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Reaction to comments made by Ambassador Morejón, Chairman of the United Nations Committee of 24

On 8th October 2012, Diego Morejón Pazmiño, Chairman of the United Nations Committee of 24 (Special Committee on Decolonisation, or C-24), carried out an interview with the Argentine national newspaper, Tiempo Argentino.  In the view of the Falkland Islands Government, Señor Morejón was quoted making statements in this interview that, if reported accurately, would conflict with his role as an impartial Chairman.  Subsequently, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was reported in an interview with Tiempo Argentino on 10th November 2012 as saying that people should be able to plan and govern their own future, which is the main criteria of relevant UN bodies.  The views earlier expressed by Señor Morejón are at odds with this.

The Falkland Islands Government voiced its concern to Señor Morejón on 18th October 2012 in the letter copied below, and also repeated previous invitations for him and other Committee members to visit the Islands.  To date no response has been received. 

“Dear Ambassador,

I write to you on behalf of the Members of the Falkland Island Legislative Assembly. We were concerned to read your comments on the Falkland Islands as reported recently in El Tiempo.

In the article you rightly say that the Falkland Islands are no longer a colony. The modern Falkland Islands are a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom; a situation of our own choosing.

We are a thriving democracy with a modern Constitution. We elect our own Government in a democratic manner, make our own laws and run our own affairs. We neither receive funds from nor send monies to the United Kingdom.

As the Chair of a United Nations Committee you are bound to uphold the values of that institution and to act in a democratic and impartial manner. You state that you were chosen to Chair this committee as candidates in the Caribbean were thought to be biased.

However, it is clear from this report, and from other speeches in the past, that you have already decided that the Falkland Islands should be ceded to Argentina against the clear wishes of its people. This is in direct conflict with the United Nations principle of self determination.

You have visited Argentina so as to better inform yourself in this matter and yet you have failed to do what any impartial Chair would then do, namely to visit the Falkland Islands, speak to Elected Members and talk to our people.

You also claim that the United Kingdom has failed to respond to Argentina’s claims of militarisation of the Falkland Islands.

I would first remind you that the only reason there are military forces here is as a result of our country being invaded by Argentina in 1982. On the specific point, I would refer you to the written reply of 22nd February 2012 from the United Kingdom Government to the Government of Argentina.

The Decolonisation Committee is seen by most people as an outdated, ineffective and partial Committee and your actions as Chair have brought its reputation even further into disrepute. The elected Members of the Falkland Island Government yet again extend an invitation to you and other members of the committee to visit the Falkland Islands before the next meeting of the Committee so as to better inform yourselves of the real situation here.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Dr Barry Elsby MLA


On behalf of Members of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly”