16 June 2006
Special Committee on Decolonization Adopts Draft Resolution Reiterating Need for Peaceful, Negotiated Settlement of Falkland (Malvinas) Question
NEW YORK, 15 June (UN Headquarters) -- The Special Committee on decolonization reiterated today that a peaceful and negotiated settlement was the way to end the special and particular colonial situation in the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) regarding the dispute over sovereignty between Argentina and the United Kingdom, as it adopted a draft resolution on that matter.
Acting without a vote, the Special Committee also reiterated its firm support for the Secretary-General's mission of good offices in order to assist those two parties to in complying with the General Assembly's requests in its resolutions on the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). It requested the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom to consolidate the current process of dialogue and cooperation through the resumption of negotiations in order to find a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute as soon as possible.
The text, introduced by Chile's representative on behalf of its other co-sponsors -- Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela -- took note of the views expressed by the President of Argentina during the General Assembly's sixtieth session and expressed regret that, despite widespread international support for bilateral negotiations on the future of the islands, General Assembly resolutions 2065 (XX), 3160 (XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9, 38/12, 39/6, 40/21, 41/40, 42/19 and 43/25 had not been implemented.
Jorge Enrique Taiana, Argentina's Minister for Foreign Affairs, also addressed the Special Committee, saying that the Malvinas were a part of an independent Argentina that had been separated against their inhabitants' will by an act of force by the United Kingdom in 1833. Argentina had protested that situation ever since.
He said that the native island population had been forcibly removed, with no chance for return, and replaced by subjects of the occupying Power. The fundamental principle of international self-determination must not be used to transform an illegitimate possession into full sovereignty. General Assembly resolution 2065 (XX) of 1965 confirmed that the right to self-determination was not applicable to the islanders since they were a British population transplanted with the intention of setting up a colony. That population had never been subjugated to a colonial Power as required by resolution 1514.
However, Richard Davies, a member of the Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands, described the text as "fundamentally flawed", saying that it made no reference to self-determination and that passing yet another resolution requesting a dialogue between Argentina and the United Kingdom would accomplish nothing. Argentina's claim of territorial integrity had no historical or legal basis and that the claim that the islanders had no political rights was unjust and contrary to United Nations principles. For far too long, Argentina had equated the decolonization process with a claim to sovereignty, but by taking over the Falklands, Argentina would itself become a colonial Power. The islanders had made a free and informed choice to associate themselves with a United Nations Member State and greatly valued their link with the United Kingdom.
Richard Stevens, another member of the Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands, echoed those claims, saying the islanders were following their own path and had taken advantage of increased financial and administrative independence to develop on many fronts. They needed freedom from pressures intended to undermine their unique way of life and to force them into an unacceptable relationship with their nearest neighbour. After 24 years of independence, the islanders wished to continue their success story and to have a normal relationship with Argentina.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Chile, Brazil, Paraguay (on behalf of MERCOSUR -- the Southern Common Market), Peru, Uruguay, China, Sierra Leone, Syria, Indonesia, Spain, Bolivia, Fiji, Cuba, Venezuela, Grenada, Russian Federation and the Congo.
Participating petitioners included Maria Angelica Vernet, National Historical Museum of the Buenos Aires Old Town Hall and May Revolution; and Dolores Reynolds, University of Buenos Aires.
The Special Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Friday, 16 June, to continue its 2006 resumed session.
The Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples met this morning to consider the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
It was expected to take action on a related draft resolution sponsored by Bolivia, Chile, Cuba and Venezuela (document A/AC/109/2006/L.8) and to hear statements by petitioners.
At the outset of the meeting, the Special Committee approved a request for hearing by the Montserrat Progressive Society of New York, a non-governmental organization with a special interest in the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Montserrat.
JULIAN R. HUNTE ( Saint Lucia), Special Committee Chairman, then informed delegates that the group would be heard on 16 June during the Special Committee's consideration of the 11 small Non-Self Governing Territories, including Montserrat.
Statements by Petitioners
RICHARD STEVENS, Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands, said the islanders were following their own path in the twenty-first century, and their choices were not dictated by a colonial Power or by powerful or larger neighbours; they were the result of an elected and accountable system of governance. In recent times, the islands had enjoyed a buoyant period and had taken advantage of increased financial and administrative independence to develop on many fronts. They were a multicultural society that wanted for very little, and they could accomplish much more if given enough freedom. Freedom was already enshrined in the internal government and in the constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom, one that had the consent and approval of Falkland Islanders. They also needed to be free from pressures designed to undermine their unique way of life and force them into an unacceptable relationship with their nearest neighbour.
Despite the tragic loss of life in the 1982 conflict, much good had come directly from it, he said. The islands were no longer a forgotten, far-flung community. Having been able to modernize the Government and the economy, the islanders were also improving the transportation infrastructure and transforming the education system into a sophisticated one covering early child care to university. Health services had been unrecognizably improved over what had existed before the 1982 conflict. Most people in the Falklands lived a modern, comfortable existence and had a social welfare system that helped less fortunate members of the community.
He said that democratic processes continued to be improved, noting that there was open governance, and the Governor no longer chaired the Legislative Council. The continuously maturing democracy gave the lie to the claim that the Falklands were a colony, as they would be if Argentina's claim to sovereignty was accepted. The Falklands would celebrate 24 years of liberation this week, and they wished to continue their success story and have a normal relationship with Argentina. The Foreign Minister of Argentina should engage on the global issues of the region, for example, protecting the straddling fish stocks that inhabited respective economic zones and the high seas. The people of the Falkland Islands urged the Special Committee to support their fundamental right to self-determination.
RICHARD DAVIES, Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands, said that passing yet another draft resolution calling for a dialogue with Great Britain and Argentina would accomplish nothing. Argentina's claim of territorial integrity had no historical, legal or other basis. The claim that the people of the Falkland Islands had no political rights was unjust and contrary to the principles on which the United Nations was based. The people had made a free and informed choice to associate themselves with a Member State. In the process of decolonization, there was no alternative to self-determination and, therefore, no reason to treat the Falkland Islands differently. The draft resolution was "fundamentally flawed" as it made no reference to self-determination.
He said Argentina's territorial integrity argument did not stand up to history. The islands had been uninhabited when Western Europeans had first arrived in the sixteenth century. When Britain and Spain had claimed them in the late eighteenth century, Argentina did not yet exist and Spain had not ceded the islands to Argentina once it had become independent. Argentina had briefly occupied them in the early nineteenth century, but that could not give Argentina rights over the people who had developed the islands over seven or eight generations. For too long, Argentina had been able to equate the decolonization process with a claim to sovereignty. If it took over the Falkland Islands, Argentina would become a colonial Power.
The people of the Falkland Islands had developed strongly democratic institutions and greatly valued their link with Britain, he said. It was not colonialism but a voluntary association reflecting the views of the majority of the people and should be respected. Of late a cold war had developed in the South Atlantic, and Argentina was trying to damage the islands' economy through various sanctions. The Legislative Council's willingness to engage in a dialogue with Argentina on practical issues should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness. The draft resolution was incompatible with the United Nations Charter and supporting it would not move the decolonization process forward. That ineffectual annual ritual ignored the rights of the people of the Falklands and betrayed their right to self-determination. It was time for reconciliation; the Special Committee should not approve the draft resolution, but accept the rights of the Falkland Islanders and insist on their right to self-determination.
MARIA ANGELICA VERNET, National Historical Museum of the Buenos Aires Old Town Hall and May Revolution, said her great-great-grandfather, who had been Governor of the Malvinas from 1829 to 1832, had legitimized Argentine sovereignty over the Territories, asserting control by the Buenos Aires Government through methodical planning and the orderly management of natural and strategic resources. The United Kingdom had always known that its 1883 occupation of the islands was not legally justifiable. They belonged de facto and de jure to Argentina. The titles and the permanent claim of the Argentine Government took precedence over illegitimate possession.
The right to self-determination was not applicable because the island's current population was not "a people" in the legal sense, she continued. They and their ancestors were British and had none of the distinct features that would allow them to be considered a particular nation or ethnic group. They were no different from the members of the colonizing Power and had never been subjugated by the metropolis. Therefore, granting self-determination to them would mean that the United Kingdom could decide to disrupt Argentina's territorial integrity. The Argentines had arrived on the islands to work, and progress had obtained their lands from the Buenos Aires Government.
She asked the Special Committee to promote constructive dialogue between the United Kingdom and Argentina, saying that the discussion would be a step towards a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute and an ending to the colonial situation that was an affront to the entire American continent.
