Tuesday, September 13, 2005

‘Decolonisation is the target’

Opposition welcomes constitutional talks

GSLP/Liberals Opposition welcome the announcement made by the Gibraltar Government last week that the committee which is negotiating the decolonisation of Gibraltar with the United Kingdom will finally be meeting again later this week.

The Opposition said that the committee has not met since December 2004, although there may well have been agenda problems in agreeing a date with the British Government.

“The original Select Committee of the House of Assembly which drafted the document which is now being discussed was established as far back as the summer of 1999. The Committee reported to the whole House of Assembly in February 2002. The report was not formally submitted by the Gibraltar Government to the United Kingdom Government until December 2003, and it was not until another year later that the talks between Gibraltar and the UK commenced.”

The Opposition says that given the extraordinary length of time that has elapsed between each stage of the process, they hope that the talks will now move at a faster pace leading to an agreement on a new constitution and a decolonised Gibraltar.

Both Opposition Leader Joe Bossano and Liberal Leader Dr Joseph Garcia have from the outset made no secret of the fact that decolonisation and removal from the UN list of colonies is of paramount importance to them.

“The United Nations is now giving a new found urgency to the decolonisation and delisting of the final remaining colonies on their list. The view of the Opposition is that Gibraltar cannot get left behind in this process.

We are fully committed to reaching an agreement with the United Kingdom on a new constitutional settlement for Gibraltar which the people can adopt in an act of self-determination and decolonisation in a referendum.

The Opposition therefore welcome the continuation of the negotiations in Gibraltar this week as a necessary step to complete the exercise and achieve decolonisation within the timetable of the Second UN International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.”

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