June 10th: Day of affirmation of the Argentine Rights over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas
On June 10th, the Argentine Republic commemorates the date of creation in 1829 of the Military Command of the Malvinas and adjacent Islands to Cape Horn by the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Since its first steps as an Independent Nation, Argentina, in its condition of successor state of the territories in the South Atlantic which had belonged to Spain, exercised its rights permanently, proceeding to enact legislation and establish legal and administrative bodies to consolidate the exercise of its sovereignty, promoting the development of trade, settling population and establishing a local administrative office. The culmination of this process was the issuance of the Decree establishing the Political and Military Command of the Malvinas Islands, that we commemorate on this day, and the appointment of D. Luis Vernet as Commander.
On 3 January 1833, breaking the Argentine territorial integrity, the United Kingdom occupied the Islands and expelled the Argentine inhabitants and authorities, proceeding from then on to exercise an iron grip immigration control and preventing the settlement of Argentine nationals from the Mainland in order to shape a population to the extent of their colonial designs. In more than 180 years, Argentina never consented the British occupation.
December 16th 2015 marks fifty years of the adoption of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2065 (XX), by which the international community recognized as a whole the existence of the sovereignty dispute and called on the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to negotiate without delay in order to find a peaceful solution to the problem. Fifty years have passed and this important mandate was not entirely fulfilled. Fifty years, despite the fact that the United Nations General Assembly and the Special Committee on Decolonization continued to reiterate the claim in more than forty resolutions up to this day.
The Argentine stance counts on with a wide international support. Latin America and the Caribbean strongly endorse our legitimate rights over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the Surrounding Maritime Areas. This support extends to counties from other regions, such as the 54 African Nations, which in 2013 signed the Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) Declaration whereas they recognized the Argentine sovereignty rights.
Furthermore, numerous organizations and international fora urge Argentina and the UK to resume negations in order to find a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereign dispute; among them, the United Nations Organization, the Organization of the American States, the Group of the 77 and China, the Ibero-American Summit and the South-American Arab countries Summit (SAAC).
Notwithstanding the time elapsed and the countless invitations to dialogue by the Argentine Republic, the United Kingdom refuses to resume sovereignty negotiations. Negotiations in fulfillment of the United Nations Resolution 2065 (XX) were carried out for two decades, and within its framework the parties considered different alternatives to solve the dispute.
The refusal to dialogue conceals an unjustified British military presence in the South Atlantic, which have resulted in a growing concern of the international community, as it has been expressed by several regional and bi-regional fora, as well as by countries of our sub-region, which have pointed out that the presence of an extra regional power in the Malvinas Islands affects adversely the South Atlantic as a Zone of Peace and Cooperation and constitutes a potential threat.
Neither contributes to the dialogue the implementation of mass operations of electronic surveillance on our political leaders and country s military structures, which violate the Right to Privacy pursuant to United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 167/68 and 69/166.
This in addition to the illegitimate activities of exploration and exploitation of natural resources by the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic, which are contrary to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 31/49 which urges the parties to refrain from unilateral modifications in the situation while the dispute is pending resolution, which has also been pointed out by other Latin America and regional fora.
MERCOSUR, the Group of 77 and China, the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) have explicitly recognized the right of Argentina to take legal actions with full respect for International Law and the relevant resolutions against not authorized exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons activities in the Malvinas, South Georgia, Sandwich South Islands and the Surrounding Maritime Areas
It is important to highlight that the consequences of British unilateral acts are not limited to the present, since they will have an impact in the future generations. The fishery resources could be overexploited and the deposits of hydrocarbons, which belong to the forty million Argentine people, could be depleted. Or an accident during the operations of extraction of hydrocarbons could occur and hit on the pristine environment of the Islands. A spill of oil of a great magnitude in the area would have a significant impact on the ecosystem, that could last for decades.
In fact, the fault in the functioning of the safety valve of Eirik Räude Platform which is illegally operating in waters near the Malvinas Islands has caused great concern. The operations of the platform had been suspended in April as a result of the malfunction of the safety valve, essential mechanism fitted in oil rigs to prevent environmental disasters. Indeed, a failure in these systems caused the infamous environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
The countries of MERCOSUR and UNASUR, meanwhile, took specific commitments in order to not to facilitate the activities of ships that have the specific task of directly supporting the hydrocarbon activities affecting the Argentine rights over its continental shelf and prevent the entry into their ports of vessels flying the illegal flag of the Islands.
The peaceful recovery of the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the Surrounding Maritime Areas, respecting the way of life of its inhabitants and in accordance with International Law, is a permanent and an unrelinquished objective of the Argentine people, as established by the First Transitional Provision of the National Constitution.
The Argentine Republic reiterates once again its inalienable right over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the Surrounding Maritime Areas, as well as firm willingness to resume as soon as possible negotiations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as urged by the United Nations in order to find a definitive solution to so unacceptable as anachronistic colonial situation.