The Falkland Islands – History & Timeline

Falkland Wars 1480 – now!

2010 – 2019 Here & Now

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2010 – January 1st, the British Prime Minister tells the Islanders; “ .. I met President Kirchner twice in 2009, but as always, I made it clear in our discussions that we have no doubts about United Kingdom’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, and that the principle of self-determination underlies this. …”

Nigel Haywood takes over as Governor.

January 28th, HMS York challenges the Argentine Corvette, ARA Drummond in Falklands waters. An MOD spokesman states, “We can confirm that on 28 January this year during rough weather and at night, HMS YORK and an Argentine ship were operating in the same locality in international waters around 50 miles from Falkland Island Territorial Waters. After a friendly dialogue by radio they each continued with their own exercises.”

February 1st, two oil exploration companies, Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration, announce that they are to commence operations under licences issued by the FIG.

February 2nd, Argentina protests the; “imminent start of drilling.”

February 3rd, the United Kingdom rejects the protest.

February 4th, in Buenos Aires, the Kirchner Government issues a statement; Argentina again warns the UK about the illegality and consequences of this new unilateral action, extensive to all private actors involved, that they will be liable of future legal demands in the maximum tribunals, for the potential exploration and exploitation of Argentine resources.”

February 10th, Argentine authorities detain a freighter loaded with oil pipes which they claim are destined for the Falklands. The vessel’s owners deny the allegation.

February 16th, Argentina debates a Decree requiring prior approval for all ships wishing to sail between the Islands and the mainland. The British Government immediately protests; The United Kingdom … knows very well that the exploration of hydrocarbons is a completely legitimate project.”

February 22nd, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President, during a radio show, says; “ Look, England, how long are you going to be in Las Malvinas? Queen of England, I’m talking to you, … The time for empires are over, haven’t you noticed? Return the Malvinas to the Argentine people… The English are still threatening Argentina. Things have changed. We are no longer in 1982. If conflict breaks out, be sure Argentina will not be alone like it was back then.”

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, criticises the UN for not pushing more forcefully to reopen the debate over the islands, “What is the geographic, the political or economic explanation for the UK to be in Las Malvinas?” he asks, “Could it be because the UK is a permanent member of the UN’s security council where they can do everything and the others nothing?”.

President Cristina Kirchner tells reporters; “We do not believe in methods like blockades,” she tells reporters, before passing Decree 256/10, a law requiring, “any ship or vessel who intends to travel between ports on the Argentine mainland and ports located in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, or through Argentine waters toward the latter, and / or carrying goods to be transported directly or indirectly from these ports,..” to obtain a permit from Buenos Aires.

Argentine hackers attack the Penguin News web site, posting an audio recording of ‘March of the Malvinas.’

March 1st, during a visit to Buenos Aires, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is asked by Kirchner to act as an intermediary with the UK. Clinton responds; “ We agree; we stand ready to help resolve the issue.” Her Government however, are quick to restate their traditional neutrality on the issue.

March 2nd, PM Gordon Brown rejects any suggestion of US mediation.

On March 10th, in Buenos Aires, scores of demonstrators besiege the British Embassy.

Provincial law 14,222 becomes effective; .. to promote the teaching of the sovereignty rights over the Antarctic Sector, the Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur.”

March 25th, one of the minefields laid by Argentina in 1982 is finally declared safe by Zimbabwean experts.

In May, Rockhopper Exploration PLC discovers oil near the archipelago.

Membership of the International Association of Prosecutors is granted to the legal department of the FIG.

May 6th, a General Election in the UK results in a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition Government.

May 18th, Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne reiterates the new Coalition Government’s support for the Islanders and states that; “.. the Lisbon Treaty clearly reaffirms the EU position that the Falkland Islands is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.”

May 19th, in London, the FCO send a ‘note verbale’ to Argentina’s chargé d’affaires; “ The United Kingdom .. considers that Presidential Decree 256/2010 and Disposition 14/2010 are not compliant with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would like to take this opportunity to remind the Government of the Republic of Argentina of its obligations under international law, and that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides for ships of all States to enjoy the right of innocent passage through territorial seas, and freedom of navigation in the waters beyond the territorial sea. Furthermore, with respect to the Straits of Magellan, the rights of international shipping to navigate these waters expeditiously and without obstacle is affirmed in the 1984 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Chile and Argentina with respect to the Straits of Magellan. Article 10 of the Treaty of Magellan further provides; “The Argentine Republic undertakes to maintain, at any time and in whatever circumstances, the right of ships of all flags to navigate expeditiously and without obstacles through its jurisdictional waters to and from the Strait of Magellan.”  …”

May 24th, Argentina rejects the British complaint.

June 9th, in its Report, the International Maritime Organisation notes a complaint from Argentina rejecting, ”  .. the United Kingdom’s claim to include the Malvinas Islands in the European Union LRIT CDC… ” The UK responds, ” .. the Falkland Islands are associated with the European Union in accordance with Part Four of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, specifically Articles 198-204. The Falkland Islands are listed specifically in Annex II of the same Treaty as Overseas Countries and Territories to which provisions of Part Four of the Treaty apply.”

June 10th, the ‘Day of the Reaffirmation of Rights over the Malvinas, South Atlantic Islands and the Antarctic sector’ in Argentina, recalls the creation in 1829 of the ‘Military and Political Command of the Malvinas Islands.’

June 22nd, a House of Commons Briefing Paper, entitled ‘ Argentina and the Falkland Islands’ is published; The UK Government’s position on sovereignty of the Falklands has traditionally been as follows: 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. 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. However, uti possidetis is not accepted as a general principle of international law. 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. 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….”

June 24th, the Special Committee commences its annual consideration of the issue of Falklands decolonization.

Chile introduces a draft-Resolution calling for a negotiated settlement on the issue of sovereignty.

