertaken during talks with Sir Alan Duncan in September 2016. She also noted the uncertainties caused by Brexit.
Alan Huckle, Chairman of the Falkland Islands Association (FIA), proposed the Loyal Toast. Afterwards, the band of the Parachute Regiment beat retreat. The Salute was taken by Lt. General Sir Hew Pike KCB, DSO, MBE (who commanded 3 Para during the Falklands conflict).
The reception is traditionally organised on a day close to the anniversary of the British liberation of the Falkland Islands from Argentine military occupation on 14 June 1982 – but it has a longer history. The first such reception was held in 1974 as a means of generating support for the Falkland Islanders’ cause at a time when the British Government seemed less certain in their defence. The Falkland Islands Association (FIA) works to support the Falkland Islanders’ right to self-determination. FIA members have always been able to attend this prestigious event.