Argentina’s Resolution Tango

I haven’t had a whine for ages. After Argentina’s performance before the 4th Committee it didn’t seem very worthwhile. After all, they desperately need a new UN General Assembly Resolution, but just don’t push for it. Which seems a little strange.

What they do, is tell the world that Britain is refusing to comply with a dozen UN Resolutions dealing with the Falklands, and generally telling the UK that it has to negotiate.

This is, of course, a complete lie.

General Assembly Resolutions is must first be recognised, are not mandatory. They are there to advise the subjects of the Members wishes and views. General Assembly Resolutions carry no weight in international law. Now Security Council Resolutions are obligatory, in that a refusal to comply is an offence in international law. Or it should be. Recent experience with SC Resolutions concerning Iraq and North Korea suggest otherwise. As did Argentina’s refusal to comply with SC Resolution 502 in April, 1982.

So perhaps no UN Resolution is really mandatory or effective.

Which raises questions about their longevity. One of Argentina’s current claims is that Britain should follow UN GA Resolution 2065 which recognises a dispute over sovereignty between the UK and Argentina over the Falkland Islands and calls for talks.

Resolution 2065 dates back to 1965 and, as a direct consequence of it, both sides sat down in an attempt to resolve their differences. Needless to say, talks were protracted and didn’t go in the direction that Argentina wished. So Argentina invaded the Islands.

The rest is history, as they say, and so is Resolution 2065. Something of a cheek then, for Argentina’s wily diplomats to accuse Britain of refusing to comply with it, 29 years after they killed it stone dead. The same can be said of Resolution 31/49 (1976), and for the same reason.

Then there were the UN GA Resolutions produced between 1982 and 1988.

37/9 (1982) calls for negotiations over sovereignty, as does 38/12 (1983) and 39/06 (1984). Resolution 40/21 (1985) superseded these by calling for negotiations to solve the problems existing between the two countries, including the Falklands, which seemed now to take a secondary position. No mention of sovereignty in that one. Nor was there any mention of a sovereignty dispute in 41/40 (1986) or 42/19 (1987).

Each of course, taking over from the one before. Inaction having rendered it/them irrelevant, out-of-date, redundant.

The last UN GA Resolution was 43/25 (1988) which called, as had the two before it, on both sides; ” to initiate negotiations with a view to finding the means to resolve peacefully and definitively the problems pending between both countries, including all aspects on the future of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;”

And they did. Both sides sat down, talked for the first time in years and reached some agreements.

The United Nations was so happy that there hasn’t been another GA Resolution since.

So Argentina tells the world lies. Britain is not in breach of any UN GA Resolution concerning the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

There is another type of UN Resolution however; one which goes to the core of the UN itself; one that emanates from the Charter; one that cannot die.

One example is 1514 (1960) which talks about all peoples having a right to determine their own future; another example is 1515 (1960) which states that such peoples have the right to exploit their own resources, as does 1803 (1962).

Argentina shot itself in the foot when it invaded. That act not only killed a lot of good men, it killed off a few Resolutions too. The last effective Resolution on the subject was 1988. Britain complied.

Argentina lies !

Was That It ??

I’m feeling disappointed.

I was expecting so much more this year. After all, President Cristina of Argentina has been raising the rhetoric for months now. Sending ambassadors and minister to all parts of the globe to negotiate, well anything really, provided that Argentina could slap a paragraph on the bottom thanking whichever country they were in for the support given over the Falkland Islands.

Usually meaningless of course, and often the Minister concerned would thank their hosts for their support on the issue pretty well regardless of whether or not the other country had even mentioned it.

Now I know that it is an election year and much of all the talk was for consumption in Argentina. After all it is well recognised that the Falklands Question is the only one that actually unites the people of Argentina. Which only goes to show that you can, in fact, fool all of the people, all of the time – provided you repeat yourself often enough.

So here we are. Another year gone and the Fourth Committee all but done in their debate on the decolonisation process and where is it? You would have thought that all the shouting, all the handshaking, all the thankyou’s, all the support from more than 130 of the United Nations’ members would have achieved it. After 23 years. So I ask again, where is it?

According to many Argentine commentators, their country has the support of the majority of the Nations in the world. They say that the United Kingdom is isolated and should obey the world’s call for negotiations over the Islands. They say.

And yet there has been no United Nations General Assembly Resolution calling for talks since 1988.

Nothing has happened! Another year gone and no change whatsoever. The British Representative said what he or she said last year, and the year before. The Argentine Representative actually seemed more wet than in previous years. The best he could come up with was that the UK was falsely raising the Islanders’ hopes. He didn’t say which hopes.

What was important however, was that the UN’s Fourth Committee again reinforced the right of ALL peoples to determine their own futures. And added that they could use their own resources to do so. That is exactly what the Falkland Islanders are doing.

Maybe next year, Argentina??

Fortress Falklands – Is Argentina up for it?

“Ripe for the picking”, were the words chosen by Air Commodore Andrew Lambert in his reference to the Falkland Islands during this week’s blast of fury from Defence Chiefs over the cuts to their budgets.

The most recent report to come from the United Kingdom National Defence Association, entitled the Inconvenient Truths, says that British overseas territories are at risk and warns the Falkland Islands could fall if Argentina decided to abandon its peaceful approach to the issue of sovereignty, and invaded again, supported by its new-found friend the Chinese.

The report concludes: ‘The vital twin pillars of Britain’s security for the past 50 years, the ‘‘special relationship’’ with America and the continuation of an effective Nato, can no longer be guaranteed unless Britain increases its defence capabilities substantially and soon.’

Quite why the Chinese would abandon their long adhered to, ‘hands off’ approach to international politics isn’t made very clear. Nor is there any assessment of Argentina’s ability to actually amount an attack, considering its much depleted armed forces.

So what of the threat to the British Overseas Territories world-wide? What of the threat to the Falklands and Gibraltar?

The reality, as usual, is politics.

Argentina’s main threat is the potential for their President, Cristina Fernandez, to bore the Falkland Islanders into submission. That is a very clear and present danger. The ability of Argentine forces to successfully attack on the other hand, is rather more moot. Badly underfunded for the last 20 odd years, it is doubtful that they could gather enough of a force together to have much hope of success against even the limited forces on the Islands, not to mention the submarines that would be sent to the area the moment that a threat became apparent.

Besides, if Argentina’s Government took the Islands by force, what would they use as a smoke-screen to prevent their voters finding out about the true state of their economy?

So, for all the shouting, I am not very worried that we are about to lose the Falklands. Much the same goes for Gibraltar. Technically a lot easier for Spain to over-run the Rock, but politically a lot less likely.

No-body seems to want Pitcairn, or indeed, any of the other remnants of Empire.

Every-time Argentina wants to distract its population from other events, or to rally them behind the Government, the cry ‘Malvinas Argentina’s’ goes up. Every time the British Defence Chiefs want more money, “the Falklands are in danger’ appears on every newspaper.

Mind you, it was the defence cuts of 1774 that brought out the garrison from Port Egmont and spurred Spain into thinking it had the Islands all to themselves. And it was the defence cuts of the early 1980’s that suggested to Argentina’s ruling Junta that we didn’t care.

I think they know that we care now. But perhaps a couple of submarines should float about in that area for a while.

http://falklandstimeline.wordpress.com/1772-1822/

http://falklandstimeline.wordpress.com/1967-1981/

Arturo Puricelli – A Man in Need of Some Reality

I see the mad Puricelli is at it again.

Somebody in the Argentine Government thought it would be a good laugh to promote  the man to Defence Minister. Not a job that should carry too much weight, as Argentina has been starving its military of funds for decades. A depleted Argentine armed force is not in itself a bad thing, as they’ve had a nasty habit of taking over the place every time they disagreed with the way the country was being run. Which was pretty well always.

Argentina can, of course, thank the British for breaking this particular cycle. The defeat of the military junta in the Falklands War was just too embarrassing for them to take, and as a result – democracy arrived. Good for us, we did them a favour.

And do they appreciate it? No! Of course they don’t. But they do still have a sense of humour.

Argentine Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli, is obviously no threat to the political system. Whatever world he lives in, it ain’t this one. According to the head of Argentina’s armed forces, the Falkland Islands are under siege and the inhabitants held against their will.

” It is so obvious the (UK) can only think in a fortress supported with strong budgets; they have no other reason for such a display of force but that to hold as hostages the 2000 people confined in South Atlantic islands that are Argentine sovereignty,” said this bumbling fool, whose grasp of geography needs some attention too.

No. They are not being held as hostages and no, the Islands are not, and never have been, Argentine territory.

I suppose the upside is, with Puricelli in charge of the army, the chance of another coup is low.

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/argentina-is-not-a-complete-nation-says-timerman/

Argentine Belligerence

Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst, political commentator and occasional writer on the Falkland Islands for the British Telegraph newspaper.

Yesterday, in his commentary on the latest twists and turns at the United Nations, which has seen the Falklands issue appear both in the annual speech by Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and at the weekend meeting of the G77 + China group, Mr. Gardiner issued the following warning.

“There can be no room for complacency in London as Kirchner seeks re-election in October. Britain should be prepared for a further escalation in tensions over the Islands if her nationalist and populist administration is returned to office in an emboldened position, and must take all necessary steps to reinforce the Falkland’s defences.”

As a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, Nile Gardiner has a particular insight into the type of belligerent politics used by Argentina on the subject of the Falkland Islands, and the means best able to counter those.