DOLORES REYNOLDS, University of Buenos Aires, describing herself as a direct descendent of Reverend Thomas Bridges, an Anglican pastor whose name was closely linked to the history of the Malvinas and Tierra del Fuego, gave a historical account of her family's presence in the region since the nineteenth century. Many British citizens who had arrived after the 1833 usurpation understood that the islands were united by powerful links, coupled with their geographic proximity to the Argentine mainland. They and their descendants did not agree with the colonial Power's policies of isolating the Malvinas from the Argentine mainland in order to thwart its just claim of sovereignty and the right to exercise it.
She said that members of her family and thousands of British descendants living in Argentina for generations had contributed greatly to Argentina's cultural life and lived in full harmony with descendants of other ethnic backgrounds. When Argentina had recovered, by peaceful means and pursuant to international law, its legitimate sovereignty over the Malvinas, the inhabitants of the islands, as well as those of South Georgia and South Sandwich, would be guaranteed respect for their culture, language, ideas and property. The Special Committee should urge the United Kingdom to negotiate the Malvinas question with Argentina, as called for in United Nations General Assembly resolutions.
Statements by Delegates
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile), speaking also on behalf of Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela, introduced the draft resolution, saying that the text reflected the principal doctrine that the United Nations had developed over the years on the issue. The draft recognized that the circumstances were different from those in other colonial situation owing to the existence of a sovereignty dispute between two States. The draft said that the only way to resolve the situation was through a negotiated settlement between the two countries.
He said that the presence of so many Latin American representatives at the meeting was an indication of their interest in a lasting solution. Chile supported the rights of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute and considered that the only viable way forward was through bilateral negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The parties should resume those negotiations as early as possible, and, hopefully, the Special Committee would adopt the draft resolution by consensus, as it had in previous years.
JORGE ENRIQUE TAIANA, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina, focused on the applicability of the principle of territorial integrity and on the United Kingdom's refusal to heed the calls of the international community over the Malvinas question. Argentina supported the principle of self-determination for all peoples subjugated to colonial rule in all cases deemed applicable by the United Nations. General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) guided the United Nations work in that regard, but applying the principle of self-determination in the case of the Malvinas would be inappropriate. The islands were part of an independent State, Argentina, which had been separated against their inhabitants' will by an act of force by the United Kingdom, and Argentina had protested that situation ever since. Moreover, the native population had been removed by that act of force, with no chance to return, and replaced by subjects of the occupying Power.
Applying the principle of self-determination to a Territory inhabited by nationals of the colonial Power would, in effect, put that Territory under the control of the occupying Power by force, he continued. That violated international law, and the fundamental principle of international self-determination must not be used to transform illegitimate possession into full sovereignty. The objective of resolution 1514 was to end colonialism, not to perpetrate a colonial situation to the detriment of the legitimate rights of the Argentine people. General Assembly resolution 2065 (XX) of 1965 expressly established that the Malvinas question was a special one involving a dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom as sole parties. It also confirmed that the right to self-determination was not applicable to the islanders since they were a British population transplanted with the intention of setting up a colony. That population had never been subjugated to a colonial Power as required by resolution 1514. It was a colonial Territory, not a colonized people.
Stressing the need to resume negotiations for a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute, he said the United Kingdom had refused to comply with calls for negotiations contained in 10 General Assembly resolution and 41 Special Committee resolutions since 1965. That lengthy lack of progress was cause for concern, and the Secretary-General must continue to assist the parties in complying with those requests. However, the United Kingdom had continued to carry out unilateral actions in the disputed area, contradicting resolution 31/49 (1976) and the international community's mandate. In 2005, Argentina had submitted 15 notes to the United Kingdom rejecting such illegitimate acts, as carrying out seismic surveying for hydrocarbons, granting licences for exploration and exploitation of minerals and aeromagnetic surveying activities, and upgrading British military bases on the Malvinas.
