|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
6th Meeting (PM)
Decolonization Debate Concludes in Fourth Committee, as Delegations
on Both Sides of Key Territorial Disputes Urge Their Resolution
Morocco ‘Walked Path of Compromise’ with Autonomy Proposal for Western Sahara;
Algeria Cannot Be Silent While Self-Determination Right Slighted, Seeks Referendum
As a deep-seated desire for peace and democracy shapes a new world in the Mediterranean, it was vital to do away with cold war perspectives and consider the Western Sahara dispute with new eyes, Morocco’s representative told the Fourth Committee today as it concluded its debate on decolonization.
Morocco had always prioritized negotiations to resolve territorial disputes, its representative said, adding through the autonomy initiative it had proposed in 2007, the country had “walked the path to compromise”. The initiative, which had been deemed “realistic and forward-looking” by the United Nations Security Council and supported by various delegates of the Committee during the debate, favoured a win-win approach, he said.
He said his country stood ready to re-launch substantive negotiations under the parameters established by the Security Council. The current debate was a means of reducing divergence on important issues; however, “the incoherence” of some member States was not helpful to that process.
Cautioning, too, that a huge part of the African continent was moving into “a contagious instability”, he said Morocco needed cooperation and stability to make its common vision for the Maghreb region a reality. The suffering of the people in the Tindouf camp was drawing young unemployed people into illicit activities, he said, declaring it urgent to help this population and to enable their freely agreed return.
Reiterating his country’s commitment to freeing the region from the threats of terrorism and destabilization, he said, “We can’t close our eyes to the issue of Sahara by being imprisoned in the past and by denying the future.” The citizens of his country stood ready to work with their partners to build a strong and invincible Maghreb.
In contrast, the representative of Algeria asserted that it was imperative that Western Sahara, Algeria’s immediate neighbour, complete the decolonization process under the supervision of the United Nations. There was no other justifiable alternative and any other process would only delay the final resolution of a problem that had persisted far too long.
Expressing his country’s “unshakeable solidarity” with those subjected to colonial domination in the last remaining colony in Africa, he noted that General Assembly resolution 1514 applied to the situation, as had been backed up by the International Court of Justice. The Secretary-General’s report on the situation, in April, had affirmed the Saharan people’s right to self-determination, and any negotiations between Morocco and Polisario must fall within that framework.
Algeria could not stand silently by while the right of self-determination was slighted, he added. The Saharan people deserved the right to decide their future for themselves through a free referendum overseen by the United Nations, which had a clear responsibility on this matter.
Also invoking the opinion of the International Court of Justice, given in October 1975, the representative of South Africa noted that the Court, and more recently, the legal department of the United Nations itself, had presented views that favoured the Saharan people’s right to self-determination. However, in blatant disregard for the fact that legality as well as the principles of the United Nations were on the side of the Saharans, the question of Western Sahara had been rendered an ”artificial dispute”.
That was a denigration of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, he said. It was also a violation of the “sacred trust” in which the United Nations Charter characterized the responsibility of administering Powers in relation to their Non-Self-Governing Territories. Rather than the current attempts to impose autonomy, all the options of the Saharan people — independence, autonomy, or free association — should be “placed at the ballot box”.
Other speakers raised the question of the dispute over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)*. The representative of the United Kingdom stated, in right of reply, that there could be no negotiations on the dispute until the people of those Islands wished to have them, as the principle of self-determination was paramount. Representatives of the Territories had expressed their views before this very Committee reiterating the historical facts, including that the Islands had no indigenous people and none had been expelled. They had no desire other than to be left to live in peace.
She added that the upcoming referendum in 2013 would make the Islanders’ wishes clear to the international community. The relationship between the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories was a modern one, based on partnership, shared values and the right of each Territory to determine its own future.
Dissenting, the representative of Argentina, also in right of reply, stated that the principle of self-determination did not apply to the dispute between the two countries. Calling the referendum proposed by the United Kingdom illegal, he added that it was nothing but a tautological exercise that amounted to asking the British citizens if they wished to continue to be British citizens.