The FIG are represented by Councillors Edwards and Short. Edwards informs the Committee that; “ .. a new Constitution had come into force at the beginning of 2009, which had enhanced local democracy, established greater internal self-government and increased transparency and accountability. The role of the United Kingdom’s appointed Governor had diminished over the years, to primarily an advisory role on issues such as good governance, foreign affairs and the defence of the Islands. The Government of the Falkland Islands had full control over the legislative and fiscal regime, and enjoyed a healthy economy based on deep-sea fishing, tourism and agriculture. The Islands relied on the United Kingdom for defence and, after the 1982 conflict with Argentina, assistance in rebuilding infrastructure. They had no national debt and, although the world recession had affected investments, the Islands were starting to recover. All money raised by the Falkland Islands Government was invested for the benefit of the Islands and none was sent to the United Kingdom…”

Councillor Short tells the Committee that he is a 6th generation Islander;“ … his forebears having arrived in the Falklands in 1842. His family had therefore been in the Islands for at least as many generations as many Argentines could claim to have been in their country. Argentina often stated that the people of the Falkland Islands had been implanted and thus had no rights. However, when the Islands had been settled, there had been no indigenous peoples there to displace… The draft resolution before the Committee called for negotiations to settle the question of sovereignty, but in his view there was no question to settle. Argentina’s aim in the negotiations was to take over the Islands and, to all intents and purposes, turn them into a colony of Argentina. However, the right to self-determination must be respected. .. Another myth was that Argentines were not allowed into the Islands. .. Indeed, over the last two years, more than 5,000 Argentine citizens had visited the Islands from cruise ships and more than 600 by air…”

A Patagonian petitioner tells the Committee that; “.. Argentina’s rights to the Malvinas Islands were based on a number of historical facts. Spain had had sovereignty over the Islands as a result of a papal bull and the occupation of territories in the South Atlantic. The United Kingdom had recognized that sovereignty in a number of treaties, and Spain had been the sole Power occupying all South Atlantic archipelagos from 1774; again, the United Kingdom and all other nations had formally accepted that sovereignty. The Malvinas Islands had been part of the jurisdiction of the Province of Buenos Aires since 1776 …”

Alejandro Betts tells the Committee that; “ .. Legal documents proved that the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands fell under the sole legitimate dominion of Argentina; they were not British, as he had been led to believe as a child. The legal grounds for Argentina’s legitimate sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands had been summed up in the decree of 10 June 1829, which had appointed a civil Governor for the territory. Since that time, Argentina had consistently used that legal basis to defend its rights….”

Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, provides a similar version of history to the Committee, adding; “ … That population of transplanted British subjects could never be regarded as a people that had been subjugated by the colonial Power. Therefore, the right of self-determination did not apply: there was a colonial situation, but no colonized people. It would be a dangerous precedent to accept that the simple passage of time could create rights for an occupying Power, in spite of protests from those that had been ejected and even from its own subjects. When the United Kingdom claimed the right of self-determination for the transplanted British population of the Islands, it was merely claiming self-determination for itself.”

As in previous years, Chile’s draft-Resolution is adopted without a vote.

July, Argentine delegates walk out of a meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors in protest at the Falkland Islands being admitted as full members. In Santiago, Chile receives a complaint from Argentina relating to a group of its school children taking a 3 week trip to the Islands in order to improve their English language skills. Argentina argues that the visit; “recognizes the legitimacy of a government in a disputed territory.”

In London, Argentina’s Embassy threatens Argos Resources, an oil exploration company operating in the Falklands, with “action” should the company act on its licences.

July 22nd, the ICJ gives its ‘advisory’ opinion in the Kosovo sovereignty case. On the question of whether Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence was a breach of international law the decision is that; “.. the declaration of independence of the 17th of February 2008 did not violate general international law because international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.”

Seen as an attack on the concept of ‘territorial integrity’, Argentina rejects the Court’s decision despite having voted in favour of the Resolution that put the question before the ICJ.

In August, Cuba’s Fidel Castro accuses the USA of having a permanent military base in the Falkland Islands.

In September, the Galician fishing fleet, operating with Falkland licences around the Islands, complain of harassment by Argentine naval vessels.

The Falkland Islands Government attends the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s conference in Kenya. Referring to his speech before the UN’s SpecialCommittee, Dick Sawle says; “Thanks to much hard work and research by Peter Pepper and Graham Pascoe, the speech also went through some detail of the expulsion myth proposed by Argentina. The historical falsehoods stated and repeated many times in 1964 at the UN by Argentina have been proved to be exactly that. Any claim based as it was on false historical ‘evidence’ is meaningless. … a crucial point agreed by the UN 4th Committee in 2008 was that any dispute over sovereignty should not affect self-determination which is a fundamental human right.”

MLA Sawle concludes that Argentina has, “ a simple desire to steal what is ours and to subjugate a fiercely independent people to an authority that we do not admire, respect, desire, envy or want.”

September 21st, Uruguay denies permission for HMS Gloucester to enter Montevideo, citing its relationship with Argentina as the reason.

September 24th, at the UN, Cristina Kirchner, in a speech at the opening session of this year’s General Assembly, tells the meeting; “Once again we have come to claim our sovereign rights over the Malvinas Islands. It’s not a historic claim but an absolutely present-time claim … That country (Britain) is making unilateral decisions on hydrocarbon exploitation which means the plundering of natural resources that do not belong to her.”

October 4th, the Fourth Committee commences its annual review of the decolonization process and the work of the Special Committee; noting, at the end of its review, the Special Committee’s decision on the Falklands.

October 5th, under the confidence building measures agreed in 1989, Britain reminds Argentina’s Naval Hydrographic Service of the regular 6 monthly missile tests due to occur on the archipelago between October 11th and 22nd. Argentina protests.

Minister Timerman issues a press statement; ” The UK’s refusal to negotiate a peaceful solution to this problem and the self-confidence with which it seizes our natural resources in the seas off Patagonia and at the same time tests missiles from our islands , are seen as acts of aggression not only in Argentina, … Each day, there are more and more fellow South American nations that understands that a permanent member of the UN Security Council is behaving like something from the colonial past.”

October 9th, at the UN, Ambassador Argüello refers the missile testing to the office of the Secretary-General calling it an; “ .. an unacceptable provocation conducive to an arms race in the region, which is in direct contradiction to the Argentine policy of consistently seeking a peaceful solution to the dispute.“

When informed that the Island’s Rapier missile defence system had been tested every 6 months for 18 years – and Argentina informed on each occasion – the Kirchner Government deny any knowledge.

October 12th, a Falklands fishing vessel, Venturer, sailing three and a half miles inside the Falklands Outer Conservation Zone, is challenged by an Argentine Naval vessel  and ordered to leave the area. The fishing vessel ignores the instruction.

In December, Argentina registers a complaint with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) about the UK testing missiles in the Falklands.

December 16th, MERCOSUR condemns the holding of military exercises near the Falklands.

December 24th, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his Christmas Message to the Islanders. Reaffirms Britain’s commitment to them; “The UK’s commitment to your Islands is without question. Our interest in your prosperity, our determination to ensure your security and our resolve to stand beside you on any question of sovereignty remain as strong as ever.”

December 29th, Argentina’s Ambassador Arguello, accuses Britain of abusing its position on the UN’s Security Council to avoid complying with UN General Assembly Resolutions dealing with the Falkland Islands.

2011Argentina releases its annual statement remembering 1833

January 19th, the IMO includes a 3 page statement by Argentina at Annex 29 of its annual report, outlining its complaint about the UK testing missiles at the Falkland Islands. The UK’s response is in 3 paragraphs. The Organisation makes no other comment.