Argentina had warned the United Kingdom on several occasions that it would reject any unilateral measures harming the fishing resources in the maritime areas surrounding the islands, he said. Such measures would negatively impact bilateral cooperation on fisheries as called for in the 1990 Joint Declaration establishing the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission. But despite such warnings, the United Kingdom was granting property rights on fisheries of up to 25 years in the area. Argentina had rejected that and informed the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as relevant United Nations bodies. Argentina was not averse to cooperating with the United Kingdom on practical aspects deriving from the de facto situation, under due juridical safeguards, provided that cooperation was equitable for both parties and helped to create the proper conditions to resume negotiations on sovereignty issues, in line with United Nations resolutions.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG ( Brazil) said there was still a colonial situation in the Malvinas that must be resolved by the United Kingdom and Argentina and reiterated his country's support for Argentina's position. A dialogue would provide the right framework for resolving the dispute. The colonial situation in the Malvinas was incompatible with the ideals of peace and security, and negotiations should resume as soon as possible, with a view to reaching a lasting solution.
He said a declaration had been issued by MERCOSUR supporting Argentina in the sovereignty dispute, and the Summit of Arab and South American Countries had urged Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations. In the same vein, the Ibero-American Summit had issued a special communiqué reiterating the need for a resumption of negotiations. Brazil welcomed the positive developments mentioned in Secretariat working papers, but regretted that the implementation of General Assembly resolutions regarding the need for negotiations to include all aspects of the Malvinas had not yet begun. Brazil strongly supported the draft resolution and hoped it would be adopted without a vote.
ELADIO LOIZAGA (Paraguay), speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), reiterated the grouping's support for Argentina in respect of its legitimate right of sovereignty over the Malvinas, and reaffirmed its full support for the principle enshrined in the United Nations Charter of non-use or threat of force in international relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Pointing that Argentina's claims to the Malvinas had been supported in several recent forums, he said that in May 2005 the Heads of State and Government of the Arab and South American countries had adopted the Declaration of Brasilia, which called on Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations with the goal of reaching a just and lasting solution to the Malvinas question. Also in May 2005, at the twelfth ministerial meeting of the Rio Group and the European Union, the ministers of the Rio Group countries had issued statements reaffirming their support for Argentina's rights in the sovereignty dispute and urging Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations on the Malvinas, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, as well as surrounding maritime spaces.
In June 2005, the "Group of 77" developing countries and China had adopted a resolution noting the need for the two sides to resume negotiations, he said. In October 2005, during the fifteenth Ibero-American Summit in Salamanca, Spain, Heads of State and Government had issued a special communiqué calling for the resumption of dialogue. In June 2006, the General Assembly of the OAS had adopted a resolution welcoming Argentina's constructive attitude vis-à-vis the population of the Falkland Islands, reaffirming the need for Argentina and the United Kingdom to begin negotiations as soon as possible. The MERCOSUR endorsed all those declarations because it was necessary for the two sides to resume negotiations and find a peaceful, just and lasting solution. The MERCOSUR also supported the draft resolution introduced by Chile and trusted that it would be adopted by consensus because it provided the right framework for solving the dispute.
HUGO PEREYRA ( Peru) said his country had always supported United Nations efforts to eliminate colonialism and defended the inalienable rights of peoples to self-determination so that they could establish their own political organization and achieve economic, social and cultural development. However, the Malvinas question was different. The solution was to recognize Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich, including the surrounding maritime areas, as stated in General Assembly resolutions 2065 (XX) and 3160 ((XXVIII). That position was based on historic, geographic and legal criteria inferred from Argentina's right of sovereignty and possession of the Malvinas Islands, inherited after obtaining its independence.
The parties must resume negotiations to find a just, peaceful and lasting solution as soon as possible, he continued. Peru was aware from its own recent history that negotiations on sovereignty were not easy and demanded much patience, imagination and good faith in order to reach peaceful, permanent solutions. Peru reiterated its commitment to the May 2005 Declaration of Brasilia at the Arab Countries-South America Summit, the October 2005 Special Communiqué at the fifteenth Ibero-American Summit, the May 2005 Declaration of the twelfth Rio Group-European Union Ministerial Meeting, the June 2005 Doha Declaration at the meeting of the Group of 77 and China, and the June 2006 Declaration of the General Assembly of the OAS.
FEDERICO PERAZZA ( Uruguay) reiterated his support for Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas, saying that support was based on solid historical and legal foundations. The crux of the dispute was the relationship between the right to self-determination of peoples and the territorial integrity of States. The United Kingdom had invoked the right to self-determination as justification for its sovereignty over the islands and, from that, it could be inferred that any attempt by Argentina to recover its sovereignty over the islands constituted a violation of that right. Uruguay did not share that line of reasoning. At no time had Argentina questioned or called into question the right of the population of the Malvinas to determine freely their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development. There was nothing to suggest that Argentina would do so after regaining sovereignty over the islands.
He said the issue was the legal impossibility for the inhabitants of the Malvinas to choose to live under the sovereignty of one country in the territory of another. They could not elect to be subjects of the United Kingdom under British sovereignty in Argentine territory. Resolution 1514, adopted by the General Assembly in 1960, defined a clear limit to the right to self-determination by stating that faithful and strict compliance with the resolution must be based on respect for the territorial integrity of States. Uruguay's long-standing and close relations with Argentina were not the sentiment that motivated the present statement. Rather, Uruguay was convinced of the justice of the Argentine claim, as well as the need for an early and peaceful settlement of the dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations and the OAS.
ZHANG YISHAN ( China) said his country's position on the Malvinas issue had consistently held that territorial disputes between countries should be resolved through peaceful negotiations. That important principle was in accordance with the spirit of the United Nations Charter and should be followed by the international community. China hoped that the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom would act in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions, continue their constructive dialogue and work towards a peaceful and just solution as soon as possible. China supported the Special Committee's adoption of the draft proposed by Bolivia, Chile, Cuba and Venezuela
RUPERT DAVIES ( Sierra Leone) reaffirmed his country's commitment to respect the wishes of the islanders who had been living there for more than 170 years. Subjecting peoples to alien domination was a fundamental violation of human rights. Their right to self-determination was not in dispute, and any solution that fell short of expressing the aspirations of the islanders would be inconsistent with the United Nations Charter. Sierra Leone urged all parties to engage in a peaceful and sustained dialogue, with a view to respecting the wishes of the islanders.
MILAD ATIEH ( Syria) said the presence at today's meeting of Argentina's Foreign Minister showed the importance that country attached to the issue. Syria supported the commitments made in the May 2005 Declaration of Brasilia at the Arab Countries-South America Summit and the June 2005 Doha Declaration at the meeting of the Group of 77 and China. It also supported the draft before the Special Committee, which would reconfirm the international community's main goal of finding a peaceful settlement to the issue. Resumed dialogue between the United Kingdom and Argentina would lead to the right solution over the sovereignty of the islands.
SANGA PANGGABEAN ( Indonesia) said, since 1945, most of the 114 Territories subject to the United Nations Trusteeship Agreements or listed by the General Assembly as non-self-governing had achieved self-determination through independence, integration or free association. The task and mandate of the Special Committee remained unfulfilled, however, as there remained 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories whose situations were yet to be resolved. It was the duty of the United Nations and the international community to ensure that decolonization was completed.
He said the Special Committee had always recognized that no universal criteria could be applied to every decolonization question, and the Malvinas case was a good example. In view of the historical background, the principle of territorial integrity should be the first consideration. Relevant resolutions had clearly determined that the only way to end the colonial situation was through a peaceful and negotiated settlement that was in the best interests of the population of the islands. Indonesia urged Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations.
JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO ( Spain) said that, during the October 2005 Ibero-American Summit, Heads of State and Government had adopted the Salamanca Declaration, as well as various appendices and special communiqués that had been circulated to the General Assembly at Spain's request. General Assembly document A/60/77 of 6 October 2005 concerned various items, including that on the Malvinas. Numerous texts on those issues had been adopted at the Summit, including one relating to the Malvinas question.
That text stated that, "the Heads of State and Government of the Ibero-American countries, meeting in Salamanca, Spain, on the occasion of the fifteenth Ibero-American Summit, reaffirm the need for the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to resume as soon as possible negotiations with a view to finding a speedy solution to the sovereignty dispute to the question of the Malvinas Islands in accordance with resolutions of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, including the principle of territorial integrity". Spain wished to see negotiations resume as soon as possible.
LOAYZA BAREA ( Bolivia) noted that members of MERCOSUR had, in various instances, expressed their support for the legitimate rights of Argentina regarding the Malvinas Islands and reaffirmed every initiative that would lead to a peaceful settlement.
Praising the Special Committee's efforts to find appropriate ways to resolve the dispute over the islands, he said the question was not one of self-determination but of sovereignty, as stated in a General Assembly resolution adopted in 1985. Every opportunity was a good one to begin the negotiation process, provided Argentina and the United Kingdom continued to strengthen their various links. It was in that auspicious framework that Bolivia had co-sponsored the draft resolution, which deserved the support of all Member States and should be adopted by consensus.