Renewing negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom was the only method for solving the dispute, he said, and the British Government was twisting historical facts to cover up its forceful invasion. Instead, the United Kingdom should honour its commitment and resume negotiations over the Malvinas to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the dispute.
Also speaking during the general debate were the representatives of Venezuela, Bolivia, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Bahrain, Guinea, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Senegal.
Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply was the representative of Chile.
The Fourth Committee will meet again at 10 p.m. on Monday, 15 October, to conclude its consideration of the question of decolonization.
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met today to continue its general debate on all decolonization issues before it. For background on those topics, please see Press Release GA/SPD/504 of 8 October.
JORGE VALERO BRICEÑO (Venezuela), aligning with statements made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), said that colonial occupation violated the norms and principles of international law. Venezuela supported the rights of Non-Self-Governing Territories such as Puerto Rico and Western Sahara and urged the resolution of the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands. It was essential that the United Nations prioritize the decolonization process, and especially, find peaceful solutions to those disputes. It must foster dialogue with the Non-Self-Governing Territories as well disseminate the findings of the Committee broadly.
He said Puerto Rico was still pending on the Committee’s agenda, as it was still under the imperial domination of the United States, which did not allow it to have international representation as a free and sovereign State. The Puerto Rican people constituted a Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own national identity, and the General Assembly must consider that question. To achieve Puerto Rico’s independence was a common goal of its sister Republics and a hope of Venezuela. Much had been said reflecting the regional and international concerns about Puerto Rico’s status, and Venezuela appealed to the United States Government to allow it to exercise its inalienable right to choose its destiny.
Condemning “imperialist and colonialist practices”, he said his country supported Argentina’s sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas, and urged a resumption of negotiations to achieve a peaceful solution to that sovereignty dispute in keeping with international law. Recalling the existing good offices mandate conferred on the Secretary-General by the General Assembly to bring the parties together, he said his country supported Argentina’s rejection of the United Kingdom’s unilateral activities on Argentina’s continental shelf, in violation of United Nations resolutions. Venezuela also rejected the military exercises in the Malvinas, which ran counter to the norms of international maritime security.
SACHALLORENTY SOLIZ( Bolivia) urging the occupying powers to find a lasting solution to the problem of decolonization stated that the people of Western Sahara, in keeping with international law, had the right to choose their own destiny. Further, the Government of the plurilateral State of Bolivia firmly believed that Puerto Rico was a Latin American country colonized by an occupying Power. Puerto Rico needed to leave behind its colonial status and decide on its culture and language as an independent country.
Further, he added, Bolivia supported Argentina’s legitimate rights in the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas. There was no doubt that the Malvinas would continue to be Argentine islands. Territorial occupation by force imposed on others by war or armed intervention gave no rights whatsoever. Despite the passage of time, the rights of Argentina could not be doubted. Of course, agreement was the best way to resolve that dispute, and Bolivia was concerned that there was no dialogue. It was crucial that Argentina and the United Kingdom resume dialogue immediately to reach a fair and lasting solution. Finally, Bolivia was concerned that certain military activities were going on in the territory of the Malvinas. Such unilateral actions violated international law and the United Nations Charter.
MAFIROANE MOTANYANE (Lesotho), associating with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the dream to completely eradicate colonialism continued to elude the international community, and he regretted that not much progress had been made. Some administering Powers were reluctant to accord their colonized people a chance to exercise their right to self-determination. In particular, the history of Africa would not be complete, until the Saharawi Arab Republic was free from colonial hegemony. For many years, efforts by the United Nations to facilitate transition to independence and sovereignty had not yielded positive results, and the credibility of the United Nations, the “last hope for mankind”, continued to erode.
He called for the people of Palestine to be accorded their freedom and right to self-determination, and recalled the appeal made by the Primer Minister of Lesotho in September, when he said that it was about time that “individual interests gave way to compassion and reason in the Middles East”, so that the people of Palestine could enjoy their inalienable right to self-determination. Two States that co-existed side-by-side in peace and security had long been recognized by the international community as the only plausible route to enduring peace and stability in the region. He called for the negotiations to commence without further delay.