Strong action appears to be his recommendation.

There is no doubt that the Islands are possibly the one subject able to unite Argentines, and as a result, the rhetoric increases at every election and in other times of trouble.

Argentina is not immune to the world’s financial ills and finds herself unable to access the major financial institutions due to the default of 2002. Unwilling to accept any advice from the IMF, who look with suspicion on Argentina’s official statistics, and unable to reach a settlement with the Paris Club, the South American State’s financial health is open to question. Every time this has happened before the Government in Buenos Aires has raised the Falklands as a smoke screen.

The United Kingdom has stated its position clearly. There will be no negotiation unless the Islanders’ wish it. With Presidential elections due next month, this subject will gain more prominence and the British Government should remain resolute. Kirchner’s re-election is virtually assured and she will be confident of gaining ground.

She should be denied it!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100106691/britains-message-to-argentina-over-the-falklands-back-off/

G77 + China – Who ?

According to yesterday’s Buenos Aires Herald, the G77 + China has made a statement insisting that Britain returns to the negotiating table and discusses the Falkland Islands with Argentina.

How many times does Britain have to say ‘No’ before the message finally gets through?

The Group of 77 + China, which makes 78 according to my maths, apparently now has 132 members. Made up of supposedly ‘developing’ countries, the list of members includes such notable advocates of freedom and democracy as China, Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabwe. Indeed, a large proportion of them fall under the general heading of ‘flawed democracies’, if not downright dictatorships.

And they presume to try to tell Britain that it should ignore the United Nation’s founding Charter and ride roughshod over the wishes and the interests of a Non-self Governing Territory, that the same UN has committed the United Kingdom to take care of under Article 73.

Shouting about a ‘colony’ in an attempt to fudge the issue of the Islanders’ right to determine their own future, we have a bunch of lame banana Republics attempting to apply pressure on the one country that sustains a fair few of them. The same country that allowed those ex-colonies of the British Empire to fully exercise their own rights to an independent future. Good enough for them but not for the Falkland Islanders’ apparently. Why? Maybe because the Falkland Islanders are not the correct colour to have any rights. Not dark enough to be seen as a colonial peoples.

But that’s what they are.

Britain should defiantly wave two fingers at the ridiculous G131+ China, and look to immediately stop any development money that it still forks out to this ungrateful  bunch.

After all, the money saved could be better employed on a few more missiles in the South Atlantic.

We’ll get out of the Falklands when China gets out of Tibet !

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/jorge-arguello-claims-new-support-over-the-falklands/

Britain Replies to Argentina at the UN

Following the Argentine Presidents repeated claim and threats at the United nations this week, the delegation from the United Kingdon submitted a written reply –

” In exercise of the right of reply to the remarks made by the President of the Argentine Republic in the general debate on 21 September 2011.

“The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. The United Kingdom Government attaches great importance to the principle and right of self-determination as set out in Article 1.2 of the Charter of the United Nations and Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That principle underlies our position on the Falkland Islands. There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish.

The United Kingdom’s relationship with all its overseas territories is a modern one based on partnership, shared values and the right of each territory, including the Falkland Islands, to determine if it wishes to retain a link to the United Kingdom.

The democratically elected representatives of the Falkland Islands once again expressed their own views clearly when they visited the United Nations for this year’s debate in the Special Committee of 24. They asked the Committee to recognise that self-determination is a universal human right, and respect for this principle is enshrined in the UN Charter as one of purposes this Organisation. They made clear they, like any other people, are entitled to exercise the right of self-determination. They reiterated the historical facts that the Falkland Islands had no indigenous people and that no civilian population was removed prior to their people settling on the Islands over 178 years ago. They confirmed that they are and have been the only people of the Falkland Islands, and they did not wish for any change in the status of the Islands. They lamented the measures adopted by the Republic of Argentina that unlawfully aim to limit both their transport links and their access to open and free trade.

The Falkland Islands Government is entitled to develop both fisheries and hydrocarbons industries within its own waters. This right is an integral part of the right of self-determination, which is expressly contained in Article 1.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It states that all peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

The United Kingdom continues to believe that there are many opportunities for co-operation in the South Atlantic. However, in recent years the Republic of Argentina has rejected these opportunities. It withdrew from co-operation on the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, and in 2007 repudiated the 1995 Joint Declaration on Hydrocarbons. The Republic of Argentina placed a ban on charter flights travelling to the islands in 2003. It has also introduced domestic legislation to restrict shipping to the islands and penalise companies who wish to do business in or with the Falkland Islands.

The United Kingdom has maintained an unchanged defensive military posture in the South Atlantic for over 29 years. This includes routine military exercises. The United Kingdom remains fully committed to defending the rights of the people of the Falkland Islands to determine their own political, social and economic future.”

Says it all !

 

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/fernandez-rejected-at-the-un/