Saturday, 18 January 2014

Falkland Islands

The British claimed the Falklands in 1765 and this was later solidified in the 1771 Anglo-Spanish agreement that preserved the claims of both Spain and Britain, not Spain alone. New states do not inherit treaties without the consent of other signatories to those treaties, therefore Argentina did not inherit them from Spain upon independence especially since Spain did not have De facto control of them at the time either.

For long periods the islands were uninhabited. In 1828 Vernet had permission from Britain to set up a seal business on the islands. He later switched allegiance to Argentina, an illegal act. In 1833 the British asked an Argentine garrison to leave but the majority of the settlers chose to stay. Only 5 settlers chose to return to what is now present day Argentina. In 1833 Argentina was 1,000 miles from the Falklands, now because of territory gains, it is 320 miles away.

In 1850 Britain and Argentina signed a peace treaty known as 'The Southern-Arana' treaty. The purpose of the treaty was to 'restore perfect relations.' It did. In the treaty both countries acknowledged that 'they no longer had ANY outstanding differences. Argentina had protested about the British presence on the Falklands right up to 1849, but from 1850 onwards it was silent on the issue for decades. Since 1850 two Argentine presidents and one vice president have made statements to the effect that 'Argentina has no disputes with anyone.' This clearly shows that if Argentina ever had a claim it surrendered it in 1850.

The Falkland Islanders have the right to self-determination and according to the most fundamental principles of international law, it is for the inhabitants of a territory alone, to determine how they are governed.

The UK is under no obligation to talk to Argentina regarding the Falkland Islands. Ban Ki-Moon confirmed on 12th November 12 that the UK was not in breach of ANY 'relevant' UN resolutions over the Falklands.

The ICJ was established by the UN Charter in June 1945 to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states. Its judgements have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned. Britain offered to take Argentina to the ICJ in 1947, 1948 and 1955 but on each occasion Argentina declined. The fact that Argentina has not submitted a case is evidence of the fact that they have no legal case. The moral case rests with the Islanders.