In conclusion, he reiterated the call made by his delegation during the sixty-sixth General Assembly session for increased funding for the United Nations Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples and the Department of Public Information, in order that they might advance their work and discharge their mandates effectively.
DOCTOR MASHABANE (South Africa), associating with the statements by on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism bore testimony to the failure by the international community to eradicate colonialism in all its forms and manifestations, and that the requisite political will must be mustered to accelerate the process. The United Nations Charter characterized the responsibility of administering Powers in relation to their Non-Self-Governing Territories as a “sacred trust”. Rendering the question of Western Sahara as an ”artificial dispute”, as some had chosen to characterize it, was to denigrate the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, let alone this ”sacred trust” discussed in the Charter’s Chapter 11.
He said that some viewed the decolonization issue as a matter of territorial integrity, while others considered it a matter of self-determination. It was compelling that the question of legality was clearly on the side of the Saharan peoples. Most authoritatively, the International Court of Justice in October 1975, and more recently, the United Nations Legal Department in January 2002, had presented opinions on the matter, in favour of the Saharan people’s right to self-determination. However, in response to those compelling legal considerations, there had been blatant disregard for the principles of the United Nations and international law. Those entrusted in a permanent capacity to maintain international peace and security had instead opted to exercise a flagrant demonstration of bias.
On the question of Western Sahara, much had been said about the ”realism and pragmatism” of one proposal, and, in fact, many petitioners themselves expressed confidence in it. However, such confidence “should be placed at the ballot box”, which was the only accurate assessment of the desires of the Saharan people in terms of their three options: independence, autonomy, or free association. They should have all open to them, rather than the current attempts to impose an option of autonomy. The imposition of a specific proposal, which some in the Security Council insisted on labelling as “serious and credible”, was in complete disregard for the fact that there the Frente POLISARIO had also presented a proposal.
Meanwhile, Article 73 of the United Nations Charter set out very clearly a series of obligations for administering Powers. Steps must be taken to improve the conditions of the Saharan people in the social, economic, political and educational contexts. At the same time, the inadequacy of political, social or economic readiness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence. To fill the “vacuum” of information, he called for visits to the Territories by the United Nations and its various agencies, which would provide a first-hand impression of developments there and the steps being taken by the administering Powers. South Africa was also very concerned about plundering and exploitation of natural resources on the Territory of Western Sahara, and phosphates, fish stock and oil explorations were externally driven, all in flagrant violation of international law. All Member States had an obligation to ensure that the Saharan people were consulted in the utilization of any of their natural resources.
DER KOGDA ( Burkina Faso) stated that nearly two million people lived under conditions of colonization and it was imperative to find a definitive solution in order to prevent increasing resentment in the world. Calling on the international community to support actions for socio-economic development in the colonized Territories, he added that while decolonization was “practically complete” in Africa, the situation of Western Sahara remained. “We have a true impasse,” he said adding that the Moroccan proposal for autonomy offered a credible solution to the deadlock. In a context of regional instability, the international community must deploy every effort to find a lasting solution and ensure that young, unemployed people were not driven into the hands of terrorist groups.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria), associating with the statement made by the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of independence and its accession to the United Nations, a glorious moment in the nation’s history. This was an occasion for stepping up the decolonization process throughout the world, and Algeria wished to express its “unshakeable solidarity” with those subjected to colonial domination in the remaining 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories, including Western Sahara, the last remaining colony in Africa. Algeria could not stand silently by while colonialism persisted, and the right of self-determination was slighted.
He said that the people of Western Sahara, Algeria’s immediate neighbour were still waiting to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination. It was clear that resolution 1514 applied to that situation, as evidenced by the opinions of the International Court of Justice, and Algeria reaffirmed the responsibility of the United Nations in the matter. There was no justifiable alternative to Western Sahara’s decolonization, and any aim to place the matter in any other context than completing that process under United Nations supervision would only delay definitive settlement of the issue, which had gone on for too long.