February 11th, the oil company, Rockhopper Exploration, with licences in the North Basin, strikes oil.

In March, the Falkland Islands Government sends 2 representatives to the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union conference in New Caledonia.

March 16th, the Argentine Congress approves legislative measure to penalize companies participating in oil exploration on their continental shelf without a licence issued in Buenos Aires.

March 21st, Rockhopper Exploration announces their oil find to be commercially viable.

March 31st, Argentina announces a world-wide initiative to take the Falklands debate to other Nations. “These conferences are geared to keep the international community informed about the Malvinas issue with the purpose of making viable the implementation of UN Resolution 2065 which calls on both sides of the conflict, Argentina and the UK to resume Malvinas Islands sovereignty negotiations”.

April 2nd, President Cristina Kirchner, speaking at a ceremony commemorating Argentina’s dead in the Falklands War, says; ”The Malvinas are Argentine for ever.”

May 23rd, responding to a letter sent by the UNASUR organisation in support of Argentina’s claim to the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the UK writes to the Secretary-General rejecting; “ .. any suggestion that the Argentine Republic has any legitimate rights over the Falklands or South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and their surrounding maritime areas. The historical account that Argentina puts forward in support of its case is incorrect. No civilian population was forcibly expelled from the Falkland Islands in 1833. Indeed, the civilian population was encouraged to remain, and the majority chose to do so. British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands dates back to 1765, and the Islands have never legitimately been administered by or formed part of the Republic of Argentina. Argentina seeks to deny the basic right of self-determination to a population, many of whom can trace their history on the Islands back to the 1830s. Respecting the right of the Falkland Islanders to determine their own political future is the only sustainable solution…. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a separate British Overseas Territory that is not considered under the question of the Falkland Islands, and it is not a listed territory within the purview of the United Nations decolonization committee.”

May 31st, the Wild Life and Protected Areas Ordinance is signed, increasing protection for the fauna on South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

June 15th, speaking to the British Parliament, the Prime Minister, David Cameron emphasises; “ .. as far as the Falkland Islands maintain their interest in remaining as British sovereign territory, they should remain that way, and there is nothing more to say about it.”

June 21st, at the UN, the Special Committee considers the question of Falklands decolonization. Petitioners include Councillor Edwards, representing the FIG, who tells the Committee; “ .. that Argentina’s claims of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands were unfounded, since those Islands had never been part of Argentina and no indigenous or Argentine population had ever been expelled from them. Argentina’s sovereignty claims were rooted in myth and a self-serving revision of historical facts. Its position was also illogical, because it was arguing for the decolonization of the Islands so that it could recolonize them.”

Chile introduces its annual draft-Resolution calling for sovereignty negotiations in support of which, Argentina’s Foreign Minister says; “ .. The United Kingdom’s real strategic and financialinterests were clearly reflected in its illegal exploration for and exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources in the disputed archipelago and waters, in flagrant violation of international law, including General Assembly resolution 31/49. Those activities were an affront to Argentina and other countries in the region. The purpose of the United Kingdom’s increasing military presence on the Islands was not clear. … The conduct of military exercises on the Islands, including the firing of missiles, was of concern to the entire region, as it violated the elementary rules on the safety of navigation and of life at sea…”

The Côte d’Ivoire’s representative reminds the Committee that; “ .. Any solution that did not take into account the aspirations of the Islanders would be inconsistent with Article 1, paragraph 2, and Article 73 b of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Chile’s draft-Resolution is adopted, as in previous years, without a vote.

June 28th, in a working paper, the FCO describes the UK’s relationship with the Special Committee, observing that Britain: “… attends C24 meetings but does not sit in the UK seat, nor make any statements. Counsellors from the Falkland Islands address the Committee annually, to put forward their case. … The UK continues, however, to be frustrated that the C24’s resolutions on its OTs do not properly reflect developments in the territories, including …the right of self-determination.”

In August, Dick Sawle, representing the Falkland Islands Government, attends the 57th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.

August 7th, Arturo Puricelli, Argentina’s Defence Minister, in an interview with the Buenos Aires Heral, insists that the UK is ‘militarizing the South Atlantic’.

Rockhopper Exploration raises its estimates of oil in the Northern Basin to 608 million barrels.

September, Ambassador Jorge Argüello, claims that the Falklands are under ‘military occupation’ and that there are more military personal on the Islands than there are civilians.

In Spain, the Galician fishing fleet, licensed to operate within the Falklands fisheries, complain of being harassed by Argentine naval vessels when they return to Montevideo.

September 18th, Tierra del Fuego authorities decline to attend Chile’s independence celebrations in protest at the Chilean Mayor of Cabo de Hornos referring to the Islands by their English name.

September 21st, at the UN, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speaks to the General Assembly claiming that 10 General Assembly Resolutions, 29 Resolutions of the Special Committee, 11 Resolutions of the OAS, together with others from the Ibero-American forums, UNASUR and MERCOSUR all demand that sovereignty be addressed. Kirchner repeats the allegation that the UK has used its position as a permanent member of the Security Council to avoid complying with these Resolutions.

Further, the President stated that Argentina would wait for a reasonable period of time, but if nothing transpired, it would be forced to begin reviewing the provisional understandings between the two countries that are still in effect, in particular the joint statement and exchange of letters of 14 July 1999 on regular weekly Lan Chile flights between Punta Arenas and the Islands with two monthly stopovers, one in each direction, in Río Gallegos.”

Britain’s delegation, exercising its right of reply, says; “  … The United Kingdom Government attaches great importance to the principle and right of self determination … 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 the purposes of this Organisation. … 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. .. ”

During a newspaper interview in Buenos Aires, Defence Minister Puricelli claims that the Islanders’ are being held as ‘hostages’.

In October, the Argentine Internet Users Association complains to the Internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers about the Falklands having an .fk designation. They also argue that South Georgia should not have a .sg designation.

October 3rd, the Fourth Committee review the Special Committee’s decolonization work and note the decisions of the Special Committee with regard to the Falklands archipelago.

October 5th, Britain’s Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, speaks to the Conservative Party Conference and states that, “the UK will protect the Falklands as long as they wish to remain British”.

Argentina’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Jorge Argüello, claims that the UK bribes the Islanders not to migrate to Argentina.jorge_arguello

October 23rd, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is re-elected.

October 29th, the resolution adopted at the end of this year’s Ibero-American summit in Paraguay states, “The Heads of State and governments of the Ibero-American countries reaffirm the need for the Argentine Government and that of Great Britain to resolve, as soon as possible, the negotiations left unsolved over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands.”

October 30th, UNASUR objects to the deployment of the British frigate HMS Montrose, to the South Atlantic.

November, the British Government confirms the 2012 deployment of Prince William, heir to the throne, to the Islands as part of a routine Search and Rescue mission for his unit.

November 11th, Argentina protests, claiming the Prince’s posting to be “provocative” as is it scheduled to take place just before the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion in 1982. Brugo Marco from Argentina’s Foreign Ministry says; “It is one more provocative act that shows Britain’s military presence in a zone of peace where there is no armed conflict, … One cannot ignore the political content of this military operation bearing in mind that the prince forms part of the Royal Family.”

November 28th, following a protest by Spain on behalf of its Galician fishing fleet, Argentina’s Embassy in Madrid warns that the vessels are operating illegally and that it is their duty stop taking out Falklands’ licences.

On the same day, at a meeting of the State Partiesto the Ottawa Convention, Argentina tells the conference that it will begin mine clearance on the Falkland Islands as soon as it exercised control over the areas in question.

December 7th, news of a proposed one million square mile conservation zone around South Georgia is leaked to the British press.

December 21st, MERCOSUR countries agree to ban Falkland flagged vessels from their ports.

December 23rd, in his Christmas Message to the Falkland Islanders, Prime Minister David Cameron reiterates British support; “ … Argentina continues its unjustified and counterproductive efforts to disrupt shipping around the Islands and to deter business from engaging in legitimate commerce. Threats to cut communication links between the Islands and your neighbours in South America only reflect badly on those who make them … So let me be absolutely clear. We will always maintain our commitment to you on any question of sovereignty. Your right to self-determination is the cornerstone of our policy. We will never negotiate on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless you, the Falkland Islanders, so wish. No democracy could ever do otherwise.”

December 29th, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister, Luis Almagro, indicates that while Falkland flagged ships will be refused entry to his country’s ports, those flying the red ensign would still be welcome. Uruguay’s coast guards indicate that they is no law in place allowing them to ban any vessels.

2012 – January 3rd, Argentina restates its claim to the Falkland Islands.

January 21st, the UK-Caribbean Forum agree; .. to support the principle and the right to self-determination for all peoples, including the Falkland Islanders.”

Lyall GrantJanuary 27th, Britain’s Ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, writes to the Secretary-General; “The United Kingdom is clear about both the historical and legal position on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. No civilian population was expelled from the Falkland Islands on 3 January 1833. An Argentine military garrison had been sent to the Falkland Islands three months earlier in an attempt to impose Argentine sovereignty over British sovereign territory. The United Kingdom immediately protested and later expelled the Argentine military garrison on 3 January 1833. The civilian population, who had previously sought and received British permission to reside on the Islands, were encouraged to remain. The majority voluntarily chose to do so. In 1833, the territorial borders of the Republic of Argentina did not include the geographical southern half of its present form, nor any territory in the Falkland Islands, Antarctica, or South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The land which now forms the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego, of which the Republic of Argentina purportedly claims the Falkland Islands forms a part, did not itself form part of the Republic of Argentina until approximately half a century after 1833, by which time the current Falkland Islands people had lived and raised two generations on the Islands. British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands dates back to 1765, some years before the Republic of Argentina even existed.”

In February, Prince William arrives in the Falkland Islands as part of his training as a Search and Rescue helicopter pilot. Argentina protests. At the same time the Ministry of Defence in London announces the deployment of HMS Dauntless, a new type 45 destroyer to the south Atlantic.

In Argentina, 17 intellectuals challenge their Government’s policy towards the Falklands, publishing a statement entitled; “An Alternative Vision of the Malvinas.” The group includes journalist, Jorge Lanata, historians Luis Alberto Romero and Hilda Sabato, cultural critic, Beatriz Sarlo and constitutional law expert, Daniel Sabsay. Opponents accuse them of being ‘traitors‘ and ‘sell-outs.

February 7th, Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, goes on national television to say that her Permanent Representative to the United Nations will lodge a protest with the Security Council accusing Britain of ‘militarizing’ the South Atlantic.

February 10th, at the UN, Foreign Minister Timerman, lodges a protest with the Secretary-General; “ .. The Argentine Government has repeatedly stressed that this growing British militarization is contrary to the search for a peaceful settlement to the sovereignty dispute and constitutes an affront to the entire region, creating unnecessary tension in the South Atlantic. The Argentine Government’s concern has recently increased owing to statements made and decisions adopted by the British Government that are clearly  provocative in nature …”

Argentina also accuses the UK of introducing nuclear weapons into the South Atlantic.

In a UN statement; “The Secretary-General expressed concern about the increasingly strong exchanges between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom on that issue. He expressed the hope that the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom would avoid an escalation of the dispute and resolve differences peacefully and through dialogue. …”

Ambassador Lyall Grant, tells the press that the accusation is “manifestly absurd,” and that; “The facts in the Falkland Islands are very clear. It is a question, in our view, of self determination, because there is no issue of sovereignty. The claim of sovereignty is an entirely manufactured claim that has no basis in law and no basis in history, …. Why on earth should Argentina suddenly decide that it has sovereignty over the Falkland Islands just because they happen to be 300 miles away? On that basis Canada could claim sovereignty over Alaska. It just doesn’t make any sense. There is no historic, there is no judicial basis for the claim of sovereignty.”

February 22nd, the UK tells theSecretary-General that the UK’s military posture remains unchanged and; “ .. exists only in order to protect the rights and freedoms of the people of the Falkland Islands to determine their own political, cultural and economic futures..” The UK also; “ … calls into question the evidential threshold applied by the Republic of Argentina to all its political claims,” and lists recent actions by Argentina which call into question the commitment of the Republic to peaceful cooperation and its adherence to international law.

March 1st, President Cristina Fernandez announces in a speech to the nation, that she wishes to re-negotiate the 1999 agreements with Britain including direct flights from Buenos Aires to the Islands and the Fisheries agreement.

March 23rd, rom Buenos Aires, Minister Timerman writes to the Stock Exchanges in New York and London claiming that the 5 oil companies involved in exploration around the Falklands are operating illegally. He demands that their shareholders be informed and announces that legal action will be taken by Argentina.

April 1st, rioters in Buenos Aires attack the British Embassy.

April 15th, Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, leaves the 6th Summit of the Americas early in protest at failing to obtain a joint declaration on the subject of the Falklands, and at the USA’s confirmation of neutrality.

The Islands’ census records 2932 residents including employees of Mount Pleasant Airport.

April 23rd, the presence of gas condensate is confirmed in exploratory wells drilled to the south of the Islands.

May 20th, a dedication service is held for a new memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, England remembering the dead of the 1982 Falklands War.

