Let’s hear it for expense accounts !

May already! This occasional commentary piece has become very occasional. Of course the reason for this is that I’ve devoted rather more of my time to the Falklands History Blog and the Falklands News site.

Having said that, one of my particular grouses concerns the United Nations sub-sub-Committee known as the C24, and, as in previous years, they are gearing up once again for the show that they put on for a few weeks in summer.

This annual circus commences with a Regional Seminar which is held at one of the Non-Self-Governing Territories which remain on this rather outdated Committee’s ‘list’. Or perhaps not. This year it’s going to be held in Ecuador’s capital city. Well, I suppose the night life will be rather better than if they held it in a small wanna-be nation in the middle of the Pacific. Or in the Falklands for instance.

The original remit of this Committee was to oversea the transfer to full sovereignty of the oppressed colonies that once belonged to the supposed super-powers. This they did, in their early years. But these are not the early years, and there is a palpable sense at the UN of money being wasted seeing as how this Committee has failed to achieve very much in the last 20 years.

One of the things that they should be doing, is listening to the peoples of the NSG Territories. But it would seem that even this is beyond them. A number of NSGT’s have been shouting that they like the status quo, but does that get them off the list – oh no. Others have been asking for a visit by this Committee, but again their requests fall on deaf ears.

Ecuador then. Perhaps the perfect place for an old boys club where a goodly percentage of the old boys are from that region and are living high on expense accounts. At the expense of the NSGT’s certainly.

And what’s next? Well after the junket, the old boys will all return to the UN where they’ll spend a week listening to the same arguments that they heard last year, and, in fact, every year. They’ll then probably make the same recommendations to the Fourth Committee above them that they did last year, and every year.

Of course the one question that they’ll not consider is: Why do they bother ?




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 !

Here We Go Again !

Here we go again!

The annual farce that is the Fourth Committee’s consideration of the Report by the Special Committee on Decolonisation is up and running. The opening session yesterday included the same old players, and the same old tired arguments.

” Octavio Errazuriz (Chile), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group reiterated the Group’s strong support for the rights of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom over the Malvinas islands, as well as the region’s support for the resumption of negotiations between the two to find a peaceful and definitive solution to that dispute as soon as possible, as  well as to the questions of sovereignty over South Georgia and South Sandwich islands and surrounding maritime areas in accordance with the relevant resolutions and declarations of the United Nations and the Organization of
American States, mindful of the principle of territorial integrity.  In regard to actions of the United Kingdom in exploring and exploiting hydrocarbons in areas of the Argentine continental shelf, he underlined General Assembly resolution 31/49, which called on the parties to avoid unilateral modifications in the situation.  The Group rejected military activities of that country in the Malvinas.”

“Lillian Silveira (Uruguay), speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market  (MERCOSUR), reaffirmed the support of that group to the statements made by the
President of Argentina in 1996 and by the President of Paraguay in 1999 concerning the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas.  She reaffirmed MERCOSUR’s support for the legitimate rights of Argentina, and said that the adoption of unilateral measures by the United Kingdom in the territory was not compatible with the United Nations stipulations. She said the United Kingdom was conducting illegal hydrocarbon mining activities on the Argentine continental shelf, and all measures must be adopted to prevent those ships from “flying the illegal flag of the Malvinas islands”.  She urged the Secretary-General to renew
his efforts through successive resolutions to re-launch negotiations to find a
peaceful solution to the dispute. She rejected a recent statement made by the British Minister of Defence, and said the United Kingdom continued to ignore the calls of the international community to sit down with Argentina to solve the dispute.  She affirmed that those statements by the United Kingdom showed, once again, an attitude in contrast with the decisions of the region, which leant support to Argentina’s claims regarding its legitimate sovereignty rights.  In 1833, the United Kingdom had expelled the Argentine population and had prevented Argentineans from returning to the islands to this day.  The United Kingdom had brought in British subjects who did not respond to
the criterion of subjected peoples, according to resolution 1514, giving rise to a colonial territory with no colonial population.”

And of course, Argentina.