In the last report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on that matter, in April, paragraph 105 clearly affirmed the right to self-determination by the Saharan people, he recalled, adding that negotiations between Morocco and Polisario must fall within that logic. Algeria would continue to work towards meeting the clear right of the Saharan people to decide their own future through a free referendum overseen by the United Nations.
ROUBANI KAAMBI ( Comoros) said that his delegation believed that the peaceful settlement of disputes was an important element of the United Nations Charter. With regard to the dispute over the Western Sahara, he said that many United Nations resolutions, and especially those issued by the Security Council, urged the parties to enter into substantive and realistic negotiations and achieve compromise. Comoros supported the Moroccan initiative for autonomy for the Saharan region. Indeed, the political option of autonomy was, as deemed by the Security Council, serious and credible. It would safeguard the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Morocco. His country also welcomed the continuing measures adopted by Morocco since 2007 in enhancing the rule of law, especially in the area of human rights, including in the Saharan region.
FAYSAL ALZAYANI ( Bahrain) stated that many years had passed since the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People. Many countries had managed to get rid of colonialism and enjoy their place as sovereign States after breaking the chains of foreign domination. The “Committee of 24” was striving hard to achieve the aims of the Declaration and in fact, it had used all means available and taken many different paths to achieve that objective. The preamble of the Declaration had made clear the belief in equality between countries big and small. It was a “wake-up call” to put an end to colonialism. The General Assembly had expressed how peoples under colonialism were yearning to get rid of subjugation. Colonization was a barrier for social and economic development in the Non-Self-Governing Territories. It also impeded peace and international cooperation.
MAMADI TOURÉ ( Guinea) said that, as one of the main initiators of resolution 1514, his country would continue to support the international community in order to see a final end put to colonialism in the various regions of the world where it still existed. The United Nations, administering Powers, representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, non-governmental organizations and others must cooperate to find ways and means to advance the process. Guinea’s commitment came from a moral and political imperative that must be heeded.
He expressed his country’s full support for the Moroccan initiative, submitted in April 2007, to negotiate the autonomy of the Western Sahara, in an effort to emerge from the deadlock. The Moroccan initiative proposed to find a peaceful outcome that would make it possible for the people to have full autonomy within the Kingdom of Morocco. The proposal was in keeping with international law, the United Nations Charter, the relevant Security Council resolutions and the right to self-determination.
He called upon the concerned parties to begin intensive and substantive negotiations and to demonstrate “realism and a commitment to make progress”. He welcomed the political will shown by the parties when they decided to meet on a regular basis in an effort to break the deadlock, but said it was not enough. He encouraged them to take full advantage of their meetings. He also welcomed the “credible” measures taken by Morocco within the framework of its political reforms, especially the establishment of its Human Rights council, which demonstrated its desire to guarantee the democratic rights of the populations of the area.
In the face of Sahara’s security, he appealed to the international community to arrive at a political solution as soon as possible, so as to avoid a situation in which young people who, faced with unemployment, would become attracted by criminal groups and terrorist networks, thereby giving the conflict a different dimension. He said that finding a political and definitive solution to the long-standing dispute under the United Nations aegis would restore the international community’s credibility and trust in the Organization.
ELLEONORA TAMBUNAN ( Indonesia) said that the fact that there were 16 Territories still awaiting decolonization should put the international community on alert. The solution to the question of decolonization could not follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and should rather be carried out on a case by case basis. She reiterated her commitment to the rights of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories. When it came to individual disputes, the parties concerned had to negotiate within the peculiarities of the particular colony bearing in mind the interest of the people of the region. She called on administering Powers to cooperate with the Committee, and commended those Powers that were actively participating in its important work and advancing the decolonization agenda. Suggesting that brainstorming sessions and informal dialogue could help Member States focus on particular issues, she also requested United Nations bodies to continue to provide much-needed technical and economic expertise to the people of the Territories.
MARIA MESQUITA MENDONCA GUSMAO (Timor-Leste) said that her delegation’s position on Non-Self-Governing Territories was based on the principles enshrined in the country’s constitution, which stipulated that Timor-Leste should be in solidarity with peoples’ struggle for national liberation. The Constitution also supported the aims of the United Nations Charter. In that regard, Timor-Leste supported the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and urged all parties to come to a peaceful resolution of the issue. She took note of some positive developments outlined in the Secretary-General’s report on the matter, and welcomed confidence-building measures between the parties. While discussions on issues such as de-mining, resources and fisheries were ongoing, Timor-Leste welcomed the agreement to hold a high-level meeting in Geneva on natural resources and to begin building a common database on resources. In conclusion, Timor-Leste supported direct negotiations between the Frente POLISARIO and Morocco under the auspices of the United Nations.
ROBERT AISI (Papua New Guinea), also speaking on behalf of Fiji, said that while some progress had been made towards self-determination in a few of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, more accelerated efforts were needed in others. It was important to be mindful, then, of the individual and unique circumstances of each territory and recognize the need for open, broad, inclusive dialogue among and between all parties, including the administering Powers.
He noted the work under way in the Territories of the Pacific, namely, in New Caledonia and Tokelau. The Melanesian Spearhead Group had continued its enhanced role of consulting with the indigenous Kanak people. To that end, the second high-level Ministerial Mission to New Caledonia, in August, had recommended that different Kanak parties and partners, such as customary chiefs, teachers, women, youth and churches, be included in a proposed symposium on their future political status prior to the next such summit. New Caledonia was becoming increasingly integrated into the Pacific’s regional activities, which was positive progress and complemented the Fourth Committee’s work.
In Tokelau, focus remained on the full implementation of the Joint Commitment for Development between that Territory and New Zealand, which was an excellent example of cooperation among all parties, as it related to the development of Non-Self-Governing Territories. While progressive efforts continued in the Territories of the Pacific, their needs and aspirations remained valid and dependent on all parties, including the United Nations, to achieve progress towards the eradication of colonialism.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal) said that the United Nations could be proud for significantly contributing to the world’s process of decolonization. Yet, in spite of that, decolonization had yet to be fully completed. From that perspective, he said, the international community should recall to the administering Powers that they had obligations to implement various measures favourable to their respective territories. Regarding the situation of Western Sahara, he encouraged the United Nations to continue to work towards finding a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution. He reiterated his country’s support to the Moroccan proposal for autonomy, calling it a “realistic and balanced” solution to the long-standing crisis. That solution was “within our reach”, he said, as long as all parties and stakeholders could negotiate in good faith, and step up their efforts constructively.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) stated that a new world was being born in the Mediterranean, for more than a year. There was a deep-seated desire for peace and democracy in the region. Those historic changes should enable the international community to do away with obsolete thinking and look towards the future. It was important to look at the issue of the Moroccan Sahara without nostalgia for the cold war. The issue of the Sahara would be resolved eventually and that must be through negotiation.
From 1956, he added, the date of the double protectorate, until 1976 when Morocco achieved independence, it had always prioritized negotiations to resolve territorial disputes. Morocco would have preferred to see solidarity in the fight for the independence of the people of Maghreb. Despite desperate attempts to counter the return of the Moroccan Sahara to its motherland, Morocco persisted in maintaining food relations with its neighbours. That commitment was reflected in the autonomy proposal of 2007, which had been recognized by the Security Council as a realistic and forward-looking initiative. It was adaptable and in line with international legality, and it favoured a win-win approach. Morocco expressed gratitude to the many delegations who had shown support for that initiative, especially African countries, who welcomed the initiative as opening the way to finding a solution to other disputes.