June 11th, Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne arrives in Stanley for the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1982  War. He tells the Islanders; “In Britain the right to self-determination is considered sacrosanct. It is a principle that people instinctively understand and support. … As long as you wish to maintain your links to Britain we will protect your right to do so … The status of your home should be determined by no one other than you. That is the principle of self-determination, admired and desired by freedom-loving people all around the world.”

June 12th, the Falkland Islands’ Government announce that they will hold a referendum in 2013.

June 14th, the UN’s Special Committee considers the Falkland Islands. Petitioners include FIG Councillors Edwards and Summers. Councillor Edwards tells the Committee that; “ … the current Argentine Government persists in its attempt to deny the people on the Falkland Islands their democratic rights and subject them to alien domination. It was incomprehensible that the Argentine Government could absolve itself from its recent past while seeking to punish a small and peaceful people for something that Argentina incorrectly claimed had happened almost two centuries earlier…”

Councillor Summers adds that; “ .. Argentina was pursuing its unwelcome and unsubstantiated claim on the Falkland Islands with increasing vigour, arguing, incorrectly, that the United Nations had ruled out self-determination as applying to the Falkland Islanders, even as General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) protected that right….  Argentina based its persistent claim to the Falkland Islands on spurious historical interpretations.”

Chile introduces its usual draft-Resolution calling for sovereignty negotiations between the UK and Argentina.

Usually only attended by diplomats up to the rank of Foreign Minister, this years Special Committee meeting is attended by Argentina’s President, Cristina Kirchner, who tells the Committee that; “ .. She had not come before the Special Committee because of the events that had taken place 30 years earlier, but because of the events of 180 years earlier. At that time, Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands had been usurped when a British warship had forced Argentine Captain José María Pinedo to abandon the Islands in 1833. .. A letter written by Argentine General José de San Martín in 1816, requesting more soldiers and inquiring about those imprisoned in the Malvinas, demonstrated that there had been not only a population, but even a prison in the Malvinas at that time. .. She wondered how the Malvinas, situated at 14,000 km from the United Kingdom and 700 km from the Argentine mainland, could be claimed as British territory. The Malvinas Islands were part of Argentina and part of the South American continental shelf .. It was not just a bilateral issue, but a global one, … Argentina was open to resuming negotiations … She would not ask anyone to say that Argentina was right or that the Malvinas were Argentine, but was merely requesting dialogue. No State could refuse a dialogue and then claim to be a champion of human rights…”

The FIG delegation offer to hold talks immediately after the meeting, but their invitation is ignored.

As every year, Chile’s draft-Resolution is adopted without a vote.

Sierra Leone tells the other members of the Committee that; “ .. the States Members of the United Nations had undertaken to uphold the principle of self-determination of all peoples and nations and had recognized self-determination as a prerequisite to the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. Therefore, any solution that failed to embrace the aspirations of the Islanders would be inconsistent with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and would be tantamount to a denial of their fundamental human rights and a violation of their right to freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

The Committee member for Papua New Guinea says that his delegation supported a review of the Special Committee’s working methods; “ .. in order to ensure that tangible results were achieved in its work. An innovative work plan should include real benchmarks to reflect the state of progress of the Non-Self Governing Territories towards self-determination. Otherwise, the Committee would fail to accomplish its mandate within the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.”

June 18th, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, asked about the Falklands’ referendum says; “The Falkland Islanders have decided to have a referendum. They are going to ask a very simple question of whether they want to continue with the status quo or whether they want to change. The message to Argentina is very clear – listen to what the people of the Falkland Islands want. We should all believe in this day and age in self-determination, not colonialism.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Government Minister David Lidington states; “I wish to inform the House that the Government of the Falkland Islands announced their intention to hold a referendum on the political status of the islands. This decision, which was taken by the Falkland Islanders themselves through their elected representatives, has the full support of the British Government. The referendum will be organised by the Falkland Islands Government and will take place in the first half of 2013. Independent international observers will be invited to observe the process. .. the islanders have often been surprised by the lack of understanding about their wishes and their outlook on life. It is because of this that the islanders have decided to hold a referendum to eliminate any possible doubt in the eyes of the world as to what future they want. That will provide a legal, fair and decisive means for the people of the Falkland Islands to express their views.”

Uruguay’s Chancellor, Luis Almagro, immediately announces that his country will not recognise the outcome of the referendum.

June 28th, in response to Argentina’s announcement regarding direct flights to the islands, the FIG states that they are; “ .. keen to strengthen communication links between the Falkland islands and the continent, and are prepared to discuss with the Argentine Government ways in which this might be achieved. A welcome first step would be for the Government of Argentina if it is sincere about improving air links to the Islands – to rescind its unjustified and illegal ban on charter flights over flying Argentina which, since 2003, has impeded access for tourists, business travellers and other visitors. This would be a confidence building measure which would allow discussion of other proposals, both those from the Argentine Government, and others which we might wish to table.”

July 12th, Premier Oil announces that it is paying $231 million for a 60% stake in Rockhopper Exploration’s Falklands licence; “Rockhopper, which has a market value of about £765m, has long been seeking a co-investor to help shoulder the estimated $2bn costs of developing Sea Lion. Premier announced it would make an intial payment of $231m in cash, and cover exploration costs of $48m…. it will then carry development costs of up to $722m.”

August 13th, Argentina complains to the UN about; “ .. the United Kingdom’s unilateral military activities in the South Atlantic.”

August 15th, the Argentine Government makes a submission to the UN’s Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf claiming that the sea bed around the Falklands archipelago belong to Argentina.

August 25th, President Cristina Fernandez attends a ceremony to celebrate the life of the Gaucho Antonio Rivero who, she claims, raised the Argentine flag in defiance of the British authorities in 1833.

In September, the Argentine government issues a 2 peso coin celebrating the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands.

September 25th, at the opening of the 67th session of the UN, Argentina’s President claims that the Falklands question is now a “.. global issue.”

September 26th, Ambassador Lyall Grant responds to the President of the General Assembly; “.. 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. A referendum to be held by the Falkland Islands Government in 2013 will make the Islanders’ wishes clear to the international community.”

October 8th, theFourth Committee reviews the work carried out by the Special Committee during the year; merely noting the Ban Ki-moondecision regarding the Falkland Islands.

In November, during an interview with Tiempo Argentino, a Buenos Aires newspaper, the Secretary-General of the United Nations states that, contrary to the assertions of Argentina, Britain is not in breach of any UN Resolutions; “I don’t think Security Council members are violating relevant UN resolutions. The impression is that people who are living under certain conditions should have access to certain level of capacities so that they can decide on their own future. And that is the main criteria of the main UN bodies. Having independence or having some kind of government in their territories. I don’t think it’s an abuse or violation of relevant UN resolutions.”