” Diego Limeres said that further delay of the application of the Declaration was a continuing source of a lack of harmony, and created a dangerous situation in various parts of the world that could be a threat to international peace and security.  The
fiftieth anniversary of resolution 1514, as well as the launch of the Third International Decade, should encourage a redoubling of efforts to promote decolonization. He stressed that the Declaration had made it clear that there was more than one form of colonialism.  The two established cases included the need for self-determination on the one hand, and territorial integrity on the other.  Argentina continued to staunchly defend the rights of people to self-determination, where that right was applicable.  The  sovereignty dispute in the Malvinas islands was an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation.  That sovereignty dispute, existing over the Malvinas islands and surrounding areas, was of utmost relevance to Argentina. “This is a
peculiar and particular colonial situation”, he said, since there was not a population subjected or subjugated in the South Atlantic islands usurped from Argentina, but rather British subjects whose situation had not changed since the United Kingdom had put them there.  Thus, there existed a colonial situation, but not a colonized people.  The British transplanted populations could not rightly claim the right to self-determination in the Malvinas islands, as that amounted to the United Kingdom “claiming self-determination for itself”.   Meanwhile, the United Kingdom carried out the exploitation of resources in the area, in contravention of agreements which expressly forbid unilateral
modifications to the Territory while the issue remained unsettled.  Furthermore, that Power had conducted military exercises from the Territory of the Malvinas islands, which ran contrary to full implementation of the maritime safety standard of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). All of those actions violated international law and the mandate of the international community.  Argentina was confronted by British activities, which did not just affect that region, but beyond, and the international community must put an end to the preying on natural resources by colonial powers.  He expressed Argentina’s permanent  willingness to resume sovereignty negotiations, and said the United Kingdom must comply in order to resolve the dispute.  The international community’s duty was to put an end to those “crimes”, and Argentina would extend its best efforts towards eradicating them for good.”

Same old rubbish so far then.

The British response was also the same as previous years.

” Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of the UK said her country had no doubt regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.  There could be no negotiations on that sovereignty if the population of the Islands did not so wish.  The democratically elected representatives of that population had made clear to the Special Committee their wishes and their claim to the right to self-determination. They confirmed that they were the only residents of the islands, which had never had an indigenous population, and affirmed their rights to exploit the resources of their islands
for their own benefit.  Routine military exercises were held as part of efforts to ensure the security of the population of the island “

Argentina then added to the myths that it spins with a reply to the UK’s Right to Reply.

” .. the representative of Argentina said that the Malvinas islands, along with South Georgia and South Sandwich islands and surrounding maritime areas, was an integral part of Argentina’s territory and was illegally occupied by the United Kingdom, as acknowledged by different international organizations.  The illegal occupation by the United Kingdom had led the General Assembly to adopt different resolutions recognizing the existence of the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas islands.  Those resolutions urged the parties to restart negotiations in order to find a speedy, peaceful and lasting solution to the dispute. The Organization of American States in June had made a new pronouncement in similar terms. He said it was regrettable that the British Government twisted historic events to cover up its own act of invasion. The United Kingdom should honour the commitment to find a fair and definitive solution to the dispute, in order to accept responsibility.  The principle of self-determination of peoples was the only element for the basis of the United Kingdom’s claims, which was totally inapplicable to this particular dispute.  He regretted that the United Kingdom continued to be irresponsible and to act based on the illicit appropriation of Argentinean assets in violation of international law and in contravention of international agreements. He
reaffirmed Argentina’s legitimate sovereignty rights over the islands and the surrounding maritime areas, which were an integral part of Argentinean national territory.”

Well, that’s about the only new bit. That the UK is twisting history. Coming from Argentina that’s funny. Still, apart from that this year is shaping up as a repeat of last year.

The main question is, will Argentina manage to get a new UN General Assembly Resolution?


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!


September Song

Oh, it’s a long long while from May to December

But the days grow short when you reach September,

When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame

One hasn’t got time for the waiting game.

September again, and on the 23rd the 66th session of the United Nations opens in New York. That’s sixty-six years since the founding of the UN when the first nations joined together by signing the Charter, agreeing to pursue peaceful means to resolve their disputes and to abide by the conventions of the multi-lateral Treaty that they had signed.

Over 190 countries now have Membership of this vast talking shop, and at one time, or another, most leaders stand up and give some kind of speech to the UN’s General Assembly. Some are noteworthy, many are not but in the context of my favourite subject, some speeches are worth listening to.

Once again, I understand that Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is due to give just such a speech to the General Assembly at the beginning of this new session. As it coincides with Argentina holding the Chair of the G77 + China group of countries, there may be more bums on seats than could otherwise be guaranteed.

Ms Kirchner gave a similar speech back in 2008, saving the penultimate paragraph to say, ” Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to mention an issue that relates not only to my country, …. but that relates to this House and also the need to address the twenty-first century without colonial enclaves. I mean the question of our Malvinas Islands, where despite the resolutions of this honourable body, where despite all instances that have been taken in this area, the United Kingdom strictly refuses to deal with the Argentina Republic or discuss the Falkland Islands issue …. I would ask once again, as did the various Presidents who have preceded me, …. to urge once again the United Kingdom to comply with the norms of international law.” 

It would be quite remarkable if, in an election year, Argentina’s President did not raise the issue in her speech this year.

2008 of course, was also the year that Argentina’s cronies on the Special Committee for Decolonization (C24) attempted to slip a Resolution past the Fourth Committee that would have qualified the universal right to self-determination by limiting that right to cases where there was no sovereignty dispute. In other words, the Falkland Islanders, and the Gibraltarians would have been subject to a condition that rendered them lesser beings than any other peoples in this world.

Fortunately the British Permanent Representative to the UN spotted the trick and had it thrown out by the Fourth Committee.

Which brings me nicely to that Committee. Once again, come October, the issue of the last remaining ‘non self governing’ territories will come up for debate. The majority will get little more than a brief mention before being lumped together in a nondescript Resolution and forgotten for another twelve months. Gibraltar and the Western Sahara will get a Resolution each although absolutely nothing will change in either case. The Falkland Islands will just get half a day, maybe even a full one if the Committee needs to fill out the time. From previous experience that will be it …. for another year.

Argentina managed to get six General Assembly Resolutions out of the UN between 1982 and 1988 but it seems that a majority of the UN has come to the conclusion that it is not worth the doing any more. The six were repetitive, and achieved nothing. General Assembly Resolutions are, in any case, only recommendations and not international law as Ms Kirchner would suggest.

It is a pity that the General Assembly lacks the courage to review the decolonisation list and remove those who don’t actually want to be anything other than they already are.

For the Falkland Islands, the words of the song are not quite correct, but it is a long, long time from June when the C24 sit, to October when the Fourth Committee consider its Resolutions, and with little hope of change, there’s still a waiting game.

I’m looking forward to Cristina’s speech.

A British Position

In some of the many open forums that allow debate on the history and issues surrounding Britain’s possession of the Falkland Islands, I have seen a huge mix of misinformation with regard to the British Government’s current position on the islands.

Perhaps not surprisingly with the degree of emotion involved, arguments have raged over issues as diverse as the rights of the parties following 1771, who discovered the islands, Britain’s justification in 1833, geography and acquisitive prescription.

It occurred to me that, as positions change with the tides of time, it would be worthwhile to state clearly the current position of the UK Government. It may change again of course, any international lawyer has to be flexible after all, but as of June, 2010 the Government’s stance is clear:

” The British Government has no doubt about Britain’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

With the exception of the 2 months of illegal occupation in 1982, the Falklands have been continuously, peacefully and effectively inhabited and administered by Britain since 1833. {1}

Argentina’s claim to the Falklands is based on the grounds that, at the time of British repossession of the Islands in 1833, Argentina had sovereignty over them through her inheritance, upon independence, of Spain’s possessory title (uti possidetis), through her attempts to settle the Islands between 1826 and 1833, and through the concept of territorial contiguity. {2} 

However, uti possedetis is not accepted as a general principle of international law. {3} 

Moreover Spain’s title to the Islands was disputed and in 1811 the Spanish settlement was evacuated, leaving the Islands without inhabitants or any form of government. Argentina’s subsequent attempts at settlement were sporadic and ineffectual.

As for territorial contiguity, this has never been a determinant for title to islands (otherwise the Canary Islands, for example, might be Moroccan) and should not be used to overrule the right of self-determination. {4} 

The Argentine Government has argued that the Falkland Islanders do not enjoy the right of self-determination, on the (false) basis that they replaced an indigenous Argentine population expelled by force. However there was no indigenous or settled population on the Islands until British settlement.

The people who live in the Falklands now are not a transitory population. Many can trace their origins in the Islands back to the early 19th century. Britain is committed to defend their right to choose their own future.

The Islanders are fully entitled to enjoy the right of self-determination. It is a right which cannot be applied selectively or be open to negotiation, and one which is recognised in the UN Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Self-determination does not necessarily mean independence. Britain has willingly granted independence where it has been requested, and will continue to do so where it is an option, while remaining committed to those of its Overseas Territories which choose to retain the British connection.

In exercise of their right of self-determination, the Falkland Islanders have repeatedly made known their wish to remain British.

An Argentine-inspired poll, conducted in 1994, revealed that 87% of them would be against any form of discussion with Argentina over sovereignty, under any circumstances.

In 1960 the United Nations General Assembly adopted its Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (GAR 1514). A committee was set up to oversee implementation of this resolution. This Committee, which became known as the Committee of Twenty-four, considered the question of the Falklands for the first time in 1964. Following its recommendations, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 2065 in 1965. The Resolution invited the British and Argentine Governments to begin negotiations ‘with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the problem, bearing in mind the provisions and objectives of the UN Charter and of GAR 1514 and the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).’

During 1967 and 1968 Britain entered into negotiations with Argentina based on a willingness to transfer sovereignty. Although the British Government had no doubt about British sovereignty of the Falklands, they were concerned by the difficulty of defending the Islands, and by the threat to the Islands’ economy from declining world demand for wool and from their isolation without links to the mainland.

However, Britain maintained throughout that any transfer of sovereignty must be subject to the wishes of the Islanders. It was on this issue that negotiations foundered.

Although the United Nations General Assembly has not debated the question of the Falklands since 1988, the Committee of Twenty-four has continued to adopt resolutions calling for negotiations between Britain and Argentina.

These resolutions are flawed because they make no reference to the Islanders’ right to choose their own future. Several members of the Committee have acknowledged this omission.

The principle of self-determination is included in every other resolution considered by the Committee.

The British position that sovereignty is not for negotiation remains unaltered.

There will be no change in the status of the Falklands without the Islanders’ consent.

The White Paper, Britain and the Overseas Territories, presented to Parliament by the Foreign Secretary in March 1999, did not propose any change of status. It charted a new partnership with all our Overseas Territories, founded on several core principles including the right of self-determination. In the White Paper the Government said, ‘Our Overseas Territories are British for as long as they wish to remain British…”

{1} The first paragraph appears to refer to the legal concept of ‘acquisitive prescription’ or, arguably, ‘extinctive prescription’ but I have my doubts about this. It may serve as a fall back argument, but both of these concepts involve a trespasser obtaining good title from an owner. This is obviously flawed, as Britain has never acknowledged Argentina’s right of ownership. The term ‘peaceful’ is also open to debate and Argentina’s repeated diplomatic objections since 1941 may act to stop an ‘acquisitive prescription’ argument.

Having said that, the fact that Argentina negotiated and ratified a Treaty of Friendship in 1849 which purported to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries, and Argentina’s silence on the subject between 1849 and 1888 would tend to indicate acquiescence during that period.

There is also an argument that Argentina’s failure to take the UK to the International Court of Justice after its foundation in 1945 is sufficient evidence of ‘extinctive possession’.

{2} Territorial contiguity is a fancy term for geography, ie. if a territory is close to a large State, then it has to belong to that State. Something of a joke in international law, Argentina has hinted at this as one of its main arguments. When Britain unilaterally submitted a case to the ICJ over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Argentina declined to recognise the court’s jurisdiction instead relying on some vague concept of ‘natural law’ and their claim being ‘too self evident to require judicial determination’.

Of course, this simplistic approach to the issue of sovereignty was dismissed as having no legal weight in international law in the Islas de Palmas Case of 1928 where the issue was considered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague.

{3} The Uti possidetis here is more commonly known as Uti possidetis juris, considered in the Beagle Channel arbitration as rather more of a political tenet of inter-South American politics, than a legal concept capable of binding a party outside South America.