ISIKIA SAVUA ( Fiji) said there was no "one-size-fits-all" solution to addressing the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories as each case was historically, politically, economically and socially distinct. However, self-determination was the underlying factor in all of them, and Fiji supported the desire of the islanders to determine their own political future. Their self-determination could only be achieved through the full participation and cooperation of the Powers involved -- Argentina and the United Kingdom - and they should resume negotiations to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute as soon as possible.
The draft resolution before the Special Committee called for an amicable solution to the dispute, he said, adding that, while Fiji supported the text, it was consistent with the United Nations Charter to hear the concerns of other interested parties, so as to ensure long-lasting and sustainable peace in the region. It was also important to take into consideration the concerns and wishes of the people of the Falklands, who were represented in the Special Committee every year, since any action taken directly affected them. The Special Committee should be ready to conduct a visiting mission to the Territory should an invitation be extended.
RODRIGO MALMIERCA DIAZ ( Cuba) said that, despite continuous calls by the Special Committee and the adoption of numerous resolutions, a definitive solution to the question of the Malvinas did not seem any closer. Resolution 2065 clearly defined the question as a dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom, which should be settled through negotiations between both States.
He noted that, since the beginning of its existence as an independent nation in 1816, Argentina had expressed its firm political will to exercise sovereignty over the archipelagos and maritime areas of the Atlantic inherited from Spain. Britain had usurped the Malvinas in 1833, however, and evicted the Argentine population. The Malvinas were part of Argentina's national territory. Cuba appealed for a negotiated, fair and definitive solution in the shortest possible term, taking into account both the territorial integrity of Argentina and the recognition of the interests of the islands' inhabitants.
Urging the United Kingdom to take into account the repeated appeals by the Special Committee to resume negotiations and to respond positively to Argentina's willingness to move forward, he said that, as long as a definitive solution was not reached, no unilateral actions introducing modifications in the situation of the islands should be carried out. In that regard, Cuba noted with concern a number of unilateral actions carried out by the United Kingdom, and called for an end to those actions. Cuba urged all members of the Special Committee to support the draft resolution so it could again be adopted without a vote.
FRANCISCO ARIAS CARDENAS ( Venezuela) noted that his country had co-sponsored the draft resolution before the Special Committee and reiterated his support for Argentina's legitimate right to sovereignty, in accordance with the principle of international justice in the dispute over the Malvinas. Venezuela strongly opposed any form of colonialism and defended the territorial integrity of all United Nations Member States.
He said that on 22 June 2006, Latin American nations would celebrate the 180th anniversary of Panama Congress which aimed to constitute a Confederation of American Republics able to deal with situations such as the one facing the Special Committee today. The memory of that great effort to extend solidarity so as to end the occupation by a British act of force in 1883, which constituted a great attack on the Latin American patrimony, must be remembered. Negotiations must resume between Argentina and the United Kingdom in order to find a peaceful solution and preserve the political and territorial unity of Argentina. Under its Constitution, Venezuela was mandated to strengthen Latin American integrity and the territorial integrity of its nations, victims of imperial expansion.
RUTH ELIZABETH ROUSE (Grenada), restating her country's commitment to the principle of self-determination and the right of peoples to decide their own destiny, urged Argentina and the United Kingdom to continue negotiations and concentrate on issues of genuine importance to the islands. Hopefully, the matter would be resolved to the benefit of the people of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
ALBERT SITNIKOV ( Russian Federation) said he supported the draft resolution and recalled that the Special Committee had adopted it by consensus. The Russian Federation believed in the need for a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute through bilateral negotiations, taking into account the provisions of the resolutions adopted by the United Nations.
LUC JOSEPH OKIO ( Congo) said the matter had been under consideration for decades, without the desired results being achieved. The Congo had hoped for serious negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom to find a peaceful and lasting solution, but, regrettably, that had not happened. Negotiation was the only way to resolve the sovereignty dispute. The various resolutions adopted by the Special Committee and by the General Assembly must also be complied with. The Congo would once again support the text in the hope that the United Kingdom and Argentina would try to find a peaceful solution.
Action on Draft Resolution
The Special Committee then adopted the draft resolution without a vote.
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