December 1st, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), at its annual summit in Lima, rejects the referendum to be held in the Falkland Islands in 2013. Argentina claims that the United Nations rejected the principle of ‘self-determination’, as being applicable to the Falkland Islanders, in 1985.

Queen Elizabeth LandDecember 18th, in the last official engagement of her Diamond Jubilee Year, Queen Elizabeth II visits the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. While there the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, announces that the southern part of the British Antarctic Territory has been named “Queen Elizabeth Land” in honour of her 60 years as monarch.

December 21st, in a diplomatic note handed to the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires, the Argentine Government protests the designation of part of the British Antarctic Territory as “Queen Elizabeth Land”, stating; “ … the Argentine Government recalls its categorical rejection of any territorial claim to British Antarctica and reaffirms its rights of sovereignty over the Argentine Antarctic Sector. …  the claim of the United Kingdom demonstrates, once more, the anachronistic imperialist ambitions in that country, which dates back to ancient practices already overcome, and does not agree with the spirit of peace and cooperation that characterizes to the the Antarctic Treaty System.”

On the same day, in his Christmas Message to the Falkland Islanders, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, says; “ … this year the Government officially renewed its partnership with the Overseas Territories, restating our commitment to help promote the territories social and economic development at a time of dramatic global challenges. We want all the peoples of the Overseas Territories to be able to determine their own destiny and realise their aspirations. But, I’m always conscious that you, the people of the Falkland Islands, continue to face a particular and direct challenge both to your economy and to your identity as Falkland Islanders. President Kirchner’s Government appears determined to argue that you should have no say in how you are governed. They continue to misrepresent the history of your Islands and the current realities of life there. I’m pleased to see the Falkland Islanders working hard to correct these misrepresentations…. It is a pity that Argentina persists in behaving this way. … But, the British Government will not stand by and allow your human rights to be ignored. There is no justification for any country to try and deny you the right to democracy and self-determination. Nor to make attempts to isolate you, block your trade and undermine your legitimate fisheries, hydrocarbons and tourism industries. Next year the Falkland Islands Government will hold a referendum on the political status of the Islands. I value deeply the UK’s relationship with the Falklands and hope it will long continue. But it is not my decision, nor is it Argentina’s, it is yours and yours alone. This referendum is true democracy in action, an opportunity to show the international community what you want for your future and to show it definitively. I hope all of you seize it.”

2013 – new book published in Montevideo asserts that the Falkland Islands belong to Uruguay; No-one remembers a 1841 treaty signed between Spain and Uruguay. In that treaty Spain cedes the naval bases powers..”

January 3rd, President Kirchner places an advertisement in London’s Guardian and Independent newspapers restating Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands and demanding that Britain negotiates.

January 4th, in a response to Kirchner’s advertisement in British newspapers, the Sun newspapers takes out a similar advert in the Buenos Aires Herald.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner – Thirty one years ago this year, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands with the loss of 255 British service personnel, 649 Argentine troops and three Falkland Islanders. This action was in direct conflict with the UN charter’s principle of self determination in which the people of the Falkland Islands are British and have chosen to be so.

Self determination is a fundamental human right for all peoples.

Claims that 180 years ago Argentina was ‘stripped’ of the Falkland Islands are unfounded. No Argentine civilian population was ever expelled. It was an Argentine garrison which had been sent to the Islands to try to impose Argentine sovereignty over British sovereign territory. British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands dates back to 1765 before the Republic of Argentina even existed. The Islands have never been governed by or formed part of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Argentina. Until the people of the Falkland Islands chose to become Argentine, they remain resolutely British.

In the name of our millions of readers, and to put it another way: “HANDS OFF”

 January 6th, PM David Cameron speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show reaffirms Britain’s commitment to defend the Islands from any threat posed by Argentina.

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry immediately issue a statement rejecting the “military threats” from the PM.

A programme to reduce the numbers of deer on South Georgia is commenced. Originally introduced in 1911 by a Norwegian, Carl Larsen, the population has grown to destructive levels. Rounding the circle, experts from Norway are called in to manage the cull.

January 17th – Ambassador Grant at the UN writes to the Secretary-General on behalf of the UK; “ .. In 1832 an Argentine military garrison was sent to the Falkland Islands in an attempt to impose Argentine sovereignty over British sovereign territory. The United Kingdom immediately protested and later expelled the Argentine military garrison, on 3 January 1833. The civilian population, who had previously sought and received British permission to reside on the Islands, was encouraged to remain. The majority voluntarily chose to do so. The United Kingdom has never implanted any civilian population; all civilians have voluntarily migrated to, or been born in, the Falkland Islands. Civilian migrants voluntarily settled on the Islands from a large number of countries, as they did throughout the whole Americas region, including Argentina, during the nineteenth century. Many of today’s Islanders can trace their roots on the Falklands back eight or nine generations. The Republic of Argentina’s claim to the Islands, which it bases on the principle of disruption to its territorial integrity, is without foundation, as the Islands have never legitimately been administered by, or formed part of, the sovereign territory of the Republic of Argentina.”

January 18th, the FIG announce that their referendum is to be held over March 10th and 11th. The question to be put is; “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom? YES or NO.”

January 30th, Minister Timerman announces a visit to London in February when he expects to meet with 80 “leading figures” from Europe who he claims are calling for Britain to negotiate.

January 31st, after requesting a meeting with Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to discuss a range of subjects; Timerman declines an appointment when informed that members of the FIG will also be present; “ … I am sorry to receive your letter yesterday in which says that you can not meet without the supervision of the Malvinenses settlers…. I repeat that it is a pity that you refuse to have a bilateral meeting. Your decision will surely harm the interest of Argentina’s work with the United Kingdom at the G20, the United Nations Security Council, issues of nuclear proliferation, trafficking in human beings, drugs, laundering money, investment, trade, human rights, and many others in which both countries are active members of the international community… On the other hand you can not ignore that the United Nations, its General Assembly and its Decolonization Committee resolved that the Malvinas question is a conflict of sovereignty between the United Kingdom and Argentina which must be resolved through dialogue between the two countries. The international community will not accept a third party in this dispute. Britain insists on ignoring more than 40 resolutions to that effect. Argentina has accepted the decisions of the United Nations and if the United Kingdom had done likewise, already would have passed a conflict of sovereignty that dates back to 1833….”

February 5th, after meeting an all-party UK/Argentina Group at the House of Commons, Hector Timerman refuses to accept a letter from the FIG proffered by Dick Sawle in the lobby of the House. At a news conference after his encounter, Timerman states that; “The Falkland Islanders do not exist. What exists is British citizens who live in the Islas Malvinas.” He also goes on to claim that Argentina will regain the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands within 20 years.

February 10th, in an interview for the Sun newspaper, William Hague dismisses Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands as, “fantasy.”