{4} The right of a people to ‘self determination’ is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, a multilateral Treaty signed by all the Members of the UN including Argentina. This right remains unqualified in any regard, even after repeated attempts by Argenta to subject Articles 73 and 74 to a ‘sovereignty dispute’ condition in its submissions to the Special Committee on Decolonization.

So where does this leave us?

The basis of Britain’s continued refusal to negotiate without the Falkland Islander’s consent is laid out clearly.

Argentina’s arguments however, are based on theories already disproven. Importantly, she needs to deal with the modern argument that the UN Charter overrides all other considerations. Until Argentina manages this, the situation is unlikely to change.

Dick Sawle on Washington and the C24

This is part of an interview that was aired on FITV recently. I think it is useful to focus on just a part as it outlines the Falkland Islands Government’s attitude to getting their message across, and their willingness to deal with the misinformation spread by Argentina’s government.

A Congressional delegation visit to the islands would certainly give the neighbours food for thought !

” ………

MSP: When you went to Washington was that the first time that you had gone?

DS: Yes. It is the first time I had been to Washington and it is the first time I had been to New York as well. Obviously I hadn’t been to the C-24 before. As for Washington, I think I am right in saying this is the first time a delegation from the Falklands had been to Washington to do any political lobbying. It was very interesting.

MSP: How did you find it there? Were people receptive?

DS: Very! We found everybody we met in Washington was extremely supportive of our position. What you have to remember is that Governments may have a certain position that they adopt; and a certain standard line that they take but individually the politicians that we met there were extremely supportive and we are hoping that at some time we will be able to have a Congressional delegation to visit the Falklands to actually see first-hand our side of the story, which, I think is very positive.

MSP: And see how we live …

DS: Exactly, see how we live but most important of all, to get across to them the message of self-determination of the Falklands which the C-24 is actually about. And the more people we can get out there the more people we can get those key messages across to, the better it is for the Falklands.

MSP: Do you think the C-24 kicks themselves because of the United Nations Charter for self-determination?

DS: The C-24 is something which I think is very useful for us to attend. I think we must make sure we attend it otherwise it would be seen as a loss of interest; and, of course, something we are extremely interested in. The key point I was trying to put across to the C-24 Committee to the chair of that committee and of course to the group of Argentines who were there as well is that we have the right to self-determination and that right to
self-determination is enshrined in the United Nations Charter. It is also a right that has been respected by every UK Government and always has been. The UK Government has been behind us 100% and always has been firm on that for which we are very grateful. So it was very important to go there, get those key messages across; and also to try and dispel the myths about what happened in 1833 about the myth we expelled a large Argentine population there that was purely and absolutely a lot of nonsense and has been disproved.

MSP: The Argentine Defence Minister has, yet again, wanted talks on sovereignty. Does that get a bit boring and repetitive to answer each time to that?

DS: Well, it is. I have said before it is their default position on everything. There was a time when Argentina would talk to the Falklands about things under the sovereignty umbrella. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case as they have broken off all talking with us about anything of mutual interest and I think that is a shame. And I think internationally it is a sorry state of  affairs for Argentina. They are always putting that point across but when you read the other press from the other side, the Falklands are not even mentioned.

MSP: So do you actually think they see the real point of view or not? Or is it one that the government is trying to impose?

DS: I think that the international politicians that deal at high levels are aware of the nonsensical claims. But, as I said before, often a countrys position is a party line that is always going to be followed.

MSP: On any of your travels did you meet face to face with any Argentine Politicians or delegates?

DS: No. I wouldnt say I met with any of them face to face. You may recall that just before I went into the C-24 meeting David Cameron was asked a question by Andrew Rosendale in the House of Commons about whether Britain would continue to back the sovereignty of the Falklands and He answered absolutely and finished off by saying Full stop, end of story. I did a very rapid alteration at the end of my speech and said in Spanish Full stop, end of story. And the Argentine delegation went tut-tut ting around and it obviously upset them….

MSP: Do you plan to go to the next C-24 or will it go to someone else?

DS: No. That will become someone elses responsibility next year. Two people
go every year and during the life of this Assembly we will be sending two people
each year……………………… “