26 January 2010

Anniversary of Invasion of the Malvinas

Annex to the letter dated 3 January 2010 from the Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Press Release
3 January 2010

On 3 January 1833, British forces occupied the Malvinas Islands, forcibly expelling their inhabitants and the Argentine authorities legitimately established there. The Argentine Republic immediately protested, and has never consented to that act of force.

Today, 177 years later, the illegal occupation continues. The Argentine Government reaffirms once again the Argentine Republic’s inalienable rights of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, which are an integral part of Argentine national territory.

The permanent and unrenounceable objective of recovering the full exercise of sovereignty over these territories and maritime areas in accordance with the principles of international law while respecting the way of life of the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands is enshrined in the first transitional provision of the national Constitution. This objective is a State policy and reflects the collective desire of the entire Argentine people.

Argentina and the United Kingdom have reached provisional bilateral understandings on practical matters relating to the South Atlantic, under the safeguarding of sovereignty formula, in successive joint declarations and exchanges of notes with a view to cooperating to create conditions conducive to the resumption of negotiations on sovereignty.

However, the United Kingdom continues to be reluctant to address the question of sovereignty and has repeatedly carried out unilateral acts in relation to the disputed area. These unilateral British acts violate the spirit and letter of the aforementioned understandings and are contrary to the calls by the United Nations on the two parties to refrain from taking decisions that introduce unilateral modifications in the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended in the relevant resolutions.

As a result of those unilateral British acts, the Argentine Government suspended the meetings of the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission from December 2005 and denounced the Joint Declaration on Hydrocarbons in March 2007.

The Argentine Republic considers incomprehensible the United Kingdom’s refusal to address the fundamental question in order to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute, in accordance with the mandate of the international community, and reiterates once again its continued and sincere willingness to resume the process of bilateral negotiations with the United Kingdom in order to find a definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute and settle this anachronistic colonial situation that is incompatible with developments in the modern world.

The Argentine Government believes that Argentina and the United Kingdom should jointly analyse all the bilateral understandings in the light of their ultimate goal, which is to contribute to a climate conducive to the resumption of negotiations on sovereignty. Regrettably, while the United Kingdom maintains its reluctance to
return to the negotiating table, Argentina will be compelled to carry out that analysis without the participation of its counterpart.


Tahiti Airline to transport U.K. troops to Falklands (Malvinas)

United Press International,
 6 January 2010

STANLEY, Falkland Islands (UPI) --  British troops deployed in the Falklands Islands for patrol duties will be transported via Air Tahiti Nui, the flag carrier of French Polynesia, following a deal agreed between the airline and the U.K. Ministry of Defense. The contract centers on Air Tahiti Nui being able to release one of its fleet of five Airbus aircraft for the air bridge and is worth about $10 million, officials said.

The need for a new transport arrangement for the British military personnel arose after low-cost Scottish airline Fly Globespan collapsed last year. Officials said Britain might make the arrangement permanent once it is satisfied Air Tahiti Nui can deliver on its military's needs in the South Atlantic. The first Air Tahiti Nui flight is due to transport British personnel to the Falklands Wednesday.

The French Polynesian government has a majority stake in the national carrier, which currently serves mostly tourism flights between Tahiti and key points of origin for Tahiti-bound tourism travel, including the United States, Japan and Europe. The airline fleet of Airbus planes consists of newer models, including the Airbus A340-300 aircraft, which seats 294 passengers.

British military activity in the South Atlantic has increased, partly because of recent defense maneuvers and patrol duties and partly in response to recent pronouncements from Argentina about Argentine claims on the Falkland Islands. Britain and Argentina fought a war over the islands in 1982 after an Argentine military invasion that year. Britain retained control of the islands after a 74-day conflict, but Argentina did not renounce its claim of sovereignty over the islands. Argentina reiterated its claim in an official statement Sunday. The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Buenos Aires considered "incomprehensible" Britain's refusal to reopen negotiations on the sovereignty issue.

Tensions have been exacerbated amid stepped-up British activity to exploit the Falkland Islands' offshore oil and gas reserves, rated by scientists to be comparable to Britain's own North Sea oil deposits. The Argentine ministry said it would continue to seek "a definitive solution to the dispute" that could end an "anachronic colonial situation incompatible with the evolution of the modern world." Britain argues the Falklanders' have exercised self-determination and chosen to remain a British Overseas Territory.

A British Task Force sent to the islands by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher beat off the invading Argentine forces but at great human cost. The conflict led to the deaths of 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers, sailors and airmen, and three civilian Falklanders. The Falklands war does not figure in British consciousness with the same intensity as it does in Argentina, where memories of the defeat remain raw and emotion-charged. Argentina's retreat in the conflict was a catalyst for the country ridding itself of military dictatorship.
Britain has invested heavily in Falklands defense and also used its military presence there for preparatory training of troops who are later deployed in Afghanistan.

The destroyer HMS York arrived in the Falkland Islands last week to take up defense and patrol duties from U.K.-bound HMS Gloucester. The last of the Type 42 destroyers to be built for the British Royal Navy, HMS York will be on patrol duty for the next six months. The warship is due to visit Stanley on Jan. 10.

Editor's Note: The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) is one of sixteen remaining non self-governing territories listed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The peculiarity of the national air carrier of one (unlisted) non self-governing territory transporting troops to maintain the occupation of another territory has not gone unnoticed...)