Britain is a country which supports the right of people to determine their own future. There should never be reward for bullying or threatening behaviour in international affairs – just as there never should be in our personal lives. … There are families in the Falklands who are in their ninth generation. The Falklands have been there longer than Argentina has had its current boundaries or existed in its current form.”

2013 ReferendumMarch 10th/11th, the Falkland Islanders hold a referendum on the question – “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom? YES or NO.” Observers from Brazil, Canada, USA, Paraguay, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Uruguay attend the voting.

March 12th, the results of the referendum are announced. Of 1,517 votes cast, 1,513 (99.8%) are in favour of retaining the current status and the links with the UK. Only three votes (0.2%) are cast against. (There was a 92% turnout from 1,672 British citizens eligible to vote out of a total population of some 2,900)

March 23rd, Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, makes a speech at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in which he discusses the right of the peoples of non-self governing territories to self-determination and the steps that both Spain and Argentina have taken to diminish that right; “In recent years the latest ruse which has crept into the seminars organised by the United Nations is that Spain and Argentina have tried to create a flaw in the absolute nature of the right to self determination. The bright idea has been to suggest that the inalienable right of self determination is alienable in instances where the territory over which a people purport to exercise their right is subject to a sovereignty dispute. You can see the beauty of how Spain and Argentina have attempted to frame their con. By limiting the curtailment of the absolute right to self determination to cases of sovereignty disputes, they are, in effect, trying to tell the world – agree with us with no peril, as the only instances – or at least the most high profile – where the principle of self determination and sovereignty disputes collide happen to be the cases of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.”

March 26th, Argentina’s Foreign Minister has a meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to once again restate his country’s claims. He is supported at the meeting by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla of Cuba; Deputy Foreign Minister José Beraún, of Peru; and Foreign Minister Luis Almagro, Minister from Uruguay. Timerman is quoted as saying; “We must continue to insist.  Of course we would like the Secretary-General to wear down the other party and not be worn out.”

Britain’s UN Ambassador responds: “It is disappointing that Mr Timerman and his colleagues spent so little time talking about the Falkland islanders and the wishes of the Falkland islanders. Their views are now unequivocally on the record and should be respected by all. Argentina’s dismissal of the referendum as illegal and irrelevant is untenable.”

April 8th, Margaret Thatcher dies at the age of 87. Left-wing groups in Argentina describe her as a, “war criminal.” Mike Summers, representing the FIG, says: “She will be forever remembered in the Islands for her decisiveness in sending a task force to liberate our home following the Argentine invasion in 1982.”

April 27th, an Argentine radical group, Resistencia Malvinas, threatens a campaign against Lan Chile‘s flight to the Falklands; demanding that Aerolineas Argentinas takes over the weekly flight.

May 3rd, President Fernandez commemorates the sinking of the cruiser Belgrano in 1982 with a speech in which she describes the British attack as; “.. a criminal and cowardly act.”

May 8th, at the State Opening of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II reaffirms her Government’s commitment to the peoples of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. In Argentina, Senator Daniel Filmus responds that the Queen does not know that it is the 21st century.

June 5th, in the Lower House of Uruguay’s Parliament, lawmaker Jaime Trobo, one of the observers at the Falklands’ referendum, questions his Government’s policy on the Falkland Islands and its unquestioning acceptance of Argentina’s position.

June 6th, at the OAS conference in Guatemala, a motion supporting Argentina’s claim to the Falklands is opposed by Canada while the USA abstain.

June 20th, the Special Committee commences its annual review of the issues surrounding the decolonization of the Falklands Islands. Petitioners include Roger Edwards and Dick Sawle representing the FIG; María Angélica Vernet of Buenos Aires’ Historical Museum, Alejandro Betts and Foreign Minister Timerman.

Councillor Edwards tells the Committee that the Falklands; “ .. never formed part of Argentina,” and that the Argentine claims were a based on a, “myth.” CouncillorSawle tell the Committee that; “Sovereignty is not negotiable.”

María Angélica Vernet says that; “ .. her great-great grandfather, Luis Vernet, had been the first political and military commander for the Malvinas Islands. The political and military command office for those islands and others adjacent to Cape Horn in the Atlantic had been created in June 1829 to enhance the domain exercised by Spain since 1767. As a legitimate occupant of the islands inherited from Spain, Argentina had exercised its sovereignty over them, but had been forced out by the United Kingdom.”María Angélica Vernet

Chile introduces its annual draft-Resolution calling for sovereignty negotiations, supported by Cuba’s representative who points out to the Committee that these drafts had been adopted by a consensus of the Special Committee every year since 1993. He claims that there are 45 Resolutions concerning the Falkland Islands, including 10 from the General Assembly. ( It is debatable whether the Special Committee’s decisions are actually ‘Resolutions,” particularly as none of them had got past the Fourth Committee since 1988. As for the 10 claimed UN GA Resolutions; after Ban Ki-moon’s interview in 2012 it would seem that, if not actually dead, these are no longer considered “relevant.”)

The Côte d’Ivoire’s representative reminds the Committee that; “.. Self-determination was a precondition for the enjoyment of peoples’ fundamental rights, and therefore, any solution must allow for the exercise of that right in the Falkland Islands. .., ” while the Committee member from Sierra Leone also reiterated that; “ .. the principle of self-determination was a prime factor in any consideration of the question of the Falkland Islands,” and that; “the Special Committee was obliged, not only to uphold the principle of self-determination, but to recognize it as a prerequisite for realising fundamental human rights. Any attempt to resolve the issue without taking into full account the wishes of the islanders would be inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and relevant Assembly resolutions.”

As in previous years, and as highlighted by Cuba, the Committee adopts the draft-Resolution without a vote.

After the session has finished, a Foreign Office spokesman in London is quoted as saying that the Decolonization Committee; “ .. no longer has a relevant role to play with respect to British Overseas Territories. To describe our relationship with them as colonial is insulting to both them and us. We are committed to a modern relationship based on partnership and shared values. The people of each Territory have the right to choose whether or not to remain a British Overseas Territory. Any decision to sever the constitutional link between the UK and a Territory should be on the basis of the clear and constitutionally expressed wish of the people themselves. We believe that the UN Decolonisation Committee should de-list Territories where this is their wish. In the case of the Falkland Islands, the people there are British and wish to remain so – as clearly demonstrated by the 99.8% YES vote in the March referendum.”

Julu 11th, the FIG receive 4.13 million for development and diversification plans from the European Union.

August 5th, President Fernandez, taking her country’s place in the rotating chair of the Security Council, calls for negotiations on sovereignty to be restarted. Some members of the Council complain that the Falklands are not on the agenda and the issue should not have been raised.

