1982 – 1990 Reconstruction

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1982 to 1990

The Trial by Combat was over, but the aftermath would involve reforming the Falkland Islands. There was no going back to the way things had been, there could only be a move forward and when it came to progress the Islanders’ voices could not be ignored. Costly as it would be, the British Government finally accepted that, with an aggressive neighbour, Fortress Falkland was the only option; as was further progress in self-government for the Falklands’ people.

Margaret Thatcher Falklands Jan 1983

Thatcher in the Falklands 1983

Argentina too was in turmoil. The reckless move by its military government had failed, and with that failure went the pretensions of Argentina, harboured over 150 years. It was Argentina that had abandoned talks in favour of war and despite its best efforts, there could be no return to the negotiation table. On the issue of sovereignty, there was no longer anything to talk about.

Following the battle for Goose Green, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had committed her Party, and the British Government, never again to discuss the ownership of the archipelago. There were other matters that required discussion however, and eventually pressure from both the UN and the USA would bring about talks on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. Sovereignty was not on the table.

If the people of the Islands had been resolute in their intentions to remain British before the war; they would be more determined than ever after it. That was the message they took to the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization for the first time in 1982. That has been the message they have repeated annually to this day.

 

Relevant Resources:

Argentine approaches to the Falklands/Malvinas: was the resort to violence foreseeable by Guillermo Makin 1983

Foreign Affairs Committee 5th Report 1983-84: Falkland Islands

Sovereignty and the Falkland Islands Crisis by D.W. Greig 1984

The future of the Falkland Islands: a solution made in Hong Kong? by Peter J. Beck 1985

The Falkland Islands Constitution Order 1985

Report of the Secretary-General November 1988

Joint Letter to the United Nations August 1989

Joint British-Argentine Statement October 1989

Report of the Secretary-General October 1989

Joint British-Argentine Statement on the Reestablishment of Diplomatic Relations February 1990

Joint Statement on the Conservation of Fisheries November 1990

 

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