Since the autonomy initiative had been launched, Morocco had looked at every possible way of making progress, he said. It was ready to re-launch substantive negotiations under parameters established by the Security Council. However with regard to the suffering of the people in Tindouf camp, the commitment of the population there was starting to wane. They were becoming impatient as they wanted stability and a decent life. The risk was that the impatience would force a part of the population of the camp, especially young people without jobs, to be drawn into illicit activities. It was urgent to take steps to help this population and to enable their freely agreed return. That was a conventional requirement, but also a moral obligation for all States parties to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. In the wake of kidnappings, many countries had decided to withdraw their nationals working in the humanitarian field. It was urgent to go to the rescue of the harmed population and re-launch the negotiations.
Through the autonomy initiative, “ Morocco had walked the path to compromise”, he said, adding that parties should not stay fixed to their positions. Morocco was committed to making the dream of the Maghreb people a reality and to freeing the region from the threats of terrorism and destabilization. The international community could not remain with their arms crossed as a huge part of the African continent moved into instability, “an instability that was contagious”. Morocco had a common vision for the future of the region and needed cooperation and stability to make that vision come true. “We can’t close our eyes to the issue of Sahara by being imprisoned in the past and by denying the future,” he warned.
He acknowledged the fact that there were different opinions on this issue, but said the reason for the current debate was to reduce divergent issues. However, the international community should not admit incoherence. “Some voted on Security Council resolutions and then came to the Committee and said different things,” he said, adding that they required “history lessons as well as vocabulary lessons.” As far as Morocco was concerned, there was national consensus that the citizens stood ready to respect national integrity and work with partners in the Maghreb to build a strong region that could withstand any threat.
Right of Reply
The representative of Chile, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that Chile regretted the fact that Bolivia had brought before the forum irrelevant issues that were of a bilateral nature. Bolivia had referenced an issue that had been resolved once and for good by the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1904. Chile had always, and remained, willing to dialogue bilaterally with Bolivia on that and other such issues.
The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking in the right of reply, said, in response to remarks made by the delegations of Venezuela and Bolivia, that her country had no doubt about the sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas. It attached great importance to the principle of self-determination and there could be no negotiations on the subject until the people of those islands wished to have them.
She said the relationship between the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories was a modern one, based on partnership, shared values and the right of each Territory to determine its own future. Representatives of the Territories had expressed their views before this very Committee and had asked it to respect the principle of self-determination. They had reiterated the historical facts, including that the Islands had no indigenous people and none had been expelled. They had no desire other than to be left to live in peace, and lamented Argentina’s attempt to ignore their desires, especially when the President of Argentina had refused to meet and listen to their views.
Nonetheless, the United Kingdom, she said, continued to believe there were many opportunities for cooperation in the South Atlantic, even though Argentina had rejected them, particularly on offshore activities. The United Kingdom remained fully committed to the rights of people to determine their own political future. The upcoming referendum in 2013 would make the Islanders’ wishes clear to the international community.
Also exercising right of reply, the representative of Argentina stated that the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime areas were an integral part of Argentina illegally occupied by the United Kingdom. The illegal occupation by the United Kingdom had led the General Assembly to adopt various resolutions, such as resolution 2065, all of which recognized a sovereignty dispute and urged the two parties to resume negotiations to find, as soon as possible, a peaceful and lasting solution. The General Assembly of the Organization of American States had also adopted resolutions along the same lines.
Further, he added, Argentina regretted the fact that the British Government twisted historical facts to cover up its forceful invasion. That distortion also showed the lack of certainty on what it considered its rights. Instead of refuting its history, the United Kingdom should honour its commitment and resume negotiations over the Malvinas. If it did so, it would be operating in a lawful way as a member of the United Nations, just as that country required others to do.
The principle of self-determination did not apply to the dispute between the two countries, the representative said. Argentina regretted that the United Kingdom continued to generate expectations about an illegal referendum whose result would not put an end to the undisputable right of Argentina over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the surrounding maritime area. The referendum was a tautological exercise, asking the British citizens if they wished to continue to be British citizens. Renewing negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom was the only method for solving the dispute.
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