August 14th, Falkland Islands Day celebrates the first recorded sighting of the archipelago in 1592 by John Davis in Desire.

August 23rd, Argentina bans four oil companies exploring in Falkland islands waters from operating in Argentina for 20 years. The ban covers Borders & Southern Petroleum, Desire Petroleum, Argos Resources and Falklands Oil & Gas.

In September, Uruguay’s press notes a paper circulating Government departments concerning the country’s potential claims in the Antarctic; based on historic rights Uruguay has to the Falkland Islands. Newspapers quote a paragraph from the unpublished document which states; “…. an Advisory Committee will be named comprising historians, geographers, jurists, diplomats, politicians and the military to discuss in depth the issue and to adopt a well founded position. .. taking into account that the presence of Uruguay in Antarctica is upheld in the Spain-Uruguay Treaty (1841, ratified in 1846) which grants Uruguay sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands and the lands dependent from the River Plate naval station.”

September 17th, a party of members from Panama’s National Assembly arrives in the Falklands for a week-long fact-finding visit. Representative Dalia Bernal tells a press conference that the Islands referendum result needed to be taken seriously. Other members of the fact-finding group are Jorge Gantes and Renaul Dominguez ( Partido Revolucianario Democratico), Yanibel Arego (Cambio Democratico).

September 18th, Argentina complains to Panama about the visit by its lawmakers to the Falklands.

October 7th, the Fourth Committee commences its annual review of the work of the Special Committee.

The UK tells the Fourth Committee that; “The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the peoples of the Falkland Islands. A referendum had been held by the elected representatives of the Falkland Islands to seek the views of the people. An overwhelming majority of the population – 99.8 per cent – voted to remain an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. … The United Kingdom remained willing and ready to cooperate with Argentina, but Argentina rejected those opportunities for cooperation. ..”

Exercising its right of reply, Argentina’s representative states that; “ .. Argentina regretted that the British Government sought to distort historical facts in an attempt to conceal the act of usurpation it had committed in 1833. Rather than trying to refute historical facts, the United Kingdom, he said, should honour its commitment and immediately resume negotiations with Argentina. … Argentina reiterated that the principle of self-determination was not applicable to this sovereignty dispute, as there were no people subjected to alien domination, subjugation or exploitation but United Kingdom citizens. The solution to the sovereignty dispute did not depend on the results of a so-called referendum in which subjects of the British Crown expressed their “wish” to remain British. To allow the British inhabitants of the Islands to be the arbitrators of the dispute distorted the right to self-determination. The referendum, therefore, was an illegal, spurious, tautological exercise.”

October 14th, concluding its examination of all decolonization matters, the Fourth Committee notes the decision of the Special Committee with regard to the Falkland Islands, but  takes no further action.

Reiterating its conviction of the need for the eradication of colonialism, the Fourth Committee today concluded its annual consideration of the question of decolonization, and forwarded 11 draft resolutions to the General Assembly, six of them approved without a vote. Continuing its tradition, the Committee approved by consensus its omnibus draft resolution on Questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands. That text would have the General Assembly reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization, there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which was also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions. …

.. Argentina’s representative, who expressed support for the right of self-determination in the Territories as outlined in the omnibus draft resolution, but, drawing attention to General Assembly resolution 1514 (1960), said that the principle of self-determination was only one of two guiding tenets applicable to Non-Self-Governing Territories. The question of the Falklands was a “special and particular” case, whereby the territorial integrity principle, as established by numerous General Assembly resolutions, was also to be considered… responding to the statements made by the United Kingdom…. reiterated Argentina’s position that the principle of self-determination was totally and manifestly inappropriate and inapplicable to the sovereignty dispute between his country and the United Kingdom. The illegitimate vote held in the Malvinas Islands was another unilateral act, which did not affect the rights of Argentina. The solution to the dispute did not depend on the results of an alleged referendum in which the subjects of the British Crown were asked if they wished to remain British. In the question of the Malvinas Islands, there were no people subject to the subjugation of a colonial Power. Likewise, Argentina rejected the United Kingdom’s growing militarization of the south Atlantic.”

October 23rd, members of Panama’s National Assembly sign a resolution calling for an ‘Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group’ with the Falkland Islands Government with the objective of promoting cultural and diplomatic ties between Panama and the British Overseas Territory. Panama’s press report that the measure breaks Latin-America’s “historic” support for Argentina’s sovereignty claims.

November 4th, the Government of Panama confirm their traditional support of Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands following a complaint from Buenos Aires. Panama’s Government points out that foreign policy lies only in the remit of the country’s President.

November 28th, Argentina’s Congress approves a Bill making it a criminal offence for any person to be involved in what it describes as illegal oil activities around the Falkland islands. If found guilty, offenders are liable to a sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

In response; “The Falkland Islands Government regrets this latest attempt by the Argentine Government to undermine the economy of the Falkland Islands and prevent the legitimate exploration and exploitation of our natural resources. In accordance with our right to self-determination, as outlined in Chapter 1 Article 1.2 of the UN Charter, we are absolutely clear that we have the right to develop our own natural resources. We remain entirely clear that Argentine domestic legislation does not apply to the Falkland Islands, therefore there is absolutely no legal basis for the Argentine Government’s proposed actions. Passing legislation which directly seeks to harm the Falkland Islands economy is in direct contradiction of Argentine Government claims that all it wants is dialogue.”

December 3rd, a delegation of advisors from Brazil’s Congress arrive at Stanley on a fact-finding mission.

December 11th, the UN’s General Assembly passes Resolution 68/97 regarding the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.

December 16th, Britain lodges a formal protest over Argentina’s new oil laws with their charge d’affaires in London. The FCO issue a press statement; “Argentine domestic law does not apply to the Falkland Islands, so this is a baseless gesture intended to deter legitimate commercial activity. We are confident it will not succeed. It is shameful that Argentina is once again adopting bullying tactics in an attempt to strangle the Falkland Islands economy…”

December 17th, Argentina’s Government rejects the British protest claiming that the protest itself is recognition of Argentine rights.

December 21st, Argentine Decree 2251/2013 creates a new Government agency, the Secretaría para la Cuestión Malvinas, to deal exclusively with Argentina’s claims to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands – and to be headed by Daniel Filmus. The Foreign Ministry in Buenos Aires announces; “.. The secretariat will implement the strategies and actions from the point of view of foreign policy in relations with all countries for the better defence of rights and Argentine interests with respect to the Falklands question and will coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the relevant courses of action at the multilateral level. The decision to elevate at Secretariat level area with thematic competition is a reaffirmation of the deep commitment to a cause that is not only for Argentines but also for all peoples fighting for the end of colonialism and the respect for the territorial integrity of independent Nations…”

Written by Junius

September 21, 2011 at 3:41 am

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